my amazingly awesome actually good for me nutrient dense gluten free pizza

That title is a mouthful as was my most excellent dinner tonight.

Good pizza starts with the crust. When one is on a gluten free diet, this is a huge challenge at best. I am just not fond of any gluten free pizza crust I have ever tasted. A few years ago, Mark Bittman of the New York Times wrote about socca, a flatbread typically made with chickpea flour. I made his recipe as is and it was delicious. Not only am I gluten free, I generally avoid flours of all kinds, preferring to eat fresher, more whole foods. Enter the idea of making pizza crust from quinoa. This would take care of the whole food issue and definitely ups the protein values.  The important step that Mr. Bittman does not include in his instructions is to soak the grain or flour. This step is important for removing the phytates . Phytic acid is an “antinutrient” which binds up the minerals in the grain and prevents the body from using them. Soaking does mean some  planning and premeditation. Use pure water and cover the quinoa and let it sit overnight. When ready to use simply drain.  Easy but as I said, takes some thinking ahead.

Quinoa Pizza Crust

makes 2 thin 8 inch crusts

1 1/2c. quinoa, soaked overnight and drained

1/2 – 3/4 c. pure water

1 tsp. celtic sea salt

1/4c. olive oil

(of course you are using organic ingredients!)

Preheat oven t0 450º F. Place the quinoa, water, and salt in a blender and blend until creamy. The consistency will be thick ( like pancake batter). Start with 1/2c. water and see if you need more. Divide the olive oil and cover the bottom of 2 8 in. cake pans. Place the pans in the oven until they are shimmering hot ( not smoking).Remove from the oven. At this point, you can add some minced garlic and/or herbs if you would like. Divide the quinoa mixture evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip the crusts over and return to bake another 10 minutes.  They should be brown and crispy.

At this point, let your imagination take over. Top with classic pizza ingredients or try something new. I have recently renewed my love of pesto but as you can imagine not your typical pesto. This one is made of arugula, parsley, walnuts, olive oil, hemp oil, and garlic. Delicious! Pesto is a nutrient dense food that assists the liver in detoxifying the body and helps lower blood fats. So, on went a hearty layer of pesto. I topped this with some caramelized onions and sauteed red chard, mixed with some pine nuts. Lots of vegetables, that deep red color that is good for us. The “icing on the cake” is a few dollops of kefir cheese. I strained some goat’s milk kefir to get the liquid whey for some fermenting that I am doing this week. What is left is a thick sour cream like substance that is delicious! AND it contains lots of good bacteria/probiotics.

Every part of this pizza is actually full of nutrition and while it does not look like pizzeria pizza, it was so good and gave me pleasure that a slice of that pizzeria pizza would not. I am satiated from the good fats, my belly is full from the big pile of chard, and I am happy with having made a good choice for dinner.

So, step out of the box. haha, literally. Don’t get take out, make your own good for you pizza.

Thanks to my friend and nutrition mentor, Craig Lane of Health Alkemy, for the inspiration!

44 thoughts on “Pizza!

  1. Found this through Iris’s blog, and i MUST make it. I am intrigued by socca, but can’t handle chickpeas. I LOVE quinoa though. This looks so good.

  2. Omg. I made this tonight, using a cast iron skillet, and it was amazing. So easy and so so good. I am making this every week!

  3. I found thiis through Iris’ blog too. I can’t wait to try it! I love pizza and am trying to go vegan and gluten free as well as eliminating other potential allergens. Not the easiest thing to do, but at some point I will get there.

  4. How did you remove phytic acid from chickpea flour
    is mixing flour in yogurt and leaving overnight will help?

  5. I have been making this recipe for a friend’s daughter who has a lot of food allergies, and she loves it. It is so simple but SO GOOD. I use coconut oil instead of olive oil and throw in some italian herbs and eat it as just a flat bread. Love it! thanks

  6. I actually haven’t made it with chickpea flour in quite awhile, since I learned about phytic acid, etc. I don’t actually know much yet about soaking flour so I cannot help you.You could start with chickpeas and soak them, cook, and then blend.

