When it comes to entertaining friends or family, cooking pizza in the backyard is without a doubt a very rewarding tradition-building occasion. Unfortunately, pizza is also a popular food that is getting the taboo label for being called unhealthy. It’s bad enough that we’re seeing more and more dairy-free options for cheesy toppings, and those who are immediately bashing any kind of gluten content in the pizza dough.
Rest assured that the national average for anyone who has celiac disease is 0.71% or roughly 1 out of 171 people. They even proved that avoiding gluten is completely inconsistent in weight gain. But that doesn’t mean your pizza has to suffer from a lack of flavor or toppings, especially when kids are included.
Related: Who Invented Pizza?
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Healthy Pizza Topping Options
Choosing to eat healthy doesn’t always need to include diet restrictions. As we all know, healthy is simply a term for something that provides healthier nutrients than we often eat every day. Many pizza toppings are added which add loads of flavor to an ordinary pizza. Some of these might also simply be the additional flavors that go along with select ingredients.
You don’t always need to add a lot of veggies onto a pizza since your pizza dough might be slow-fermented to bring out flavors you didn’t know would be noticed in traditional dough fermentation. All the while, these toppings don’t always count as hidden nutrition, as they might simply be a change of sauces or tastier toppings you already like.
What Makes an Outdoor Pizza Healthier?
If you search for healthy pizza ideas, you might just fall short of inspiration. That’s why- this is the perfect opportunity to talk about healthy outdoor pizza options and to clarify what’s going into your oven. This is typically a pizza oven that will be much hotter than your kitchen oven. So, this obviously preserves the flavors when cooking a pizza that’s cooked at higher heat.
Lower heat from kitchen ovens might cause the mixing and mingling of flavors when you need to cook a pizza for longer periods. Therefore making a pizza taste healthier means that you want to preserve these individual flavors which help make a pizza taste healthier. Especially if you want to taste the toppings including mushrooms, pepperoni, tomatoes, and many other defining flavors.
Why Your Pizza Dough Recipe Matters
You might remember those premade pizza dough packages like Boboli pizza crust and many others that appeared in the early 90s. Not only were they terrible, but they were also filled with more preservatives, these usually never include whole grains and are made with highly processed methods. Nothing beats real pizza dough made with Italian pizza flour, dry active yeast, a little salt and oil, and some water.
The rest of the time is a waiting game to help your dough develop its magical gluten content. You just can’t get this with a premade chickpea or cauliflower crust that tastes no better than communion wafers.
Healthy Kids’ Pizza Toppings?
If you’re a parent, you already know how hard it is to get your kids to eat or try something new. There is often a lot of positive encouragement involved and sometimes a lot of clever disguising to get them to eat healthy pizza ideas. When it comes to pizza, there is no need to convince your kids that it’s tasty. For whatever reason, kids instinctively know that pizza is a fun food that never gets old.
When it comes to adding veggie toppings, get them involved so they can pick and choose what looks fun. The more they can explore their curiosity with creative-looking toppings, the more involved they’ll become later. This will especially be tons of fun when making their own pizza dough and getting to eat what they’ve made later.
Looking For Toppings That Appeal to Kids?
This isn’t a matter of counting down a top 10 list that you might see on the Family Feud, the element of choice should always be diverse and fun. This should include toppings that are mixed with tastes and flavors that are appealing. Additionally, these toppings will be more kid-friendly when they are cut into smaller pieces that are closer to their little hands.
Here are 15 of the most popular kid’s pizza toppings that are also healthy.
· Mushrooms and sliced olives
· Fresh sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese
· Sweet corn and goat cheese
· Chopped pineapple and ham cubes
· Chopped broccoli and olives
· Roasted bell pepper and goat cheese
· Pepperoni and sliced olives
· Grilled chicken and pineapple with BBQ sauce
· Bacon bits and scrambled eggs with arugula
· Boiled potato slices with goat cheese
· Roasted garlic and ricotta cheese
· Taco mix with ground beef, tomato, olives, cheese, lettuce, and salsa
· BBQ chicken with red onion and cilantro
· Sundried tomatoes, turkey sausage, and feta
· Sliced mixed olives in red tomato sauce
Most of these toppings should always be mixed together in small bowls so your kids can pick and choose what appeals to them visually. Keep in mind that colors don’t always matter but the effort to keep them in neat and small kid-sized bits. They can use a small spoon to add them to a pizza dough that’s ready for toppings. Let your kids explore fun patterns and designs that they’ll feel happy with when adding these tasty toppings to their pizza.
Great Outdoor Pizza Oven Tips and Tricks
Making pizza dough is always tastier when you slow ferment the dough overnight in your fridge. When you take it out from the fridge, you’ll need to let it become room temperature so it can double in size. This is when it’s ready for stretching and adding toppings.
Just remember that the temperature of your outdoor pizza oven is better when it reaches its peak.
This can range from 700 to 900 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the fuel source. Wood-fired ovens are the most reliable unless you have a pizza grill attachment on a BBQ grill. Classic outdoor pizza ovens might have problems maintaining heat, so you’ll need to monitor these temps better using a digital thermometer.
Carefully pay attention to your preheating times, since you want to get your pizza into the oven when you hit the peak heating period. It will only take no more than 3 minutes with an oven that’s reached its highest temperature. Anything lower than 550 degrees will take more than 5 minutes and can dry out your pizza dough as a result.
Always use a good pizza peel for transferring your pizza into the oven. Flour on the peel works great for non-stick reasons, but you’ll do better with cornmeal which allows the pizza to have airflow under the dough. Cornmeal also gives your finished pizza crust a better crunch and flavored taste.
Remember that your pizza oven will retain a certain amount of heat for more than half an hour. This helps make your pizza oven perfect for reheating pizza slices, warming up side dishes, and even cooking other fun items like a focaccia bread or baked desserts like cookies or cinnamon rolls. Don’t let residual heat go to waste when it can make pizza night more fun.
Healthy Pizza Recipe Ideas
Here’s a fun alternative favorite that is just 170 calories per slice with only 25 grams of carbs. It uses fresh ricotta cheese and mozzarella with plenty of tomato flavor with that unmistakable fresh basil.
We all know that bacon is usually full of fatty stuff, but you haven’t lived until you try this trio of tempting flavors. It works great because this recipe offers 220 calories per slice and 30 grams of carbs!
When you talk about decadence, you can’t argue about these three flavor bombs on one pizza. Luckily, this might be reduced calories if you use some pancetta (Italian style bacon) that is low in fat or Canadian bacon the fat trimmed off. This recipe is only 238 calories per slice with 34 grams of carbs.
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy turkey, yet this recipe can be trimmed with its stuffed toppings further if you want to substitute the provolone and mozzarella cheese with low-cal choices. This version only has 275 calories and 28.8 carbs.
We know how much BBQ flavor matters to you, but when it comes to calories this pizza will deliver 360 calories per slice with only 53 grams of carbohydrates. It’s a bit higher on the list than other recipes here, but then again, you can scale down using low-cal ingredients to spare the calories.
Heart Smart Pepperoni Pizza You can always please a big crowd with a standard pepperoni pizza, except this pizza is using Turkey pepperoni slices rather than real pepperoni. In addition, you’ll get treated to skim-milk mozzarella to shave off the excess calories. This gives you a total of 260 calories per slice with 26.9 carbs each.