I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
We eat pizza a lot. Like more than once a week.
I’m busy. My 4 year old is pretty fussy. We all love pizza.
Rather than fight against this, I’ve learned to embrace it and made a few tweaks to our pizzas to make sure that they actually give my kids some kind of nutrition.
I figure, if that’s what he loves, I’m not going to fight about broccoli … I’ll just hide it in a pizza base instead!
The BEST Pizza Bases Ever
Because we eat a fair bit of pizza, I always make the bases so that I know what’s in them. It doesn’t really matter how you make them (I do mine in the Thermomix) the way to make them amazing is to let the dough rise in the fridge for 4 days. Yep 4 days.
We always have a container in the fridge with pizza dough rising so that it’s always there when we need it. It really does make a difference. The bases are crispy and light and never dry.
Just a note on storing pizza dough in the fridge – it will keep rising, so please don’t use a glass container with a tight fitting lid as it will crack (yup, been there, done that). I use a plastic container and don’t seal it completely or a glass container with an air release lid.
You’ll find my pizza dough recipe at the end of this blog.
If you need a quicker base, but still want homemade, then you mix 1 cup of greek or natural yoghurt with 1 cup of self raising flour together and knead until it forms a dough. Voila!
Pizza with Veges Galore
The easiest way to get the extras into their pizza is to make your own sauce … that way you can fill it with all the things that your kids would probably not eat if you dished them up.
I make sauce with homegrown tomatoes (if we have them – if not I use a jar of plain tomato passata) and then I add sweet potato, onion, garlic, loads of spinach and kale, carrots, capsicum and any herbs I can find in my garden. Basically anything goes, as long as it’s a vegetable. I’ve been known to add beetroot and mushrooms too if I’ve got them.
Yes, I chuck it all in my Thermomix and let it simmer away until it’s cooked into a sauce and then when it’s cool, I blitz it into a smooth paste. I then return it to the passata jars and my kids are none the wiser that they’re eating a pizza sauce jam packed with veges. Sneaky sneaky … but it works!
Boost your Pizza Bases
Now, I’ve told you that I make my own bases … but I also have another trick to make them super nutrious and add some extra fibre and protein into my children’s diets.
Cashews & Chia Seeds – I soak half a cup of cashews or almonds (overnight if I remember) and a quarter to half a cup of white chia seeds in some water and add them to my dough. I don’t pre blend these as they get chopped up fairly well when I mix the dough. I don’t really measure them, so sometimes I add more, depends on the feel of the dough at the time (yep I’m one of those people lol).
If your kids are nutrient finding ninjas, then it might be worth blitzing the nuts and chia seeds in a food processor before you add them to the dough.
Vege Powder – Another trick which makes the pizza bases even tastier, and yep, you got it, more nutrient dense, is adding dried vege powder. We dry all sorts of vege in our dehydrator (capsicum, celery, kale, spinach, onion, tomato, zucchini, cucumber) and I blend them all into a vege powder in the Thermomix. I then use this powder in our pizza bases. It does give the bases green and red flecks through them – but I tell my kids it’s like the sprinkles on top of BBQ shapes and they seem ok with that explanation. In fact, if we eat bought pizza they can’t understand where the seasoning is.
It might seem strange, but it adds some extra nutrients that my kids wouldn’t eat otherwise. My eldest struggles with his iron levels, so adding cashews to the dough gives him some extra iron without me having to force feed him a supplement.
Short on Pizza Toppings?
You know those days when the fridge is running low, there’s not really enough cheese to make a pizza? Well, on these days we make “pizza bianca” which is basically a pizza base, topped with chopped garlic, fresh rosemary and olive oil and baked. We cut it into wedges and enjoy as it is – or if it’s dinner time, I poach eggs and the boys dip the wedges into runny yolks. Sometimes, we just pile the poached eggs on top and eat it like eggs on toast. Salty, savoury goodness right there. It makes a great brekky too!
It’s quick, easy and better than buying take away.
I hope these easy pizza hacks make getting some extra nutrients into your kids a bit easier. Yep, there’s still some not so great stuff on top of the pizza (my boys will only allow ham or bacon and pineapple on theirs). But I can deal with that, because I know there’s all the good stuff they can’t really see in there. Or maybe they know it’s there, who knows. The fact is, they eat it and love it. Job done!
The Best Pizza Dough Recipe (according to my kids)
2 heaped teaspoons dried yeast powder
1 teaspoon raw honey (you can use sugar if you don’t have honey)
2 tablespoons olive oil
280g warm water
500g bakers flour
2 heaped teaspoons good quality salt
If you have a thermomix … dump all the ingredients in the order stated above (plus any of the additives mentioned in the blog), mix on speed 6 for 15 seconds and then knead on dough mode for 3 minutes. Let it rise for at least 2 hours before you try to roll it out or pop it in the fridge for another day.
If you don’t have a Thermomix, the recipe will still work, you’ll just need to mix and knead by hand. Mix the yeast, honey, oil and water together first, then add flour and salt before bringing it together into a dough.
About the Author
Kate is the founder of South West Mums, coffee connoisseur, FIFO Wife and Mumma to two boys. She loves to explore and write about life in South West WA, motherhood, business and the effects of FIFO on family life. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook or read more of her blog here.