What makes a healthy pizza?
Sounds like an oxymoron right?
It doesn't have to be.
So what makes a pizza healthy?
Is it the base?
Is it the toppings?
Is it the way you cook it?
Well it's all this and more, it's not as difficult as you imagine.
watch this video as we talk about the different aspects of what makes a pizza healthy and how you can do it at home.
Is Pizza Healthy? Nutrition Tips for Pizza Lovers
One of the first results that you may find for the search phrase "how unhealthy" is pizza!
Pizza, unsurprisingly, is among the top 5 addictive foods and is also listed as No.1 in the top-most order food in the world.
So how unhealthy is pizza really? 🤔
Almost all pizzas, even the ones made at home
🍕 call for refined wheat flour or maida
🍕 are high in calories and sodium as that topped with cheese, salty meats and other high calorie toppings
🍕 contain several processed ingredients like sugar and oil
Every single one of these ingredients are associated with chronic lifestyle diseases like obesity and heart disease.
🥓 In the market today, popular pizzas are stuffed crusts pizzas and deep dish pizzas with highly processed meats and cheese.
🧀 Both processed meats and cheese have been associated with promoting certain types of cancers
It's not just about some extra calories for a few extra kilos but actually a question of long-term health.
You can now actually get healthier while gorging on yummy pizza!
Here's a healthy pizza recipe guideline that you can follow with simple ingredients and healthy toppings
🍕 Whole Food Plant Based pizza - It has the deliciousness of pizza, without the ingredients that make it unhealthy. Get the best of both worlds!
🍕 No-maida pizza - Our pizzas are made on a 100% whole wheat base. This thin crust pizza is so satisfying without any refined flour. Make your homemade pizza with whole-grain crust
🍕 Oil-free pizza - The base, the plant based cheese, and the toppings are free of any extracted oil.
🍕 Vegan Pizza - Our pizza uses no animal ingredients whatsoever. It is completely plant based. You can do the same. Use fresh tomatoes, extra veggies, black olives, bell peppers and other fresh ingredients as your pizza toppings for a balanced meal and extra nutrition.
🍕 No refined plant mylks and butters - Did you know that refined plant mylks and dairy-free butters can also be unhealthy? In many cases they are as bad a oil. Use plant-based mylks and butters that are whole not processed for great nutrition content and healthy fat.
🍕 Loaded with veggies - Our pizzas are a great way for your children (and you) to get those veggies in. Yours can be too! Take your children's favorite food and make is an excellent meal that's full of fresh ingredients and colourful veggies and greens. You can use yellow bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic, fresh basil, other fresh herbs and make a veggie pizza that both you and your kids can gobble up!
🍕 Full of flavour - The focus of our pizzas are farm fresh veggies, and great spices. This means they are full of flavour! You can use tasty pizza sauce, garlic cloves, pepper flakes, and a flavorful combination of herbs amp spice to amp up your pizza
🍕 High fiber content - Every ingredient we use in our whole food plant based pizza is fiber rich. This is great for your gut health while also being a treat for the taste buds! You not only get a colorful pizza but an excellent meal as well.
🍕 Rich in Antioxidants - Not something you'll usually see on a pizza, but did you know that plant foods have 64 times the Antioxidants as compared to animal foods? Lycopene from tomatoes is a common example of this.
🍕 Calorie Dilute - You can meet your weight-loss goals with pizza! What? Yes! Our whole food plant based pizzas are calorie dilute and actually aid in helping you inch closer to your ideal weight! Sprinkle some nutritional yeast and get a cheesy flavour without a single compromise on health.
How to Make Healthy Pizza
When you think of junk food, one of the first to come to mind is pizza! It is also one of the most popular & most liked dish in the world.
Here's how can you get the best of both worlds - health & taste?
🍕 Pizza Base - Most pizzas are made using maida/all purpose flour. Even the ones that claim to be whole grain can have up to 70% maida in it. At Sampoorna Ahara all our plant-based pizzas are made using 100% whole grain.
🍕 Oil-free - Be it the toppings or the dough of the pizza, oil is a part of it. Oil is a processed food, in that something good (fiber) has been removed from it. It's a lot of calories without fiber or much of the nutrition. All our pizzas are oil-free yet delicious!
