Indulging in a heart shaped pizza is a super fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home. Pizza is also a really easy way to make a dinner fun while introducing your kids to new vegetables and flavors. Homemade meals allow you to know exactly what ingredients you’re using, but I want to remind you that homemade doesn’t always mean healthy. Keeping homemade meals nutritious is done by being mindful of the ingredients we choose.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m encouraging you to choose health for your family. Your kids see the things you do and say every day, and the choices you make rub off on them. If your goals are to nourish your body (even when enjoying pizza!) that value will bloom in your kids as they grow. It’s so rewarding to see your children learn to love their bodies and appreciate their health—and what better day to remind them of that than Valentine’s Day?
From the oils in the crust we use to the sauces we put on our pizzas, we’re making choices that will either help or harm our bodies. Choosing ingredients without unnecessary junk will always be the more nourishing choice. I’ve included some great swaps for your pizzas along with a quick and delicious recipe below.
- Swap bleached white flour for organic flour
Using organic flour (Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flour is a good option) lets you know that the wheat has not been sprayed with glyphosate. Many wheat crops are now dried out with glyphosate 10-14 days before harvest. This is not an issue my parents had to deal with. It’s something our generation needs to be educated on. Another great option is Cassava flour. It’s non-grain and used 1 to 1 in recipes.
- Swap canola oil for organic avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
Canola is a gmo crop that is processed into oil using the solvent hexane. It is also an inflammatory oil. Extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil can both be bought unrefined and cold pressed—an affordable and easy alternative!
- Swap table salt for real salt
Instead of using bleached table salt with added sugar try Redmond Real Salt, which is unrefined and loaded with trace minerals.
- Swap shredded cheese for block cheese
Instead of cheese shredded in a bag that comes with cellulose or natamycin, you can simply shred cheese from a block.
- Swap pepperoni with nitrates for nitrate-free pepperoni
It’s best to avoid nitrates in your pepperoni. Plus, it will taste better since it’s more fresh!
- Swap pizza sauce with added sugar for sauce without added sugar
I look for pizza sauce with no added sugar or inflammatory oils. We get too much sugar each day as it is—and it’s not needed in pizza or pasta sauce. The American Heart Association recommends kids ages 2 to 18 have less than 6 teaspoons a day.
My Pizza Recipe
Want an easy and scrumptious pizza recipe? Try this one out and add any of your favorite veggies as toppings. Kids can even make their own from ingredients you set out for them.
- 1 cup wild yeast (can be subbed for 1 Tbsp dry yeast from the store if you don’t cook with live yeast)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 1/2 cups organic flour or alternative flour (almond, oat, kamut, cassava)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 jar of your favorite pizza sauce
- Shredded cheese
- Pizza toppings (veggies, pepperoni, goat cheese, etc.)
- Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth
- Let it raise for 6-8 hours
- Put dough on lightly floured surface and roll into heart shapes
- Cook 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees (less time for smaller pizzas)
- Let it cool and add toppings
- Place back in the oven and bake until the cheese browns on top
Remember there is always a better choice out there! Pizza can be nourishing for your body if you choose the right ingredients to make it. What are your favorite out of the ordinary toppings?