Pizza is another one of those traditionally-taboo foods that just about all of us crave from time to time. Whether you’re headed out to the parlor or trying your hand at a pie-creation of your own, there are ways to cut the fat (and portions!) and render pizza among the healthy and low-fat in the culinary world.
First, when dining out at your favorite pizza spot, try ordering a nice, healthy green dinner salad with a good low-fat dressing and finish it off before your pizza ever makes it to the table. This will help satisfy you enough to prevent you from overindulging on the main course. Try and stay away from the breadsticks with your salad. You’ll be getting your fair share with the pizza itself!
When ordering your pizza in a restaurant or through take-out, request a “light” cheese sprinkling or part-skim mozzarella cheese as an alternative to the full-fat variety. Many pizza establishments have lower fat cheeses on hand to accommodate their health-conscious patrons these days. Or better yet, request a light sprinkling of feta cheese on your pizza in lieu of mozzarella. Feta is generally lower in fat and its pungent flavor makes a little go a very long way. If you’re a history buff, consider paying homage to the history of the almighty pizza by ordering in its original state…cheeseless! Adding a variety of fresh veggies might just be enough taste and texture that you won’t even miss the cheese!
Another smart way of cutting fat is going for the thinnest crust available as opposed to the deep-dish varieties, which most likely have a higher saturated fat content. Also, instead of going for the ground beef, pepperoni, bacon or Italian sausage, try Canadian Bacon if you’re in the mood for meat. Canadian Bacon is very low in fat compared to its neighbors in the meat arena and lends a great smoky flavor to your pizza. Other healthy toppings include fresh portions of onions, spinach, bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, green or black olives, garlic, artichoke hearts or bottoms, sun dried tomatoes and if variety is offered, try shrimp, turkey sausage or grilled chicken instead of the traditionally fatty pizza meats.
Of course, the fat intake of pizza is much easier to control if you’re the one actually controlling it and all of these tips can be applied just as easily on your own. Below are a few ideas for growing your own pizza traditions at home. If you find that you have a talent for creating pizza, invest in a good pizza stone, which will render an evenly cooked and crisp concoction every time. Above all, get creative, have fun and enjoy!