This week we're taking on the nutrition challenge of making pizza healthy: cutting down on calories while maintaining the maintain the yum-factor.
4 Tricks To Cutting Calories On Pizza Night
1) Go for thin crust. Better yet, ditch the wheat crust altogether.
With the gluten-free craze still ablaze, the internet world is going nuts over pizza crust substitutes. So, just how much of a calorie difference does it make to cut out the wheat crust of a pizza pie and use vegetables instead?
The difference is actually kind of huge - We compared a 12" wheat crust homemade Spinach pizza to a 12" spinach pizza with a cauliflower crust (yes, the crust is actually made of cauliflower). Turns out that you'll save yourself around 120 calories per slice. Not to mention the added vegetable servings in a cauliflower crust pizza.
*We used Meal Garden's soon-to-launch app to generate the nutritional information of these recipes
2) Skip the white sauce.
White sauce is usually a concoction of butter, flour and milk. Pizza already has all the dairy and flour it could possibly need - any more of this would just be extra calories with no additional nutritional benefit. A traditional tomato base sauce has a fraction of the calories. Plus, it technically still counts as a vegetable (or a fruit, botanically speaking).
3) Do something about the cheese.
If we're going to be honest with ourselves about calories in pizza, we can't ignore the cheese. But what is a pizza pie without cheese? For those who have the discipline to cut out the cheese altogether, we applaud you! You've just eliminated all the guilt out of eating pizza. For the rest of us, who still want to feel good for at least putting in a little effort, we can find comfort in knowing that some cheeses have slightly lower calorie content. Hard cheeses like cheddar and brick cheese pack on more calories (515 - 560 calories per cup) than the likes of feta and mozzarella cheese (around 400 calories per cup). We're clearly splitting hairs here. If you don't mind compromising a little more, go for the low-fat mozzarella (350 calories or less).
4) For those who won't compromise on crust or cheese.
Can't fathom making pizza out of cauliflower, but still want to cut down on the calories? Fair enough. Portion control may be the answer. Eat a slice or two less than what you'd normally eat and fill up the rest of your plate with a leafy green salad. The goal is to fill up on greens so you won't be left feeling like you've hardly eaten.
Want to find out how healthy your favourite recipes are? Stay tuned for the release of Meal Garden's app that automatically calculates the nutritional value of any recipe.
Got questions? Post them in the comments below!