A pizza is often all it takes to fill you with contentment thanks to its stringy cheese, irresistible toppings and delightful crust. Unfortunately, it also fills you with a whole bunch of unhealthy calories, carbs, grease and pretty much all the things your body could do without.
But just as necessity is the mother of invention, conscientious hunger is the mother of a whole range of healthy pizza crust alternatives. We know the crust is a must, so try out these equally delicious crust substitutes to enjoy your pizza without causing grief to your waistline.
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1) Whole Grain Bread Crust
Nothing is irreplaceable, and that includes your unhealthy flour based crusts. Trade them in for whole grain breads, waffles or tortillas to get a lighter, smaller but equally delicious version of your trademark pizza.
These are suitable for all occasions and easy to pack for a lunch on the go – they are also a wallet-friendly option!
2) Flax Seed Crust Pizza
You can kiss your guilt goodbye as you bite into this crust that’s made of nothing but flax seed meal, baking powder, oregano and eggs.
Kneaded and ground into dough the traditional way, this recipe has such a low carb count that you’ll feel silly ever going back to the unhealthy pizza crusts of yore.
3) Aubergine Pizza
There’s nothing like a few thick grilled aubergine slices to sub for a pizza crust. Lightly brushed with olive oil and browned on both sides, it’s the ideal medium to hold as much toppings as you’d like, making it a convenient option for kids’ birthday parties or garden bake-outs.
You could replace the aubergine with sliced zucchini for a crunchier bite and finish (if that’s more your type of thing!).
4) Pizza Frittata
The reason this recipe is so great (apart from the whole healthy crust advantage) is that it gives you an ironclad excuse to gorge on pizza at breakfast time.
Begin by pouring whisked eggs over sauteed broccoli, onion and spinach and finish by adding cheese, pepperoni and all your favorite toppings to the cooked frittata.
You’ll feel the post-pizza satisfaction without the grease-induced sluggishness that typically comes with it.
5) Zucchini Pizza Crust
Mixed into a dough with egg, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and seasoning, zucchini transforms into a wonderfully strong though unconventional pizza crust.
Its not as crisp as most other crusts, but if you cut slices in the wet dough beforehand, it’s easy to pick up and eat.
6) Cauliflower/Broccoli/Spinach Crust
Odd as it sounds, all three of these crust options create a light but surprisingly strong crust to serve as a pizza base.
For the cauliflower version, process the florets till they attain a fine rice-like feel before mixing it with squeezed-out steamed rice, egg and cheese to make the dough.
Broccoli and spinach work the same way, but give a much grainier crisp flavor. A vegan alternative is to use ground chia or flax seeds with water to achieve an egg-like consistency.
Throw in some onions and garlic to enhance the flavor while processing the dough.
7) Carrot Crust
Knead together squeezed grated carrots with butter, eggs, cheese and coconut and bake the flattened dough for a perfectly healthy pizza crust.
You’ll have carrot juice left over from the squeezing, to serve as a healthy chilled drink with your pizza. Bugs Bunny would be proud of you!
8) Stuffed Pizza
Sometimes, it’s just easier to put the pizza inside something instead of putting something on top of the pizza. Going crust-less is worth it when you think of all the calories you’re saving.
You can use Portobello mushrooms, roasted eggplants and bell peppers as vessels for your pizza topping. Pizzas will never be the same again once you do away with the crust for this interesting alternative.
9) Egg White Pizza
Yes, we know it sounds like the last thing you could possibly put a pizza on, but its so ridiculously easy to prepare and so unprotestingly scarfed down by the kids that you’ll find yourself going back to this recipe every time you have a few extra eggs in the fridge.
All it takes is egg whites cooked in the conventional way, and you have a pizza base that’s healthy as can be.
10) Plantain Pizza Crust
Skepticism is the first reaction to the near-sacrilegious idea of despoiling a classic Italian dish with giant green bananas, but don’t beat it till you’ve tried it.
Process the peeled plantain as usual with eggs and spices and bake it with a dash of olive oil. The results are intriguing and you’ll probably never go back to the blandness of the run-of-the-mill unhealthy pizza crusts.
With these healthy pizza crust alternatives, gone are the days of guilt and drowsiness that followed a sinfully indulgent pizza. Mamma Mia, you can finally have your pizza and eat it too!