When you think of pizza, you probably think of words like delicious, tasty, filling ... and unhealthy!
Pizza has a bad reputation for being greasy and lacking in nutritional value, but prepared correctly, nothing could be further from the truth. Creating a healthy pizza is quite possible when prepared correctly. With pizza, nutrition doesn't need to take a back seat, and you'll find that you can enjoy a variety of healthy pizza meals.
In regards to pizza nutrition, an important thing to keep in mind is there really is nothing unhealthy in terms of the basic ingredients. Cheese is good for you when consumed in modest quantities; while tomatoes are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Think of how healthy a pizza made with red and green peppers, onions and small amount of lean meat can be! Remember, the toppings you choose play the biggest role in how healthy your pizza will be. Make sure your ingredients are fresh and that you only use meat that is low in fat.
The best way to make a healthy pizza is to make it yourself. Frozen pizzas usually contain a very small amount of vegetables, if any, and a large amount of high-fat meats. Take out and delivery pizzas can be quite bad for you as well, since there is a substantial amount of fat in the toppings and in the cooking process, while the ingredients used are generally poor in nutrition. When you make your own pizza at home, however, you can control the nutrition and fat content of the ingredients and can tailor your pizza to meet your specific nutritional needs. In fact, pizza can be prepared in a variety of ways to accommodate just about any diet even low-carb! More than that, you'll be surprised by how much better it tastes too! Try topping your pizza with nutritious vegetables and low-fat cheese. Use fresh herbs to add more flavor and try low-fat ground beef or turkey sausage to cut back on fat and calories.
Pizza isnt just for dinner either. You can bake a pizza crust topped with eggs, cheese, vegetables and low-fat turkey sausage for a delicious breakfast pizza. You can even top it with fruit for a delicious dessert pizza. There are many ways to make a pizza healthy, and you are only limited by your imagination.
Another important consideration for making a healthy pizza is the crust. Make your pizza dough with whole wheat flour and you will add essential vitamins and minerals, along with a healthy dose of fiber. Make your pizza with a very thin crust and you can cut down on your carbohydrates considerably.
Choose the ingredients you put on top of your pizza wisely, and also be careful with your choice of sauces. A tomato sauce is an excellent option because its low in fat and calories while being loaded with nutrition. Stay away from white sauces based on butter and cheese, but you can use a pesto sauce made with a small amount of olive oil. These are just a few of the healthy options you have at your disposal.
When looking for ways to make your cooking healthier, think about what you can do with a pizza. You can top it with just about anything you like and the options are nearly endless! I hope you will never again automatically lump this delicious meal into the junk food category.
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About the author:
Joy Harrison is an experienced home cook and cooking instructor. She loves to find easy ways to prepare great home cooked meals in today's busy world. To learn more visit her site at http://www.italian-cooking-made-easy.com.
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