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Healthy Pizza with Pizzazz!

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/21/2012 10:00 AM   :  19 comments   :  18,580 Views

Pizza can be a healthy choice, filled with complex carbohydrates, B-vitamins, calcium, protein, vitamin A, and vitamin C. However it often ends up being an indulgent, high fat, calorie-packed nightmare. When you’re starting from scratch (or ordering by phone) these pointers will help keep your meal healthy, while still pleasing your family's taste buds.

Consider the Crust
Crust is the foundation of your pizza, so be creative and open your mind to new crust possibilities, such as lower calorie versions. Keep in mind that whole-grain breads or crusts add fiber and additional nutrients to your pizza as well. Try homemade or store-bought crusts, plain bagels, pita pockets, English muffins, French bread, or whole-wheat tortillas.

Spread It On
The tomatoes in pizza sauce are loaded with lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid thought to protect against several cancers, heart disease, and possibly bone loss. Many tasty, low-sodium jarred versions of pizza sauce are available.

Load It Up
Pile on the vegetable and fruit toppings—mushrooms, olives, green peppers, broccoli, onions, spinach, pineapple, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers—for less fat, fewer calories, more fiber and more vitamins A and C.

If Meat is a Must…
Opt for leaner meats such as ground turkey, extra lean ground beef, white meat chicken, lean ham, or Canadian bacon. Cooking meats first and draining the excess fat (grease) will save on fat and calories. Seafood lovers can try water-packed shrimp, tuna, or crab. But skip the pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and prosciutto.

Say "Cheese…Just a Little, Please"
Use part-skim mozzarella, part-skim ricotta, a little Parmesan, or reduced-fat varieties. When ordering, ask for light cheese, and when unpacking a frozen delight, brush off some of the excess cheese before baking. Don’t be afraid to blot off some of the grease with a napkin—you’ll save even more calories and fat but retain taste and texture.



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Comments

  • SHADOWCAT8
    19
    Like the sounds of this recipe. Where does one find low-sodium jarred pizza sauce? Have looked in local grocer's and they do carry this item. Thank you. - 11/8/2012   1:43:34 PM
  • K_RENEE
    18
    I like to use English muffins so I can still get my pizza fix, but I can control the portions. - 10/27/2012   9:34:51 PM
  • 17
    Pizza on a cauliflower crust is a go to for my family. The 3yo isn't a fan.... yet... - 10/25/2012   10:34:04 AM
  • ALDEBARANIAN
    16
    Take that ground turkey, add a little salt, sage, pepper, garlic, and you have a wonderful sausage. Follow the Fannie Farmer recipe for "Cornell Sausage", but use way less salt. One of my favorites. - 10/23/2012   6:58:53 PM
  • GRANDAD09
    15
    If meat is a must? What's that mean, if? OK, I get the point, since it is for me, then at least make sure I use lean....

    Thanks, good ideas. - 10/22/2012   3:47:29 PM
  • ILUVRUSSL
    14
    I am really frustrated because I cant seem to find the login to get to my saved recipes. what am I doing wrong? Is there another website or what? - 10/22/2012   3:31:05 PM
  • 13
    "Mock pizza" on portabello mushrooms is fab as well! - 10/22/2012   8:49:10 AM
  • 12
    One of my personal diet triumphs has been overcoming an "addiction" to pizza. At my former workplace pizza was consumed at least once a week for lunch. People would order it for the lunchroom. I would hide after work and eat one and a half large pizzas all my myself that I obtained on my own. It is a wonder I didn't die right there from all the grease and nitrate laden pepperoni. I now can no longer "stomach" the thought; if I eat pizza it is a single serve lower calorie pizza (the frozen kind) and I don't even eat that too often. - 10/22/2012   8:28:52 AM
  • 11
    Making My Own Personal Pizza Is The Best! I Love To Be Creative And Do Something No One Else Would. My Favorite Pizza Is Spinach With Black Olives Shrimp And Mozzarella Cheese On An Artisan Ancient Grain Tortilla. - 10/22/2012   12:21:26 AM
  • 10
    Thin crust pizza is great. - 10/21/2012   11:55:43 PM
  • 9
    Greaaaattttt for pizza lovers. - 10/21/2012   11:32:16 PM
  • 8
    I love making my own pizza. I use pita pockets and load it up with chicken and lots of fresh veggies like orange and yellow peppers plus onions and tomatoes. I also like garlic power and parmasian cheese on it too.. - 10/21/2012   8:51:01 PM
  • 7
    Great timing. I made homemade pizza last night. If you make your own pizza, here are a few hints -
    Make sure that your crust can "sustain" the veggies and sauce if you load up on them. Too many toppings will make the pizza soggy.
    Buy a pizza stone - these really help crisp the crust. Keep it in the oven as they help maintain an even temperature.
    Check the sodium content on the sauce (or make your own!) and cheese. Some (not all) fresh mozzarellas are quite low in sodium and really make a difference in overall taste. And, they're not as expensive as you might think. A good basic jarred marinara that is low in sodium is Trader Giotto's (Joe's) Organic Low Sodium Marinara. - 10/21/2012   8:15:12 PM
  • 6
    I am a cheese pizza kind of girl -- I don't really like a bunch of toppings. I make mini pizzas out of 6in tortillas - 10/21/2012   8:14:53 PM
  • 5
    Pizza is great for a quick meal, we used to make our own using just veggies for toppings. This blog has made me realize how long it's been, maybe a pizza for dinner! - 10/21/2012   6:47:41 PM
  • 4
    we are veggie pizza lovers here too. Sometimes we use reduced fat philadelphia cream cheese and just mix in oregano, garlic, spices. I use a variety of veggies too. - 10/21/2012   4:58:57 PM
  • FITALLEY
    3
    Our favorite pizza restaurant has wonderful toppings and sauce, and lately I have discovered that their vegetarian pizza is fabulous without any cheese at all--so we get it as a special treat every once in a while. It's amazing what good ingredients let you get away with! - 10/21/2012   4:47:28 PM
  • 2
    Mmm, pizza, a big portabella mushroom makes a nice crust too! - 10/21/2012   2:29:00 PM
  • 1
    I love pizza. We make a homemade pizza once every two-three weeks. Sorry I can't give up my pepperoni and cheese. I try to use the turkey pepperoni even though it costs more. We do add veggies...onions, green peppers, olives and I sometimes add broccoli. - 10/21/2012   11:19:00 AM

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