Our London-based nutritionist and fitness expert, Parna, tells us about the Gluten-free multigrain pizza, a health food, in the weekly column, exclusively in Different Truths.
My kid is very fond of pizzas. In fact, I have noticed most of the kids are very fond of pizzas. Whether it be a birthday party, a play date, or a simple gathering, all they want is just pizza. This Italian dish is loved by people from all parts of the world. The fluffy pizza with tomato sauce spread and topped with mozzarella cheese and Basil, yes I am talking about the classic Margherita Pizza, draws its inspiration from the Italian National Flag.
I often come across mothers who are so worried about their children eating pizzas all the time and refusing to eat vegetables and other healthy grains. In fact, it’s a constant endeavour at my home also, how I can improve the nutritional value of my kid’s favourite foods and getting him to eat more vegetables and the healthy grains like various millets. The multigrain pizza is one such effort of mine, wherein I have used various flours like soy flour, finger millet (Ragi flour), pearl millet (Jowar flour) which are healthier options to the refined flour (maida) in several ways. First of all, these are gluten free and absolutely safe for children/adults with gluten intolerance, secondly, these grains are very low GI carbs which make them ideal for people with diabetes, and also they are quite high in fiber.
So, what do we need here?
For the multigrain Pizza dough:
1 glass of lukewarm water
1 tbsp yeast (or 1 tbsp baking powder in case you don’t have yeast)
1 cup soy flour
1/2 cup Finger millet (Ragi flour)
1/2 cup Pearl millet (Jowar flour)
2 tbsp flax seed powder
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
For the sauce
You can use tomato basil pizza sauce or any regular tomato sauce also should be fine.
For the toppings:
50 gms Mushrooms
50 gms Bell Peppers of any colour.
The more colours you add, the more it is going to attract the kids. You can be creative and add many other vegetables too.
100 gms cheese. You may add various types of cheese like mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, etc. I added Red Leicester Cheese too as it is lovely orange in colour.
For the seasoning:
Salt, pepper, red chilli flakes, oregano or any Italian seasoning would do.
Now, let’s get started with the recipe:
- For the Pizza Dough: Take a glass of lukewarm water and sprinkle a tablespoon of active yeast on top of the water, cover the glass and put away in a draught free zone. You will see bubbles arise on the surface in 20 minutes or so.
- Take another bowl, add all the flours while sifting them, flax seed powder and the sunflower seeds. Sifting makes the flour lighter and fluffier and it becomes easier to mix into other ingredients when forming a batter or making the dough.
- Now add the fermented yeast water to the bowl of flours. Mix the dough and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Knead the dough a bit till it looks shiny.
- In case you don’t have yeast at home you can skip the step1 and just add the baking powder, salt, and a tablespoon of olive oil to the bowl of all flours. Knead the dough with a little water. If the dough is stiff, add more water. It should be soft, but not sticky.
- Take a glass bowl and grease it with olive oil, now put the kneaded dough in it, and cover it with a muslin cloth.
- After 10-15 minutes, roll the dough into the desired shape, apply the sauce, add toppings, and sprinkle grated cheese on top. Finally, bake it in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-25 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- If you like a crisp crust, you can bake the rolled dough for 5 minutes in the oven, prior to applying the sauce and putting the toppings. And then bake again in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-25 minutes or until the cheese melts.
Once the Pizza is baked, you can remove it from the oven, let it stand for a minute or two and sprinkle the seasoning. You can then slice it with a pizza cutter or a regular bread knife and serve.
Photos by the author.
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Parna Mukherjee, founder of RitLean, is a mom, certified nutritionist and health coach. She lives in UK and works with health enthusiasts of all age groups all over the world, helping them to set fitness and health goals and achieve them. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices and live a better healthier life.