Being on an anti-inflammatory diet can initiate feelings of deprivation. Not only is it important to remember your progress and how much better you feel, but it is also important to experiment and try to have fun. Once you get over the overwhelming task of changing your diet or the initial shock of diagnosis, it’s imperative to take firm steps toward embracing it. I try not to get stuck in patterns of eating the same thing, but that is a challenge no matter what I am consuming, anti-inflammatory diet or not.
One of the most fun experiments I have had is with pizza. Pizza is the one thing I thought I had to give up forever. When I think of pizza, I usually think unhealthy, greasy, pick-up, or delivery. There are so many other choices.
First of all, there is an intentional effort to bring pizza to the “gluten-free” crowd. I appreciate this very much. When I found out Dominoes and Pizza Hut had gluten-free pizzas, I was ecstatic. It gave me an “emergency” food option after a busy day. I still didn’t eat them regularly because of the cheese, carb, and processed food issues. Those aren’t on the anti-inflammatory diet, so I kept that to a minimum.
The first pizza I tried making after Candida overgrowth diagnosis was a cauliflower crust pizza. It was very good and the kids liked it too. Cauliflower is one of the things you can flavor very easily while hiding its own subtle flavor. Italian seasonings, pizza toppings, and sauce are a great way to bring out pizza flavors while covering the cauliflower. The great benefit to this kind of pizza is no carbs. The downside is that I could never find a way to pick it up and eat it like a traditional pizza.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 Head of cauliflower (food processed to rice size) or a 16 oz bag of riced cauliflower
Italian seasonings (I seasoned mine to death. Parsley, garlic powder, basil, oregano, Himalayan pink salt, etc.)
If you rinse the cauliflower, make sure it dries completely or squeeze it in cheesecloth to dry. Mix all ingredients. Line the pan with parchment. Then pat the mixture down into a 13×9 pan or larger. The larger the pan, the thinner the crust. We ate our pizza with a fork.
Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden.
Take crust out of the oven and add whatever toppings you want. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
The second type of pizza I made was using a gluten-free thin crust. It is almost like a cracker, but not that crispy. The kids loved this type of pizza and picked it up easily to eat like regular pizza. The only downside to this recipe is that there is still come carb consumption going on.
I can’t find any pictures of mine for this next recipe, unfortunately, but if you click on the link, you will see her pizza.
Quick and Easy Paleo Pizza Crust
Serves: 10-12 inch crust
- ½ cup fine blanched almond flour
- ¾ cup tapioca flour(or arrowroot starch) plus 2-3 tbsp more for spreading/kneading the dough
- 6-7 tbsp coconut flour, divided into 3 (first) and 3-4 (after adding egg – I used 6 and ¼ Tbsp, total)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
- ¾ tsp fine grain sea salt
- ⅓ cup warm water
- ⅓ cup light flavored olive oil
- 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 egg, room temp, whisked
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet (round if you prefer) with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca or arrowroot, 3 Tbsp of the coconut flour, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Stir well to fully combine.
- In a measuring cup, combine the water, oil, and vinegar, then pour into the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
- Now stir in the whisked egg to combine well. Once you have a sticky mixture, you will slowly add the remaining coconut flour. I recommend adding a Tbsp at a time and mixing well until you have a dough that’s still a bit sticky yet able to be spread out. Don’t add more than 3-4 additional Tbsp of coconut flour in this step.
- Sprinkle extra tapioca or arrowroot on your parchment lined baking sheet, transfer the dough to the sheet and sprinkle with more tapioca/arrowroot. Work the dough into a 9-10 inch circle (12 for a very thin crust), then bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes depending on how crispy you want the crust. (I removed the parchment paper before baking because I used a non-stick pan. I baked mine for about 12 minutes before adding my toppings and baked again. Bake time will depend on the toppings you plan to add, how crispy you want the crust, and how thin you spread it out.
- Top your crust however you like! Enjoy!
The third type of pizza I recently tried was a zucchini crust. This blew my mind. I totally did not expect this to turn out. My mom and dad helped me make it the first time. They are amazing pizza makers. When I was on vacation visiting them, I knew they were the best people to take on the task. Not only did it taste great, it can be picked up like a regular pizza, and I didn’t have to add grain or carbs to it. It’s a total win, win. I doubled it to make a large pizza. For a family of four, I quadrupled it.
Zucchini Pizza Crust
- 2 cups zucchini, finely grated, lightly packed
- 1/2-3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, (vegans, use a chickpea egg: 4 Tablespoons chickpea flour + 4 Tablespoons water)
- 1 Tablespoon avocado oil (or another high smoke point oil such as walnut or coconut)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (you don’t need much because the zucchini will retain some)
- Place the grated zucchini in a strainer.
- Sprinkle the zucchini with some salt, toss it to disperse.
- Place the strainer over a large bowl, and let the zucchini drain for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the grated zucchini into a dry dish towel, and wring the towel over the sink until the water from the zucchini is squeezed out.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
- Add almond meal as needed to make a dough (not too wet, not too dry).
- On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the zucchini mix out into an oval shape. I use a fork to do this, and I press it down to compact it as well.
- Place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Then place the pan on the top rack of the oven for about 8 minutes, until browned.
- Remove the pan and flip the crust.
- Bake for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the crust.
- Turn the oven up to 500 degrees.
- Top the pizza with sauce or pesto, cheese, vegetables….whatever floats your pizza boat!
- Place the pan back into the oven on the bottom rack and bake for 3-4 minutes. Again, place the pan on the top rack for about 2 minutes.
- Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes to let everything set.
Popular toppings in our house:
Chicken sausage (without nitrates added)
Uncured bacon (without nitrates added)
Sauteed onions and or bell peppers
1 six oz. can of tomato paste
1 can of water
Season to taste (garlic, oregano, basil, Himalayan pink salt)
I add all these ingredients to a saucepan and heat. This creates a thick sauce. It’s so easy and tastes really good. Make more or less sauce depending on how much you want on each pizza and how many pizzas you are making. Spread the sauce over the pizza after you bake the crust.
I hope this gives you some great ideas and encourages you to leave the deprivation blues behind you. These are some really great pizzas you can enjoy without the bloating and without pain. Load them up with all kinds of veggies or pineapple. They are good with or without cheese. Goat cheese is easier on your digestive system and gives the pizza a tangy zip. You can read about goat cheese benefits on this website. https://draxe.com/goat-milk/ Cheese usually gives a little salty flavor. Sometimes I add pink Himalayan salt and extra Italian seasonings on top to replace the cheese.