  7. i tried this in a cake pan and a cast iron skillet and both times it stuck. how disappointing! the edge that i was able to unstick tasted really great.

    a troubleshooting question….do you suspect that i didn’t heat the oil long enough? it seemed to scoot out to the sides when i poured in the batter. then the center is the part that stuck.

    any suggestions would be much appreciated.

  8. HI Julie. I have had that happen to me as well. I think in my case, it was the pan, but yes the pan needs to be really hot. It does “scoot out to the sides”. You might also need to cook it a bit longer. I have not had as good luck when I have been impatient ( or hungry!). I made these for a client today as a matter of fact and to my great relief, they slipped right out. Good luck.

  9. Okay, this just changed my life. This is SOOO good!! I have tried a few other grain-free or gluten-free pizza crusts, and they were all okay, but didn’t give me that chewy pizza crust. This one, while not grain free obviously, is SO good that I don’t think I’ll miss regular pizza anymore! I soaked my quinoa for about 36 hours (I planned on just 24, but then life happened so it ended up being 36), and next time I will soak it with apple cider vinegar to make it even more nutritious. I just can’t believe how good this is! I will for sure be making this regularly!

  10. Hi ~ thank you SO much for sharing this recipe! It is absolutely fantastic and it is SO nice to find a pizza crust/flatbread that is not only gluten free but good for us too. I was wondering if you could share the pesto recipe ~ it looks really good on it. Thanks so much!

  11. Made this tonight with mildly mixed results. I was making it to try as a flat bread to see if we wanted to try it as a pizza crust. Mine stuck to the pan and needed to cook longer. I think, like has been discussed, that I might need to heat the oil more. When it came out I thought it was ruined. One taste of it on its own didn’t do much positive for me.

    BUT THEN I decided to try cutting it and dipping it in maple syrup and we really enjoyed it. My son (who is the gf member of the family) decided he indeed wanted to try it as a pizza. He just added sauce and cheese and we put it back in the oven, at 350, for about 8 minutes. The three members of my family who eat dairy really enjoyed it. We put the last remaining piece in a bag and put it in the fridge. I’m hoping my son likes it cold because this would be great for his lunchbox! Thanks so much.


  12. I’m glad it worked out. I continue to have mixed results in the baking myself – have had a few failures. It is a work in progress. I have at times added a bunch of herbs to the batter because by itself it is a bit bland. That, of course, might need to be altered with the addition of the maple syrup dipping ( yum!) but adding some cinnamon, ginger, etc. would change it up to a yummy syrup vehicle.

  13. I made this the other night and I can’t wait to make it again! Absolutely delicious and SO extremely easy!

  14. Not a silly question. You soak it in its raw form and then it gets cooked during the baking process. no need to pre cook it. I hope this helps.

  15. I’m a little confused about the “divide the olive oil” part. Am I adding it to the dough, or using it to grease the pans?

  16. Kelsey,

    I know you wrote your comment a while ago, but just in case you come back or if anyone else reads this you should know that quinoa is not a grain. This pizza is really grain free! I know people often refer to quinoa as a grain, but that’s only because it can be cooked as one. It is actually in the vegetable family! 😀

  17. Hi everyone

    Well I have to say that this crust is amazing. After reading an article in McCleans about how bad whole wheat is for you, I decided to search for a grain free/gluten free alternative.

    To answer a few other posts that have had difficulty with this crust sticking, the first time I made it, I accidentally added most of the oil to the batter (then I read the recipe!). This time I also added some oil to the pan. The crust came out beautifully. The second time I made this, I actually read and followed the instructions, but to my dismay, the crust stuck and was ruined. So, I went back to adding most of the oil to the batter and reserving a few tablespoons for the pan and it has been perfect every time!

    Perhaps this may be worth a try.

    Anyway, thanks for such a delicious and healthy recipe!

  18. Thanks for giving it a try. I have had quite a few failures on occasion myself. The challenge is to let it cook longer. For me, sticking is more about it not being done enough. Thanks for the comment.

  19. I was wondering, i just bought quinoa and its pretty expensive. and ive found a similar recipe for a flat bred made of rice and millet soaked… Do you think i could do half quinoa and half rice for this? just to make it a little easier on my budget? being poor and gluten free is hard 😛

  20. I have previously used this recipe to make crackers – instead of using a cake pan, oil or butter the base of muffin tins – perfect little round biscuits every time – enjoy

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