🍕 Vegetables - Most pizzas may have a few gms of vegetables on it, but not quite enough. This is a great opportunity to load up on all the rich vitamins, minerals, & abundant micro-nutrients that veggies offer in the most delicious way.
🍕 Dairy-free - When you think of pizza, the first thing that comes to mind is cheese. So how can you have pizza without it? Simple - plant-based cheese. Get all that healthy fat and fiber with yummy plant-based cheese.
🍕 Meat-free - Most of the traditional pizza meats are processed meat. The World Health Organization has classified processed meats including ham, bacon, salami and frankfurts as a Group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer) which means that there's strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer and best avoided.
🍕 No Refined Ingredients - There can be several refined ingredients that go into pizzas that you may not know about - sugar and refined plant-based mylks are just two examples.
🍕 Herbs & Spices - They are among the most healthy foods when it comes to antioxidant content and pizzas are a great way of including them in your diet. Our pizzas comes with a little reusable glass bottle of herbs & spices!
Video Transcript: Pizza is Healthy Now! How to Make Healthy Pizza
Hello everyone and welcome to today's live on Sampoorna Ahara. Today we are very excited to sit here and talk to you, because we are not just talking - we are also going to be eating!
So this is our second Mukbang on Sampoorna Ahara. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do!
Today, we are going to be eating, as you may have guessed by looking at the box on the table, we are going to be eating and talking to you about pizza. So pizza is one dish that is you know, categorized as unhealthy everywhere by everyone, yet, it's one of the most popular dishes. It's the most loved dishes and if you Google what is the most favorite dish, worldwide, you will find that pizza is number one. So what we've done at Sampoorna Ahara is, we've taken this delicious dish which is much loved by everyone and we've made it super healthy so that you can enjoy it maybe even every single day without a single compromise on health or taste. So before we unbox today's pizza and other goodies, we'd like to tell you that if you like this video please like it, share it, hit the subscribe button and if you like the video we also know that this is the kind of videos that you like watching and we'll make more of these. So yes, with that let's get started.
Great! for those of you who are watching for the first time I'm Dr. Achyuthan Eswar and I'm Shyamala and we're the Co-founders of Sampoorna Ahara. Sampoorna Ahara is India's first whole food plant-based social enterprise. Let me give you an example with pizza right. So earlier we used to eat regular pizza from the regular shops then when we found out that cheese is unhealthy, maida is unhealthy, oil is unhealthy, we stopped eating pizzas and our pizzas at home used to be one big slice of watermelon with some slices of bananas on top that's pretty much it right? But now we've figured out ways by which we can make absolutely delicious pizzas using only whole food plant-based ingredients. Yes, that's right, and that's what we're going to be showing you today and we're going to be talking about each aspect of the pizza that makes it healthy and you can actually replicate this at home as well.
So without further ado let's get started.
Great so while you check out the pizza while you open it I'm going to read out Shyamala, I just got an email, just before we started this session, from one of our clients who's coming from another town stayed in Bangalore for a few days and she wanted to try some of our pizzas right. So she just sent us an email and just received this - so sweet of her to write this and I'm going to read it out for you guys she says
"Dear team, I'm in utter disbelief that I've actually eaten a pizza that's healthy without having to worry about the maida, cheese, and the other unhealthy ingredients. This is me eating a pizza after a good three years. It was absolutely delicious, light on the tummy, and actually didn't even taste any different from the unhealthy ones that I once used to gorge on. Love that atta pizza saver and the seasoning too" which we'll be showing you today. "So very grateful to Sampoorna Ahara for putting this together and making my day" - best, Durga
Thank you so much, Durga, for sharing this. So sweet! I really enjoyed reading it. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed your pizza. I'm looking forward to enjoy ours tonight as well.
That's so sweet. As you were reading her message, I was taken back to when we moved to a whole food plant-based diet and I think for as she said a good three years we didn't really eat pizzas because we didn't really think of making it on our own and at the time it wasn't really commercially available - whole food plant-based pizzas. So, yeah, it's so nice reading that something that was a roadblock for us is helping so many others also transition and stay on a healthy diet without compromising on variety or taste or dishes that you like. So, very nice. Okay, so I'm going to open this box as you can see the box itself is a cardboard box which is a recyclable. So we wanted to make sure that the packaging that our pizza comes in is also low waste and that's where we start and I've opened it. Delicious! Doesn't this look amazing?
