How to Give Homemade Pizza a Healthy Twist
Who doesn't love pizza night? While going out to your favorite parlor for a slice can be fun, other times it's easier to just stay in and make dinner yourself. But even on these relaxed evenings at home, you can still indulge in that appetizing combination of crust, sauce and cheese. With your Oster® Stainless Steel Convection Oven with Pizza Drawer and a few ingredients, you'll be able to create your own pizza with all your favorite toppings right from the comfort of your own kitchen.
While pizza is one of the ultimate comfort foods, it doesn't need to be an unhealthy treat. Give your pie some extra nutritional value with these easy changes:
Switch Out the Crust
When it comes to pizza, a majority of the calories are usually from the thick, flaky crust. So if you're looking to make a pizza that won't expand your waistline, consider making changes to that element of the meal. One way to do that is to opt for a thin crust instead of a thicker base to cut down on the carbs and calories without sacrificing flavor.
You can also add some extra nutrients by choosing a whole-wheat option. Whole grains add fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet and have been shown to help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and other health conditions.
If you're making the crust from scratch, consider using this whole-wheat recipe to add extra nutritional benefits to your pie.
Whole-Wheat Pizza Crust
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 yeast packet
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup warm water
Heat the Oster® Stainless Steel Convection Oven with Pizza Drawer to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and let stand for 10 minutes. Combine with olive oil and salt. In a separate bowl, add all dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir until combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until a sticky ball forms. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a well-floured surface. Knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth. Put the ball in an oiled bowl and cover loosely with a cloth and let sit for about 45 minutes until it doubles in size.
If you're really looking to cut down on your carbs, consider opting for a cauliflower crust to really increase the nutritional content of your pizza.
Play Up the Toppings
The sky is the limit when adding toppings to your pizza. If you're trying to make your dinner healthier, skip the extra cheese and piles of pepperoni and play up the veggies instead. Options like mushrooms, bell peppers and onions will add plenty of flavor to your pizza while also supplying a number of vitamins and fiber. You can even go with fruits, like pineapple or figs, to increase the nutritional value while satisfying your sweet tooth.
If your main concern is calories, you should also look at the cheese that's sitting underneath all the toppings. While you don't necessarily need to go dairy-free when making your pie, some cheeses are better options than others. For example, Parmesan is naturally low-fat, but high in flavor, which means a little bit goes a long way.
Or you can simply choose whatever cheese you want, but decrease the quantity. By adding red pepper flakes or other herbs and spices, you can pack in a lot of flavor without adding extra calories and fat.
Make Your Own Sauce
On pizza night, it might be tempting to reach for a jar of premade sauce, especially at the end of a busy day. However, these options are often packed with added sugar and other less-than-desirable ingredients. Instead, put in a few extra minutes to make your own from scratch - it's actually a lot easier than you might expect.
Try this simple recipe that has plenty of flavor without added sugar:
Red Pizza Sauce
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed and smooth. To save time in the future, consider making a larger batch and freezing the extra for your next pizza night. The sauce will last in the freezer for up to three months and all you have to do is defrost it when you're ready.
With a little bit of meal prep and your Oster® Stainless Steel Convection Oven with Pizza Drawer, you'll be well on your way to a pizza that is both healthy and delicious in no time.