January 12, 2015

Pizza: Traditional Taste, Nontraditional {low carb or gluten free} Crusts

Have you ever fallen in love with something that isn't good for you? Yes, I'm talking about food here. No, not chocolate. In fact, I don't feel bad at all about my love of rich, dark chocolate. That's good for me {you know: because of the iron, antioxidant properties, and how it increases endorphins and serotonin} ... There is research to prove it! Actually, I'm referring to my love of pizza. 

Unfortunately, when working to drop a few {or twenty some} pounds, I had to let go of my love for the fat and carbohydrate collision that is pizza. No, I didn't stop eating pizza. Yes, I found some alternative crust options. I understand that you may be skeptical at first, but please give me {and the following recipes} a chance. I was skeptical too, but I've found some pizza crusts that are low carb or gluten free and really tasty. Really!


Since school has started, our family has gotten into the habit of having pizza and movie night on Fridays. It's a great night for food, cuddles, and family time. But, it's not fun to smell delicious pizza and see your family eating said pizza without joining them.  So, here are my five favorite recipes for tasty crust alternatives...

Credit: Trim Healthy Mama
1) Fooled Ya Pizza: Serene Allison & Pearl Barrett have modified food blogger Jamie VanEaton's Cauliflower Crust recipe slightly to fit into the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. {I prepare this and all the following recipes as THM S meals.} You can find this recipe on pages 276-278 of their book "Trim Healthy Mama No More Fads! A Common Sense Guide To Satisfy Your Cravings And Energize Your Life". 

Notes: This makes a thin crust pizza. You will need to process the cauliflower in a food processor. Yes, the crust is made with mainly cauliflower.  No, I couldn't taste it at all. The original recipe makes a 12" round crust, and the modified recipe fills a 9" x 15" cookie sheet.

2) Pita Pizza: When I don't feel like cooking or I'm
running short on time, I pull a round of pita bread out of the refrigerator to use as a crust.  Then you simply add some sauce, your favorite toppings, and cheese and broil until the cheese is melted.  

Notes: Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita Bread {the red package} is a great low-carb option with only 4 net carb grams. They make a heartier crust for an individual pizza that is quick, easy, and delicious.

Credit: Blueberries And Blessings
3) Gluten Free Cream Cheese Crust Pizza: Pam at Blueberries and Blessings shares a surprisingly scrumptious pizza crust recipe.  I was surprised, because I would have never thought to make "dough" for pizza crust with cream cheese. Her recipe uses a 10" x 15" cookie sheet, but I've been making a smaller batch by quartering the recipe {using 4 oz. cream cheese, 1 egg, dash each of pepper and garlic, & 2 Tbsp. Parmesan}. This is my recent favorite for a tasty but fairly quick crust.

Notes: Make sure the cream cheese is softened. The "dough" is actually quite runny but it bakes into a substantial and satisfying crust. I did not have a silicone liner, but parchment paper worked well.  I put the crust back in the pan without any paper before adding the toppings and broiling.

Credit: Up Late Anyway

4) Low Carb Stromboli: Elizabeth at Up Late Anyway shares an amazing stromboli recipe that would also work well open-face for a {non}traditional pizza crust. I do really like making this recipe as stromboli though {just think of it as pizza all rolled up}. This recipe makes a delicious dough with an end result that really is like a bread crust.

Notes: Elizabeth provides lots of great pictures and detailed descriptions to take you step-by-step through this recipe. After making it the first time, I realized it is quite simple to pull together once you get all your ingredients together near the microwave. 

Credit: Husband of a Homeschooling Mom

5) Cheesy Garlic Bread: This recipe from Husband of a Homeschooling Mom should be a hit with everyone in the family, because it truly is bread {with the benefit of only being 2 grams net carbs ... if you can limit yourself to 1/10 of the dough}. It is definitely delicious and will hit the spot for anyone craving bread.

Notes: Yes, this is technically not a pizza dough recipe.  But, sometimes I used to get pizza and only eat the side of cheesy garlic bread. {Anyone else?} Also, this recipe does lend itself well to being used for a thick crust pizza by adding a little sauce and your toppings at the end with the cheese. Aside from waiting a few moments after adding the yeast to the warm water, this recipe is very quick and easy to prepare.  

  • Do you have a food love that has gotten in the way of healthy eating goals?
  • What {healthier} substitutions have you found for favorite foods? 
  • What motivates you to continue to make healthier choices?
  • Which pizza recipe is your favorite?

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