When you ask someone what their favorite food is, odds are the most popular answer is going to be pizza. We all love it, but know it’s not always the best for us. Harmful ingredients like wheat, cheese, preservatives, sodium and more make it hard to rationalize eating it regularly.
What Makes Pizza Bad
Wheat is mostly a carbohydrate that has problem proteins like gluten, even for those who don’t have celiac disease. It has been linked to gut inflammation, osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, cancer and as many as 55 other diseases.
Cheese contributes a lot of cholesterol to the diet, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Dairy product consumption has also been linked to an increased risk of prostate and breast cancer.
Preservatives are used to lengthen the shelf life of products, and while some are recognized as safe, some have also been linked to cancer. Excess sodium is linked to increased blood pressure which can lead to stroke, heart failure and even stomach cancer.
Most pizza chains have also been found to have hidden MSG without it being labeled. This coupled with the greasiness of most pizzas make pizza a not so healthy quick and easy meal. If only there were healthy pizza recipes to try instead. Well, you’re in luck because there are, and they actually taste amazing!
Gluten-free pepperoni pizza
Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious too. A crust that combines gluten-free, white rice, brown rice, and tapioca flour with xantham gum and is topped with pepperoni makes for a pizza you might even enjoy more than one you’d find at a restaurant.
A 7-ingredient gluten free pizza crust that requires 1 hour from start to finish and rivals any pizzeria style pizza crust.
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Gluten Free Pizza
- 3 cups (440 g) gluten free flour blend (1 cup (160 g) white rice flour + 1 cup (160 g) brown rice flour + 1 cup (120 g) tapioca flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp (37 g) sugar, divided
- 1 Tbsp (10 g) yeast
- 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) warm water, divided
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- In a small bowl, combine yeast and 3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water – about 110 degrees F (43 C). Too hot and it will kill the yeast! Let set for 5 minutes to activate. Sprinkle in 1 Tbsp (12 g) of the sugar a few minutes in.
- In a separate bowl, combine gluten free flour blend, salt, baking powder and remaining 2 Tbsp (25 g) sugar. Whisk until well combined.
- Make a well in the dry mixture and add the yeast mixture. Add the olive oil and additional 1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water before stirring. Then stir it all together until well combined, using a wooden spoon (see photo).
- Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge (see pictures). You want it to be pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch.
- Put the pizza in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, but that’s normal and totally OK.
- Remove from oven and spread generously with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings. We went with Daiya to keep ours dairy-free. Pop back in oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until the crust edge looks golden brown and the toppings are warm and bubbly.
- Cut immediately and serve. Reheats well the next day in the oven or microwave.
There are plenty of alternatives to a wheat crust recipe such as rice flour, cauliflower, flaxseed, almonds, coconut flour and tapioca flour just to name a few. So you can still enjoy the great taste of pizza without any of the downsides.