Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Low Carb Pizza!

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, How do I make a Low Carb Pizza?

A.Pizza - it's one of the most popular foods, at least in the US. Can we have our pizza and our waistlines too? How about our blood glucose? Well, think about it. Most pizza toppings aren't high in carbohydrates. So what we need to do is to find different vehicles for those toppings. Here are some ideas, and many recipes, for low carb pizza. Before we turn to the crust, though, let's say a bit about toppings.

The Sauce

Most pizza sauce has sugar in it. Yep, you heard right - just look at the label. Furthermore, most red pasta sauce has sugar as well - but not all. I find that sugar-free pasta sauce works very well for pizza, and most grocery stores have one or two brands that work. Look for sauce with no ingredients masquerading as sugar in it - usually these sauces have about 6-7 grams of effective carbohydrate per ¼ cup serving.

The Cheese

Whole milk mozerella cheese has about 2.5 grams of carbohydrate per cup, partial skim very slightly more.
Most other mild cheeses have similar carb counts. Parmesan cheese has about a gram of carbohydrate per ounce (about 5 tablespoons of grated cheese).

Other Toppings

Most meats only have scant amounts of carbs, although some sausages have some added carb, so if you're making your own, read labels. Most vegetables typically used on pizza are low in carbs, including mushrooms (1.5 grams per cup of sliced mushrooms), green peppers (2 grams per ½ cup, chopped), olives (4 large olives have one gram of carb), or other low carb vegetables.

Non-Crust Alternatives

If you don't want to take the time to make your own pizza crust, try these ideas for having that combination of flavors we all know and love:

1. Just Eat the Toppings

I call this "when all else fails" technique. It's the most flexible, if messy, way to go. When your friends or family are ordering pizza, just don't eat the crust (and get a salad on the side).

2. Low Carb Tortillas

The only trouble with this method is that you can't spread much on the tortilla, or it will tear, but you can smear a little sauce and a little cheese and toppings, and then heat in the oven or microwave. As an alternative, try a "pizza burrito" by wrapping pizza sauce and toppings in the tortilla.

3. Portobello Mushrooms

Scrape the gills out of the large portobello mushroom and bake or grill them to get some of the moisture out. Fill with toppings and broil or bake.

4. Pizza Burgers!

Make a thin hamburger, then cover with pizza toppings and cook in the microwave for a couple of minutes

5. Make a Pizza Omelet or Frittata

Just make an omelet and use the pizza toppings for a sauce and flavorings, or try this Pizza Frittata (a frittata is a quick Italian egg dish)

I have tried a lot of low carb pizza crusts. Here are some of the basic strategies, and my versions of them. At the end, I reveal my favorite.

1. Soy Flour Pizza

I have tried a few versions of pizza crust made with soy flour. Soy flour is much lower in carbs than regular wheat flour, but it isn't VERY low, as one cup of soy flour has 20-25 grams of effective carbohydrate. George Stella, who used to have a low carb cooking show on the Food Network, has a recipe which starts out sort of like a pancake batter, and makes a thin crust. It actually tastes fairly good. I tried making a crust that is a little thicker, and added some protein powder to lower the carb count. The protein powder makes it a little drier, but it has the advantage of being able to be picked up.
I have tried a lot of low carb pizza crusts. Here are some of the basic strategies, and my versions of them. At the end, I reveal my favorite.
It does have a little soy taste, though the spices help that.

  • George Stella's Soy Flour Crust
  • Laura's Soy Flour Crust

    2. Meatza Pizza

    This is a traditional low carb approach. You make a base of hamburger and spices and put the pizza toppings on top. Check out my version of this recipe.

    3. Flax Meal Pizza Crust

    This is a hearty, very whole-grainy approach. It's a version of my Flax Meal Bread made into a pizza crust. It's fairly thick, but you can make it thinner if you want. You can't pick it up while it's still hot, but when it cools somewhat, you can.

    4. Pizza Bites with Pepperoni "Crust"

    These are sort of like mini-quiches made with pizza toppings. You line the muffin cup of a mini-muffin pan with pepperoni first. They make great party food or snacks.

    5. Deep Dish Pizza - Our Favorite Low Carb Pizza Base

    Although I'm partial to the flax meal because of the health benefits, I have to admit that this has become our very favorite. You wouldn't think an egg-based crust could be so good, but there it is. It makes a deep-dish type pizza that is really good, even the next day.

  • Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Any questions? Ask Glen

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    Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
    Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Any Questions? Ask Glen!