Guest post by Dawn of Reveal Natural Health
Let’s take away the unhealthy reputation pizza has and learn how to make pizza night healthier! Having a regular pizza night is a fun way to create lasting family memories. Our family enjoys pizza for dinner with a family movie in our living room most Friday nights.
That being said, ordering pizza out gets expensive and frozen pizza, while convenient, is far from healthy. Making homemade pizza is the best way to save money and provide a healthier meal while still enjoying family pizza nights.
Once you get the hang of how to make pizza at home, your family will enjoy the special touches you add that make pizza night extra special.
1. Start with homemade pizza crust
Store bought pizza crusts and mixes are easy to use, but loaded with chemical preservatives. Instead, make your own pizza crust! This doesn’t mean you have to make a yeast crust and wait for the dough to rise. My go-to pizza crust recipe is a whole wheat pizza crust made with Greek yogurt that rises using baking soda and baking powder.
2. Use simple ingredients
Forget the store bought pizza sauce. Using basic ingredients is much healthier. I simply spread tomato paste on the pre-baked crust and top with a couple of different seasonings. Oregano and onion powder go well on most pizzas.
Don’t forget to take into account preparation of ingredients. Sausage will need to be pre-cooked and drained. Ham, green peppers, onion, and mushrooms will need to be chopped.
3. Have fun with toppings
I often ask my family what they would like me to include on a pizza. My 3-year-old daughter once suggested macaroni and cheese as a topping, so I tried it! My 8-year-old son likes when I add crushed pineapple (be sure to drain well!). For my husband, the more meat the better.
4. Shred your own cheese
I buy 8-ounce blocks of cheese at Aldi and freshly shred a block of mozzarella cheese to use on a pizza. This eliminates all the added fillers that pre-shredded cheese needs in order to keep the pieces separated.
5. Assemble your pizza
Now you have everything you need to assemble your pizza. Here are the basic steps to pull everything together:
- Find a pizza crust recipe you enjoy and prepare.
- Pre-bake the crust according to instructions.
- Add your desired sauce, seasonings, toppings and cheese.
- Bake at 425°F for 15-18 minutes (or follow directions for recipe you are using).
6. Include healthier sides
Instead of opening up a bag of frozen French fries or ordering cheesy garlic bread to go with your carry out pizza, you could opt for healthier, homemade sides. You could even search Pinterest for recipes to make your own homemade potato wedges or garlic bread. The result would be healthier because you control what ingredients you use.
Fresh fruit and salads are wonderful sides to serve with pizza. By keeping lettuce or spinach on hand and some carrots for shredding, you can easily throw together a quick side salad. You can also make a fruit salad by simply mixing Greek yogurt, honey and whatever chopped fruit you have on hand. Strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas and pineapple all work well.
What is your favorite way to make pizza night healthier?
Dawn is a work-at-home mom who enjoys preparing home cooked meals to reduce processed ingredients in her family’s meals. She shares tips on healthy eating, family, skin care and natural health solutions on her blog, Reveal Natural Health.