Today's special is the Thai satay pizza. Yeah. It's two cuisines that we absolutely enjoy this the Italian pizza then all these delicious Thai peanut satay flavorings on top. This is one of the richest - flavor-wise richest pizzas that we've made and it's also really unique because prior to having this pizza.
I've never had this combination of flavors before so this is something that I look forward to and I really really love. So to get started with what makes this pizza different, I'll start off with the base. So generally if you look at pizzas most of them are made with maida or with a combination of maida and whole wheat. This pizza base, however, is a hundred percent whole wheat but not only that it is also free of any dairy product and oil. So you might be thinking, "okay then the base must be really dry and not so nice", but that's not the case. It's absolutely delicious. It's so flavorful and nice - just the base itself and it's thin crust. So that is I think the first point that I would like to talk about when we talk about a healthy pizza.
Absolutely! So people have this fear that if it's whole wheat it's not going to taste good. It's going to be dense, it's not going to be easy to chew. None of those are true. Especially with the thin crust pizzas, which both of our favorites, the crust is made completely with whole wheat and it's slow fermented just like the traditional - the way the pizza is made - it's slow fermented and it's nice. It's delicious to eat it has such a bursting flavor, rather than just being full of salt. It has the actual flavor of whole wheat and all of the delicious natural flavors on top, they come out beautifully.
Absolutely! The second thing is toppings. So here I want to talk about two things the first one is typically the most popular pizzas, generally, are topped with processed meats. Now processed meat has been classified as a class 1 carcinogen and is to be avoided. This means that consuming it puts you at a high risk of getting cancer, so that is on the one hand and even if you were to order a vegetarian pizza or a pizza without processed meat the toppings aren't usually full of vegetables or full of healthy nutritious stuff. That's not what you think of when you think of pizza. But here, this is a great way of sneaking in those vegetables that you probably don't like as much or your kids don't like as much. This is the best way of getting all those veggies in. In today's pizza can you tell us what all we have?
Sure! So we have, let me take a slice here, so this is one of the slices of today's pizza and this has a bunch of stuff it has tomatoes, it has palak, there is tofu in it, there's some baby corn, there's some broccoli, there's mushroom, there's onions, I think there's zucchini as well. A whole bunch of different vegetables along with tofu. So the tofu is one a delicious replacement for paneer, that's also healthy. Like most vegetarian pizzas, they're just dumped with paneer, right? But this is made with tofu which is absolutely delicious and 100 healthy. It's not going to interfere with your hormonal balance, it won't cause an increased cancer risk, it doesn't contribute to weight gain, it actually helps you to get better hormonal balance, the more you eat, which is great right? So all of those different vegetables and mushrooms - so mushroom technically it's a it's not in the plant kingdom, it's a fungus - but we call it the whole food plant and fungus based diet, I doubt you'll be watching this video. So it's called a whole food plant-based diet but mushrooms are included as well. They're absolutely healthy to eat. In fact button mushrooms is one of the best foods for breast cancer prevention and breast cancer survival once you got it, to prevent it from coming back in the future. And you only need to eat about half a butter mushroom a day to get the maximum benefit. So delicious! Mushrooms that's absolutely healthy at the same time
Amazing! So before we move on to the next aspect that makes this pizza healthy, we we also want to taste this pizza and show you - well you can only see it we wish we could send it across via phone but it smells so great. Typically, before we begin our meals, whether it is a pizza or a South Indian meal, we always begin with some fruit and in today's video we are being a little extra. Today, we are beginning with a breakfast jar which is a fruit and a chia based jar. Would you like to talk about why.
Yeah, so this is a Watermelon Creamsicle jar and this is a delicious Muskmelon jar and these are made with fruits, dry fruits, nuts and seeds, and nothing else. There's no dairy in it, there's no milk, there's no cream, there's no sugars no jaggery, but it's absolutely delicious. So this is my favorite jar of all the jars, it's also slightly sweeter than the rest, I have super sweet tooth which Shyamala doesn't, she likes the Muskmelon jar more. I love this jar, so it has watermelon with a hint of mint - that just takes the flavor to another level and then there is the chia seed layer right here. I doubt if you can see it in the video, but you can see photos on our website on Sampoorna Ahara. There's a chia seed layer here and then this is a date spread right at the bottom it's made with dates and nuts it's made into a spread. Right there. So the the more you eat, the closer you get to the bottom, the sweeter it gets and that's something I love about the breakfast jar and the best part about it is because it's dairy free, it's free from animal and processed foods, it's whole food plant-based, it's not strained and made into a juice. It's a layered smoothie all of these put together make it absolutely healthy for you it gives you an antioxidant boost when you eat it. So for the next six hours, your blood antioxidant level is going to stay consistently high which is fantastic.
