By Cristin Dillon, Self magazine
Pizza is my ultimate vice. I usually order from my favorite pizza shop but occasionally I make my own pizza at home and when I do this, I keep my pizza so healthy, it's not even considered a splurge! The best healthy homemade pizza starts with a nutritious crust so bring on the whole wheat! The nutritional downfalls of pizza are: (1) thick, white crust with lots of calories and no filling fiber, (2) loads of full fat cheese, (3) high sodium, high saturated fat meat toppings, and (4) lack of nutrients from vegetables. I can work my way around all of these downfalls and still have a great tasting pizza. Today, lets focus on the crust!
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There are a couple of options for healthy crusts. The key is to go thin so that you reduce the calories by half if not more. Whole wheat crust is best because it contains fiber that is more filling and will satisfy you sooner (think 2-3 slices rather than 5-6). If you have time and patience you can make whole wheat dough from scratch but I get terribly frustrated when trying to roll and stretch it out as it always ends up a mess! Life is busy these days so recently I have been relying on store-bought, ready-to-use whole wheat crusts.
Last week I used Boboli to make my homemade pizza. This crust tastes great (thanks to the addition of a little Parmesan cheese) and it cooks nicely with a crisper bottom and softer inside. The one thing I don't love is the presence of palm oil which is responsible for the saturated fat in the crust. It's not a lot but it just doesn't seem necessary. One of my favorite (palm oil free) alternatives is Whole Foods 365 Everyday Organic Whole Wheat crust.
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Pizza can be a healthy option so long as you build it right. Get started with a whole wheat crust, then use 2% cheese and lots of vegetables (sauce and toppings), lastly add a little lean protein like chicken strips, 95% lean ground beef or even chicken sausage! This combo tastes great and fills you up fast - Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio