When most folks think of junk food somehow pizza gets lumped into the same category as Coca Cola and Pop Rocks. Poor pizza. I beg to differ. At my house, pizza is part of our healthy diet.
Italians have been eating tomato pie for hundreds of years, and traditional cultures have been eating similar flat bread dishes since way before that.
So why the giant chasm of opinion about pizza's health food status?
Well, for starters, most modern pizzeria pizzas (or the freezer section varieties) are made with over-processed wheat flour; commercial yeast, low fat mozzarella cheese from factory farmed cows; tomato sauce made with sugar, refined salt, nasty vegetable oils and probably BPA if it comes from a can; plus meat toppings filled with nitrates, antibiotics, and hormones.
Yes, that sounds like junk to me too.
The fact is, when you make pizza with REAL wholesome ingredients, it is nutrient dense and even more delicious.
Using sprouted wheat flour makes your pizza more digestible and provides more bio-available nutrients than regular flour. To be super ‘real food' about it, this crust would be made with a sourdough starter too. Instead, I've taken the short cut of using dry active yeast, but I buy an organic yeast that is processed without chemicals and is GMO-free. Cheese and meat from pasture-raised animals and seasonal veggies round out the health food profile of this classic pizza dish.
But the best part about this healthy pizza recipe? It tastes like straight up pizza. Simple, comforting, and oh-so delicious.
Classic healthy pizza ingredients
- 1 1/8 cups warm filtered water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil – check out this AMAZING olive oil!
- 3 cups sprouted wheat flour – buy freshly ground, organic sprouted flour here
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt – find high quality sea salt here
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey – find healthy sweeteners here
- 1 packet organic dry active yeast – like this one
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 cups of tomato sauce or 1 large tomato sliced
- Whole milk mozzarella or another mild cheese from grass fed cows
- Toppings of choice – find high quality, grass and forage fed meats here
Classic healthy pizza method
- Stir the honey into the warm (not hot) water until dissolved.
- Add the dry active yeast to the warm honey water and allow to sit for about 10 minutes or until the yeast begins to bubble.
- Place the yeast solution in a large bowl or food processor with the sprouted flour, sea salt, basil, and oregano. Mix well.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it into a ball on a lightly floured surface.
- Coat dough ball with a thin layer of olive oil, and place back into a large bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it stand for 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
- Roll and/or stretch your dough into shape. This is the fun part where you can toss it in the air like at a pizza parlor – just don't blame me if it falls on the floor.
- Place your shaped dough on a pizza stone or sheet pan covered with parchment paper.
- Add cheese, sauce and any additional toppings.
- Bake 8-12 minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit or until cheese is bubbly and the crust is slightly browned.
Serve up your scrumptious tomato pie with some old fashioned cultured root beer – classic junk food with a Real Food make over!
Want a healthy pizza recipe but don't eat grains?
Check out this cauliflower crusted pizza!
Top image credit: jeffrey w