Absolutely, and this is something that doubles up as dessert as well as breakfast or something that you want to munch on through the day. It's just amazing how versatile it is. I'm going to give you a spoon.
Yes so, this breakfast jar for me it's a lifesaver every time I work out, because if I get too late going into my workout then I have some of it before I go to workout. Otherwise this is something that's really amazing to have just after workout as well. So I just absolutely love the breakfast jar.
Sorry, I shamelessly went and started. So yum!
Yum! It's just amazing. So the third thing that makes a pizza really really healthy is all the toppings that you see on top. The vegetables that we just spoke about they're all oil-free so that is key because most of the time, even if you have a completely veggie topping, it's sautéed in a in quite a bit of oil. So the entire pizza is oil-free this includes the base, this includes the topping, this also includes the plant-based cheese. In today's pizza - it's not a cheese heavy pizza because it's a satay flavored pizza. So there is a peanut based a peanut flavored cream satay cream on top, but some of our other pizzas which have a more cheese a plant-based cheese equivalent is also oil-free and it's also free of anything that is refined or processed milk - plant milks.
Yeah, absolutely. What makes cheese - so cheese is one of the natural foods that are actually addictive for you - because nature designed mother's milk to be addictive for babies so that the babies keep coming back to it until they're old enough to eat other foods that makes sense right? So cheese, because it's made from milk also happens to be that slight bit addictive and that's one of the reasons why people find it so difficult to give up cheese. But when you make plant-based cheese you get all of that delicious flavor without getting addicted to it and with zero cholesterol with zero trans fats. This also has zero saturated fat and see at the end of the day you're not looking for a pizza with "give me the one with cholesterol in it" if you want the one that's delicious and if you can make that possible - like this one, then great! You get the best of both worlds.
Absolutely! Well said. I think the next thing is something that we've kind of been speaking about through the video, this pizza is also vegan, which means that it is free of dairy products. This includes cheese. So you just spoke about cheese and how it is slightly addictive and how it may also not be the healthiest thing for you to have. So this pizza is entirely dairy-free. There is no milk, or milk products in any part of the pizza.
Yeah, absolutely. So consuming dairy has been associated with diseases like Parkinson's Disease, Osteoporosis, Mouth Ulcers - all kinds of different diseases. So when you cut down on dairy consumption, you get so much healthier. Like last month, I was speaking with one of my patients who was suffering from an autoimmune disease called Psoriasis and giving up dairy was one of the best things they did because they recovered so quickly their Psoriatic symptoms dropped like a rock within just a few weeks of stopping dairy products.
Yes and the next thing that we want to talk about is the herbs and spices that go on any pizza that also make it that much healthier. Absolutely! That brings us also to the seasoning bottle. So this is a sustainable seasoning bottle, without any plastic, without any plastic coated paper. Also it's a glass bottle with a cork top, so you can actually use as much as you like and then keep in your home. You can even fill it up later with something else if you want. We have collected like 40-50 bottles and kept it at home, various places. We absolutely love these and so that helps us to avoid plastic while the herbs and spices inside there's also low salt. It's not stuffed with salt like the usual pizza seasoning. Low salt but delicious. And these herbs and spices have the highest antioxidant concentration of all foods in the plant kingdom. So the more you use, the healthier the pizza gets. Imagine that! right? Seasoning that actually makes the pizza healthier. That's what it is. So I put some on your side? Sure! Great! So you want to talk about the pizza saver that's also plastic free?
