If my family crave "junk" food it's usually pizza! But pizza doesn't have to be a junk food, it is super easy to make healthy alternatives. Pizza can actually be a healthy food for kids!
I have tried various bought vegetable bases, our favourite is TrulyGood Pizza Bases. I have tried making my own. Somehow, the cauliflower recipes just never turn out right because they retain too much liquid (I'll let you know when I eventually do get it right). I had never considered using a food dehydrator until recently!
I was recently going through my appliances and getting rid of what I no longer use. I looked at my Mellerware biltong maker / dehydrator and was suddenly struck by inspiration! It has these handy little shelves for dehydrating food (it makes amazing apple chips), why not try dehydrating the pizza bases?
I'm a huge fan of dehydrating food because it dries out foods while retaining all of the fibre, minerals and vitamins. During dehydration, hardly any Vitamin C is lost, and all the Beta Carotene and Vitamin A is retained in plant foods. Other minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and selenium, are also preserved.
Ideally I would love to have a dehydrator that has an adjustable thermostat and even airflow system (even if it is noisy), but my little one does just fine. If you don't have a dehydrator you can use your oven too. You can find notes at the end of the recipe telling you how to use your oven.
This pizza base recipe is food for people with a gluten intolerance and both kids an adults will love it.
These pizza bases can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days but I recommend using them straight away. When you're ready to use them, place them in the oven at 180 degrees (celsius) for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip over and add your toppings. Then return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Healthy Kids Pizza
My favourite is basil pesto on pizza. Basil grows fast and in abundance and pesto is quick and easy to make and store for later. You can find my favourite pesto recipe here.
Some other kid-approved pizza toppings are:
It's also a great way to sneak in some veggies by adding pureed vegetables (like carrot, zucchini, spinach, cauliflower and broccoli) to your tomato base.
INGREDIENTS - Makes 1 pizza base
1 cup sprouted wholegrain buckwheat, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup soaked and drained linseeds
1/4 cup fresh carrot juice
1 cup carrot pulp
1 tsp sea salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. The mixture should resemble a smooth paste.
Spread the mixture evenly over a plastic dehydrator sheet, lined with parchment paper, about 5mm thick.
If you have a dehydrator with an adjustable thermostat, set it on high and dehydrate for 1 hour.
Decrease the temperature to medium and continue to dehydrate for about 5 hours (or until the top of the base hardens and starts to crack a little bit).
Turn the base over and dehydrate for another 5 hours, until the base is very dry and firm.
If you don't have a dehydrator with an adjustable thermostat (like me) simply leave overnight.
When the top is dry and starting to crack turn the base over and dehydrate until the base is very dry (approximately 12 hours).
Alternatively, place your base in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees (celsius) for 1 hour.
Decrease the temperature to 160 degrees (celsius) and continue to dehydrate for about 5 hours (or until the top of the base hardens and starts to crack a little bit).Turn the base over and dehydrate for another 5 hours, until the base is very dry and firm.
If you are using your oven I recommend you start in the morning and keep a close eye on your bases.
Let me know what method you used and how it turned out! I'd love to hear from you what your favourite pizza toppings are!