The first thing my college-aged daughter feared after being told to stay off gluten was no more PIZZA. “How can I be a normal college kid and not be able to eat pizza?”, she wondered. My first experience with gluten-free pizza almost cracked my front tooth, so I’ve been wary of GF crusts ever since.
Well, fear not all you celiac, gluten-sensitive, wheat allergic pizza lovers out there. Colorado-based company, Udi’s, has produced a delicious ready-made crispy pizza crust that you can top with your favorite vegetables, protein of your choice and cheese or no cheese. Besides being tasty, this crust is not only gluten-free, but dairy, soy and nut free. Stored in the freezer it can last for up to 6 months and it cooks in less than 10 minutes in a preheated oven. I’ve used this crust to make delicious garlic bread too. I find it in the freezer section of the store.
One of the “up” sides of being gluten-free is the chance to make some nutritious food choices. Pizza is often considered a “not-so-healthy” food choice, but that has more to do with the toppings and quantity consumed. Always add a side salad for even more veggies and fiber.
Our family always enjoyed a “pizza bar”, customizing your pizza with lots of veggie options and the usual toppings. You can replace cheese toppings with an olive oil drizzle or go fancy with sundried tomatoes instead of the usual pizza sauce. Throw on some goat cheese, red onions and chopped kale. Think out of the pizza box and let your creative juices run wild.
Say yes, to gluten-free pizza. Try it – you’ll like it.
Jan Phillips, M.Ed.