So the pizza saver right? So this is something that typically you use a little plastic, you know the table-like thing that's on top of your pizza? That is the pizza saver. It is so that the box and the pizza don't kind of touch and it doesn't get squashed. So we were kind of brainstorming and we were wondering how do we do the same thing but without the plastic and one of the best things that came up in that brainstorming session was this pizza saver, which is made of atta, and it is also whole food plant-based. It's actually edible. So you can eat it as a little snack while you're having your pizza. You can dip it in any kind of nut butter or sauce and have it as well. So this is really nice. There are two that come with every pizza box, one to hold the seasoning in place and the other one is the pizza saver.
So shall we dig in? yes absolutely! So yes, I can't wait to have a slice it smells really really nice and as we said right at the beginning of the video the flavor is very unique.
mm-hmm. So good. The satay sauce flavour is really coming out.
Yeah, that's exactly what I was going to say and I also like that this is a bit on the spicy side. I love it. Yeah, I absolutely love it. Yeah, so, there is the peanut flavor, there's a garlic flavor, all those vegetables on top and all the natural fat from peanut butter which is actually healthy because you have all the other components of the peanut in it. Because the cream is made with peanut butter, then you know it's rich and delicious while still being healthy for you. Yeah, great, yes. I also like the crunch in this pizza from the onions and - I think from the onions mainly no? the onions, the crunch is just really satisfying. The texture and the way the toppings combine the mushroom, the greens, the tofu, the onion, the broccoli, it's fantastic! Honestly, this is the best way of getting your kids to eat healthy. Imagine you can actually give them dishes like this, like pizza, kids love it! Every kid who's ever tried this pizza - it will disappear in seconds, if there are kids around. Even kids who typically aren't eating plant-based at home or aren't eating healthy at home and are used to your more unhealthy pizzas, even they absolutely love it it! It disappears within seconds. Especially the greens right? It's so difficult to get kids to eat their greens, but just put on a pizza, and they're going to finish it up. You're not even going to need to tell them about it, it's going to get over, you won't get greens to eat that day.
Fantastic! So that my friends is about, ah we missed this out, great, so let's show this as well. This is a free cookie that comes with every single pizza that we send out. So today, we have a dark chocolate peanut and almond cookie. Every time the cookie is also different, sometimes it's a date walnut cookie, it's almond cookies, cashew cookies, we have a soft peanut butter cookie sometimes, and this one is the dark chocolate peanut butter cookie. It's one our new products and that's the dessert that comes with the pizza meal. So you can eat it at the end. Would you like to share one? Sure! The best part is this is also sugar-free and jaggery-free, it is also maida-free, oil-free yeah and it's just delicious. It's of course vegan as well. Yeah it's 100% whole food plant-based, so you don't have those preservatives, additives, or chemicals that you try to avoid in other cookies. They're not there.
mmm that hint of cardamom!
and I think there's also unsweetened cocoa nibs. So, I really like that as well. Yeah, if you like dark chocolate, you'll enjoy this, it's superb. It also has pieces of nuts in it. I want to say peanuts? There are almonds and peanuts. Almonds and peanuts.
Yes, so that is our pizza meal for the night. Super healthy, super delicious. We've also shown you how you can make something similar at home. If you live in Bangalore, you can try our pizzas. We make it and home deliver it every Friday. So you can head over, we'll put the link to the pizza subscription in the description, you can head over and subscribe and get a pizza every Friday and there's a different flavor each week.
So we have lots of different stuff there's a loaded corn pizza, there is a vegetable feast, there is I think we have white sauce and mushroom pizza, the four five different flavors that go on rotation you can actually subscribe to it get a pizza every Friday night for dinner and your dinner is sorted with that. Thank you so much, I hope you enjoyed this video I hope you found it useful. Hope you found it inspiring and I hope you enjoyed your pizza, if you've eaten it from Sampoorna Ahara, or if you're going to get it now. I hope you enjoy it next week.
Yes and we'll also put the links to the breakfast jar in the description. You can also check them out. They're great to have any time of the day and if you're someone who's a sweet tooth, this is a great way of getting over your sugar craving or anything sweet that you want to have through the day.
So thank you so much for joining us once again, if you'd like this video please click the like button below and let us know. If you can think of anyone who might enjoy it please share this video with them and don't forget to subscribe to our channel and click the bell icon to get notified when we go live again tomorrow. I enjoyed myself with the pizza today, I hope you enjoy yours too and I look forward to helping to make healthy eating easier and easier for you every day. Thanks so much again.