5 hacks to make your pizza crust healthier

Posted on February 7, 2017 by Brynna Gabrielson

Pizza crust made with cauliflowerPizza is beloved my many of us, but has often been tarred by label of 'Junk Food'. While you can pile it high with veggies, there's no escaping that the crust and plentiful helpings of cheese do make pizza a high calorie meal.  If you're cutting back, it's a difficult one to justify in your diet. But all pizza needn't follow the traditional composition. Swap out that bread based crust and you can make your pizza a whole lot healthier. Read on for some of our favourite pizza crust hacks!

Cauliflower crust

There's no denying that cauliflower has a certain magic when it comes to using it for various hacks and swaps. You can make rice or Alfredo sauce from it, or even some delicious bread sticks. Another great use? A pizza crust! This option not only reduces carbs, but can also be gluten free!

To start you'll need a head of cauliflower and a food processor. Remove all the leaves and then cut the cauliflower into chunks. Blitz in your processor until fine, like rice. (You may have to do it in batches depending on the size of your processor). Once the entire head is done, transfer to a microwave safe bowl and cover in cling film. Heat in the microwave on high for 5-6 minutes until the cauliflower is soft. You'll need to let it cool for a while, and then pour the cauliflower into the centre of a clean tea towel or piece of cheese cloth. Wrap the cauliflower up and then squeeze as much water from it as you can. You'll be surprised how much is in there!

Once you've got the last drop you can out of it, dump the 'dried' cauliflower into a bowl.
Add 1/4 cup of almond flour, two eggs and some seasonings (oregano, salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder - whatever you like) and stir until well combined. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and lightly oil the parchment. Next pour your cauliflower mixture onto the paper and using your fingers or a spoon, press it into the shape of a pizza crust.  You'll want to bake your creation for 15-20 minutes at 180 (fan assisted), until lightly browned. Once cooked, cool a little then add your favourite toppings. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes for delicious pizza!

Portabella Mushroom

If you're a fan of mushrooms and are looking to cut back on the bread, then using a Portobello mushroom as the base of your pizza is a great idea. Here's a great recipe to get your started. We're big fans of the tip to make 'foil rings' to keep the mushroom bottoms from getting soggy as they cook!

Sweet Potato

We can't stop eating sweet potatoes - they're delicious and great in a variety of dishes. Have you tried putting them in soup? We love it. And even better - you can make a pizza crust worth talking about using them!

First off, peel and cube 2-3 medium sized sweet potatoes. Bring a pot of water to boil and toss the cubes in, cook until soft. Next drain the water and mash your potatoes until lump free.  Take about 1 cup of the mash and combine with 1 cup of Almond flour (or you can use oats if you can pulse them in a food processor with the sweet potato) and 1 large egg.  As with the cauliflower crust you can also add seasonings. This one works well with a few chilli flakes!

Cover your baking tray in baking parchment and lightly grease the paper as well. Place the sweet potato dough onto the surface and use your hands or a spoon to form the shape of your crust.  Cook at 180 (fan assisted) for up to 20 minutes. It should be golden and crisp.

Let it cool, and then add your toppings. Anything works, but we are particular fans of BBQ chicken with this crust. Cook again for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Tortilla

Yes a tortilla is still considered a bread, but you can make a delicious, thin crusted personal sized pizza with one of these and the entire 'crust' will only be about 200 calories (depending on the tortilla you use of course!).

One of the quickest and easiest ways to make this is using a large frying pan or crepe pan (12 inches wide) on the stove top. Simply heat the pan on medium and then place your tortilla on top and let the bottom side crisp up a bit. Once it's turning golden brown, simply flip it over and then as the bottom crisps, add your toppings. A dollop of sauce, some meat and veggies, and a sprinkle of cheese shall do. To get the cheese to melt nicely you'll need to cover the entire thing. A generously sized pot lid would do. Otherwise, slide the pizza onto a baking tray and put under the grill for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Enjoy!

Quinoa

We think making a pizza crust out of Quinoa is a great idea.  We found this great recipe which is fairly simple to assemble and tastes delightful. The base includes quinoa, egg, spices and some cheese, making it gluten free as well as delicious. We like the use of quinoa as we think it gives the crust a bit of extra texture.

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