How to Eat Pizza as Part of a Healthy, balanced lifestyle

Pizza. It is one of the best tasting foods (in my opinion) around and I eat it at least once a week at the minute! 

But why do people see it in such a negative light? 

I googled 'Pizza quotes' and these are just some of the things that came up...  

But why? 

For years, pizza has been known as a 'cheat food', 'fast food' or an 'unhealthy/naughty option'. 

However, in terms of a balanced meal, it can actually be one of the most balanced and healthy meals you can consume. 

I'm not talking about buying a large Dominoes Pepperoni and eating it all to yourself... 

But if you add the right kind of toppings, you're good to go! 

In terms of the base, I would also try and go for a home made base, or a base that has good ingredients. 

I used the Venice Bakery Base, which is free from gluten, wheat, milk, egg, soy, corn and nut. Yet it still has a good taste and when cooked, you can get a good crisp on the crust! 

When you are adding a sauce to your pizza, try, again, to use a natural based tomato puree (I did try to make my own pizza base sauce before but it just went all watery and horrible, so if you have a recipe please send it to me!) 

Or if you are feeling adventurous, I have heard that a layer of pesto instead of tomato sauce is delicious too! 

Now for the best bit... Toppings

Here is my breakdown of how to select the best, and nutritionally balanced toppings. 

Grilled Chicken - chicken is a great source of lean protein and has a low amount of fat. 
Tofu - A good source of protein especially if you are veggie. try marinating it in some spices to give it an extra kick of flavour.
Beans - you could use black beans to make up a BBQ bean topping, which has the added bonus of being full of fibre. 
Nuts - if you want to add a little extra crunch, sprinkle on a few walnuts at the end. 

Spinach - this works perfectly on a pizza, I always stir fry 2 big handfuls with some lemon and garlic before adding it on and because it shrinks when cooked you can add so much more!
Mushrooms - possibly my favourite vegetable. Can either be sliced and added straight to the pizza before baking, or cooked before with some spices. 
Peppers - good for you and makes your pizza look super colourful. 
Broccoli - full of fibre and with the added hit of vitamin c, whats not to love. 
Butternut Squash - Before I went to Zizzi's I had never had butternut squash on a pizza, had always used it as a potato substitute. But the sweet yet nutty flavour works really well on a pizza. 
Olives - Now I'm not a fan of olives. But I have heard that the saltiness and the sour taste of the olives works really well. 
Pineapple - the one that always causes a debate with people! But in my opinion, the more pineapple, the better!

Cheese (Fat): 
Fresh Mozzarella - Not as high in calories as you may think! And also gives that amazing stretchy cheese thing you have to do when you pick up your slice. 
Goats Cheese - Crumble up chunks of feta onto the top, with some olives and tomatoes and you've got a Mediterranean pizza! 
Tofu Cheese - If you are Vegan or avoiding dairy for one reason or another, there are some great dairy alternatives out there (Violife do some great options). But if you are feeling adventurous, making your own tofu, or even cashew cheese, to add on top. 

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