Who doesn’t like pizza? Weirdoughs that’s who. And if there is a way to sneak an extra portion or 2 or 3 of vegetables in, it’s a win win.
That’s right 3 portions of vegetables in 1 pizza base.
Friday is pizza night in the Frizzell house, but i’m not talking greasy takeaway, i’m talking homemade. My sister and I make everything from scratch: the base, the sauce and the cheese.
Plus we try and sneak as many vegetables in/on the pizza as possible without our parents sussing a thing. Mwahahaaaa.
Pizza’s are loved worldwide and so wonderfully versatile. You can have them loaded with vegetables or meat, 4 cheeses or no cheese, raw or oven baked, with fruit, a stuffed crust or gluten free. Basically if you can imagine it, you can shove it on a pizza.
Recently, gluten free diets have been in the news for putting people at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Aaarrrgh how this infuriates me. I swear every flipping week there’s a new report on how food is causing us disease; next week it’ll be “‘killer kale’ how too much greenery causes heart attacks”.
I have a theory about the whole gluten free diet and type 2 diabetes link. A lot of gluten free versions of items such as pizza are made using maize/corn or white rice and other white starchy gluten free grains. White, refined starchy grains contain less fibre than brown and cause sugar spikes, which can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So it’s not a gluten free diet leading to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes but refined carbohydrates, which isn’t news.
The solution? Look for fibre rich gluten free alternatives such as brown rice, buckwheat, teff, coconut, chickpea/gram, quinoa, nut and seed flours like almond or pumpkin flour.
Rant over, it’s time to get cooking, good looking.
1 handful spinach
¼ red/yellow/orange bell pepper
3-4 tbsp water
Gluten free flour mix* (¼ cup chickpea, ¼ buckwheat, ¼ brown rice) + extra flour for dusting
¼ tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1tsp olive oil + extra for oiling cling film
*Often gluten free flour blends are white, read the ingredients and opt for brown/high fibre/protein options. For a pre mixed flour try Doves Farm gluten free brown bread flour.
Peel and chop the carrot and add it to a blender along with the spinach, pepper and water. Start with 3 tbsp of water; the wetter/more liquidy the mixture, the more flour you’ll require.
Blend until everything is well combined and you end up with a vegetable juice/fine pulp. I had to scrape the sides of the blender down and blitz a few times (that might just be down to my crappy blender). Warning: the mix isn’t the prettiest hue but don’t worry it doesn’t taste like green moosh.
Transfer to a bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt. [You could add some herbs like oregano or Italian seasoning if you wanted.]
Add the xanthum gum and gradually mix in the flour.
Only use as much flour as you need to form a soft dough. If the dough is too wet then it needs more flour, if it’s too dry or crumbly it needs a little more liquid.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Give it a little knead; you don’t need to work it much as the purpose of kneading bread it to aid gluten production but this pizza is gluten free, so there are no gluten strands to stretch.
Once you’re satisfied with your firm dough, form it into a little ball and wrap it in some oiled cling film. Or pat the dough with the oil and wrap.
Pop the dough in the fridge for an hour. This will make it easier to roll out later/less likely to crumble or form pesky little holes.
However, if you’re short on time you can skip the refrigerating stage.
After an hour or so, preheat the oven to 180°c.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Feel free to get creative; how about a triangle base or sculpting the Sydney Opera House (okay maybe that’s a bit ambitious).
Transfer the pizza base to a baking tray. You may need to lightly oil/flour your tray to prevent sticking but I find that my non stick pizza tray works fine without anything. It also has holes to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom.
Talking of which, part bake the base for about 5 mins. This ensures the base doesn’t go soggy when the sauce and toppings are added. However, if you leave it baking for more than a few minutes it may end up to dry/crisp when the whole topped pizza is cooked.
After a few minutes add your desired toppings such as tomato sauce, pesto, vegetables, meat, cheese etc.
My favourite toppings are homemade basil and tomato sauce, caramelised red onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, grated courgette, sweet corn and cashew cheese. I told you it was veggie loaded.
Once everything is assembled, bake the pizza for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted to your satisfaction.
Best served with rocket, wine and a smile.
Enjoy lovely readers, I love you from head to-ma-toes x