A diet full of whole foods offers excellent benefits, but it’s tough to ditch the pizza and refined-carbohydrate products that we’re accustomed to.
What’s not to like about pizza? A slice of pizza is inexpensive, can instantly fill you up, and if you’re lucky and they deliver, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your couch to enjoy it!
The downside is while you may feel great while scarfing down those greasy slices of pizza, ever notice how you feel afterwards? Chances are, you may feel bloated, drowsy, and fortunate if you don’t have to run to the bathroom.
The truth is that you don’t have to have celiac disease or a wheat allergy to feel the discomforting effects of eating these types of foods. By using chickpea flour in place of wheat flour, we can create a gluten-free pizza recipe that tastes great, is lower in calories, and will not cause any bloating.
Why Is Wheat-Free & Gluten-Free Pizza Better?
To make white flour, the hull of the wheat is discarded, stripping the wheat of most of its nutritional value and almost all fiber. Products like pizza dough made with refined or bleached white flour can easily clog up the intestinal tract, and it can spike glucose levels as it’s high on the glycemic index; not to mention the chemicals introduced in the process that can cause yet-undefined long-term health consequences.
Whole wheat flour products are a more nutritious alternative as the flour is less processed, preserving most of the healthy elements and fiber, and allowing for a slower rise in blood sugar levels. Despite the comparatively healthier nutrient profile, it is important to realize that whole wheat flour is not always 100% whole grain, and only a certain percentage of the whole grains are preserved. Whole wheat or whole grain flours produce much denser foods, allowing for trapped gas that is responsible for the bloating and discomfort that most experience. Take into account a potential gluten sensitivity and the difficultly to properly digest wheat, and any type of wheat flour product can put stress on your digestive system.
Let’s introduce….Garbanzo Bean Flour
Garbanzo bean flour is made by simply grounding up dried garbanzo beans, also commonly known as chickpeas. Garbanzo bean flour can be found in the baking isle of most super markets near all of the wheat and non-wheat flours available.
Unlike highly processed wheat flours, garbanzo beans are low on the glycemic index, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar, and will provide you with a slower more steady supply of energy. Garbanzo bean flour is wheat-free therefore lacking gluten, the infamous wheat protein that a large number of individuals have trouble digesting. Just take a look at the impressive protein and fiber content of garbanzo bean flour as compared to commonly used wheat flours:
|Refined White Flour||< 2 grams||< 1 gram|
|Organic Whole Wheat Flour||4 grams||4 grams|
|Garbanzo Bean Flour||6 grams||5 grams|
*per ¼ cup flour
Now, back to pizza… Garbanzo bean flour can be used to make a simple crepe-like flatbread that can be garnished with your favorite toppings for a nutritious gluten-free pizza. The creamy and rich flavor of the beans will take your pizza to the next level and certainly give you a new appreciation for chickpeas!
Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe | Quick Tips
- Garbanzo flour can be used as a nutritious thickener for soups and sauces, or used to replace wheat flour in many baked goods (use 7/8 cup to replace 1 cup wheat flour in baked goods).
- The chickpea pizza crust can double as a wholesome wrap for a salad (just add more water for a thinner batter), or sliced up to enjoy with your favorite healthy dips.
- Baker’s yeast can be added when making a flatbread or crust, and would give you more of a heavy bread-like consistency; I personally prefer the cakey and moist consistency that you get without using the yeast.
Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe | Ingredients
- 2/3 cup Ground Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Flour
- 1 generous pinch of salt
- ½ cup of water
- Optional: pinch of fresh or dry herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley)
- 2-3 tbsp of all-natural pesto or up to 1/4 cup low-sodium tomato sauce
- ¼ cup reduced fat mozzarella sliced or shredded
- 1 cup of vegetables of your choice (I chose sliced grape tomatoes and roasted artichoke hearts)
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil to coat skillet
Gluten-Free Pizza Recipe | Preparation Instructions
1. Sift all of the garbanzo bean flour and salt together into a bowl.
2. Slowly add about half of the water into the dry mixture while whisking the ingredients together. Add the rest of the water, and continue to whisk the mixture, breaking up all of the lumps until you reach a smooth batter-like consistency. Add in a dash of your favorite dry or fresh herbs at this time.
3. Let the batter sit and rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
4. While the batter is resting, take the time to prepare your toppings. Chop up your toppings, and if necessary sauté your vegetables on the stovetop with a touch of olive oil.
5. Coat an oven-ready skillet on the stovetop with the olive oil at medium/high heat. When the oil is hot enough, pour the batter on the skillet. Use the back of a spoon to quickly spread out the batter if necessary; you want the crust to be as thin as possible so that you have a thin and sturdy crust and not a bean cake!
The batter should begin to bubble and set. When the bottom is golden brown, use a spatula to flip the crust and allow the other side to cook. Each side should take only 2-3 minutes to cook. Your “pizza crust” should look exactly like a thin pancake.
6. Turn off the heat or remove the crust from the skillet and turn on your broiler. Add your sauce, vegetables, and cheese to your crust. (Be sure to drain the vegetables and don’t go too heavy on the sauce to prevent the crust from getting soggy)
7. To melt the cheese and allow your toppings to nicely incorporate into the pizza, stick the skillet right under the broiler for a quick few minutes and voilà! There you have a guilt-free personal pie that you can be proud of! ENJOY!
Hope you enjoy this gluten-free pizza recipe! If you try out new toppings that you love, please let us know with a comment!