It’s National Pizza Day! Make it great! Make it Nutritious!

February 10, 2018

Pizza gets a bad rap as junk or fast food. Actually, it can be very nutritious. It all depends on how you make it!

First things first. Many Americans brag on their favorite fast-food restaurants including chain “pizzerias” – Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and the like. Sure, it may be yummy, but what’s in it, and where did the ingredients come from (to make it so cheap)?

Let’s build a healthy one!

For the crust,  make it with unbleached flour (or half unbleached and half whole wheat to increase fiber), virgin olive oil and yeast. Locate any number of recipes on the internet to prepare it. Here’s one from Martha Stewart.

The sauce: of course you can make it from scratch. Then again, keep it simple. In 2012, Huff Post evaluated 30 jarred sauces. Barilla Traditional Marinara made the top three. It’s one of my favorites too. Spread it on the prepared dough at your discretion.

Cheese: select a reduced fat, quality cheese from several varieties – mozzarella (most popular), provolone, white cheddar or Parmesan; mix them together if you like.

Now the toppings. To reduce calories and saturated fats avoid pepperoni. Otherwise, just about any combination of vegetables will do – mushrooms, black olives, onions, spinach, artichoke hearts, broccoli, red and green peppers; tomatoes too.

Pepperoni, as good as it is, is laden with unhealthy, saturated fats and various kinds and quality of meats – and possibly other “substances” – who knows? Choose a quality brand if you must.

A typical 14 inch pizza slice has 250 to 300 calories depending how you layer it (careful with the cheese)  – not bad for calorie count as long as you limit servings to 2 and not more than 3 slices per serving. Bake at 425 until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.

Serve your pie with a delicious salad snuggled up to your favorite mate. Add a nice Chianti or robust Cabernet. Now, that’s a perfect meal!

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Power your path to happiness!