A Culinary Nutrition Expert’s Guide to Healthier Pizza

Think adopting healthier eating habits means saying goodbye to pizza forever? Think again! You can eat better versions of your favourite foods – and healthier pizza is a good place to start.

Creating a ridiculously scrumptious pizza that will also nourish your mind, body and soul boils down to three main components: crust, sauce and toppings. Let’s dive right in so you can start formulating the most delicious, satisfying pizza of your life!

Step #1: Healthify Your Pizza Crust

You can make a simple pizza crust with so many nourishing ingredients. Zucchini, cauliflower, sweet potatoes or gluten-free flours are just a few items that build a tasty base. Just add some spices and chopped herbs and you are all set! If you need some inspiration, check out Meghan’s Best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust Ever here.

When you are running short on time, keep it simple. Sliced vegetables, like roasted eggplant rounds or portobello mushroom caps, can also work beautifully as a makeshift crust. Take it from me, these Grilled Portobello Mushroom Pizzas (at the bottom of this post) can do no wrong!

Step #2: Healthify Your Pizza Sauce

Stop! Put down that processed, sugar-filled jar of pizza sauce. There are so many healthier options. A few spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes will work perfectly, and so will salsa, hummus, mashed avocado, pesto or even a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Step #3: Healthify Your Pizza Toppings

Now that you have a delicious crust and a yummy sauce, all you have left are the toppings! Load up on vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, onion, cherry tomatoes or zucchini. Chopped fruit like roasted plums or pineapple will add an awesome hint of sweetness. And don’t forget your greens! A handful of arugula on top can add the perfect finishing touch.

To make your healthier pizza a complete meal, ensure you include a source of protein within your toppings like lentils, crunchy roasted chickpeas or diced chicken. When it comes to pizza toppings, the sky is the limit. Get inspired with some of my favourite combinations here.

How do you healthify your pizza? What are your favourite toppings? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

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Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups baby spinach or sliced kale
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1 cooked chicken breast or 1 cup cooked lentils
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. Add coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cherry tomatoes. Sauté for another 5 minutes or just until tomatoes start to burst. Turn off the heat and add in the balsamic vinegar and baby spinach. Continue to sauté just until baby spinach is wilted. Season the mix with sea salt and black pepper to taste, and set aside.
  3. Fill the inside of each mushroom cap with the tomato and onion mixture. Add diced chicken or lentils on top. Place directly on the grill and grill for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and slice into halves or quarters. Serve immediately as is, or over a bed of greens. Enjoy!
  5. No Grill: These can be made in the oven by preheating to 420 degrees F and baking for 10 to 12 minutes.

 

Co-founder of That Clean Life, a meal planning platform that makes eating healthy simple and fun. Meet this expert

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