Don’t we all love pizza? Such a quick and easy meal when you’re in a hurry (or, simply feel like pizza). But you can be hard pressed to find a gluten free pizza that gives the original formula a run for its money.
Gluten Free Pizza Bases: which type is best?
There are several ways to conquer the gluten free pizza thing. Most gluten free bases usually focus on flour alternatives or nut meals, like this one. Generally speaking, the former is less nutrient-dense than the latter.
However, nuts contain substantially higher levels of phytic acid than any grain-based flours. Phytic acid binds to many of the beneficial minerals in our food and prevents their absorption. And whilst we can tolerate it in small amounts, over-consumption of phytic acid can lead to deficiencies. And given that most people don’t prepare their grains or nuts in a way that reduces the phytic acid, it’s likely that many of us are over-consuming it.
So, how do you prepare nuts in a way that boosts the absorption of all their wonderful nutrients? (And they are a very nutrient dense food). Soaking them overnight in salt water helps. And, lucky for us pizza lovers, so does baking!
In the ‘Anti-nutrients & traditional methods’ week of my What To Eat program, I’m often asked if properly prepared grain-based recipes would be a better choice than baked goods made with unprepared nuts.
It really depends on two factors: frequency of consumption and how well an individual tolerates grains or nuts.
Either way, if you’re consuming either of these foods regularly and can’t be fussed with home preparation – simply start with a good sprouted flour, like the gorgeous products from Peach & Co. or some ‘activated’ nuts like those from Star Anise Organic Wholefoods.
Lee’s delicious recipe
This is a fantastic grain-free recipe that gives any thin and crispy pizza a run for its money. Be warned though, you definitely won’t be able to eat your usual quota of pizza! It’s very filling. So make less than you think you need (although it stores beautifully overnight so perfect for leftovers the next day).
If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, you can substitute the same amount of grated parmesan or pecorino and it works well.
- 150g (512 oz/112 cups) almond meal, plus extra as needed
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
- 105g (334 oz/12 cup) oven-roasted tomatoes (optional)
- 65g (214 oz/23 cup) grated cheddar cheese or goat’s cheese
- 80g (234 oz/12 cup) chopped ham
- Dulse flakes, for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) and lightly grease two small pizza pans.
- Gluten Free pizza base: combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl to form a loose dough. If it feels wet, add a little more almond meal.
- Dust the bench with almond meal and knead the dough with your hands until smooth. Shape into a ball. Cut the dough in half and roll each portion out into a thin circle about 15 cm (6 inch) in diameter, working from the inside out in a clockwise motion. Add more almond meal if it becomes too sticky.
- Place the bases on the prepared pizza pans and bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove the bases from the oven and spread with tomato paste, leaving a 1 cm (12 inch) border. Scatter over the tomatoes (if using) and the cheese and ham and sprinkle with dulse flakes.
- Return the pizzas to the oven for 7–10 minutes, or until crispy.
Time-saving tip: you can freeze the bases before rolling and defrost when required.