When I first figured out that I had a dairy sensitivity, and then later realized that too much gluten was a no-go too, I was pretty bummed.
At the time, I was eating a lot of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and whey protein… obviously too much, (which is what I believe triggered the dairy sensitivity), and so I had a bit of a pity party with myself: No more cheese & crostini, no more yogurt, no more french onion soup, no more…pizzaaaaaaaa. *Cue whiny voice*
I didn’t really eat pizza on-the-regular, but I was definitely a fan of a good traditional thin crust topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella, San Marino tomato sauce, and loads of fresh basil from our local Italian pizza place. You know the pizza I’m talking about – rustic, homemade, fresh, delicious, and in a way… comforting.
So after my pity party, I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and decided to go on a mission to find the best suitable dairy and gluten alternatives and really delve into the world of recipes that were free of these two.
It didn’t take long after eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet that noticed a huge, and I mean HUGE, improvement in my digestion. My “IBS” symptoms (the wastebasket diagnosis which I was handed a few times…) which I had dealt with for a couple decades literally disappeared, and with the help of probiotics and the avoidance of these personal culprits I was able to truly get my digestion to a stable place.
While I don’t completely avoid gluten as much as I avoid dairy because of the way it wreaks havoc on my digestion, I love to experiment with gluten-free flours, and more recently grain-free flours such as almond flour.
I only really began using almond flour more regularly in the last couple years and I’ve been thrilled with it’s versatility and what makes me most pleased is the ability to make a pretty amazing pizza crust with it!
When Bob’s Red Mill recently sent me some Super-Fine Almond Flour, I knew I’d be going to pizza-town with it because my experiments in the past had proved successful and I was really intrigued to try this “super-fine” variety to see how it would change the consistency of the pizza crusts I’d made previously with almond meal, which is “grittier”, for lack of a better word.
Bob’s Red Mill, in my opinion, is really a leader in the market when it comes to flours, whole grains, baking staples, and seeds (it’s no wonder that my local Planet Organic has a whole wall dedicated to Bob’s Red Mill products!) so I knew that the Super-Fine Almond Flour was going to be a treat to experiment with.
As I brainstormed pizza recipe ideas, I kept coming back to a dessert pizza; something sweet, bursting with ingredients of the season and still rustic, homemade, fresh, and delicious like the pizzas that are near and dear to my heart.
For a sweet pizza crust I decided to combine the light and airy super-fine almond flour with coconut palm sugar as a natural sweetener, vanilla powder, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and an ‘extra large’ flax egg using Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal.
The crust turned out wonderfully… crispy on the edges, firm enough to hold the copious amounts of fruit I topped it with, and still soft in the middle with little air pockets here and there! While it wasn’t “doughy” or “chewy” per se, the crust made the perfect base for this dessert pizza.
Almond flour is a great source of healthy fats and protein as well as Vitamin E, and it provides a wonderfully buttery, rich flavour to baking which works perfectly with the flavour combination in this dessert pizza.
I really went-to-town when it came to the toppings for this pizza because I stopped into the local Italian Market and they had an abundant selection to choose from. I grabbed fresh figs, ripe raspberries, juicy strawberries, apricots, and fresh mint.
If that wasn’t enough, I added in some sliced banana, then brought in the real “dessert” effect and a little more indulgence with 70% dark chocolate, lightly toasted coconut, and a drizzle of sweet coconut nectar and balsamic glaze.
Ok, you can wipe the drool from your mouth now!
As a bonus, this recipe is also just really fun to whip up and is definitely both kid and adult-friendly. I could imagine the little ones would enjoy picking their fruit of choice to make this pizza and it would be a great opportunity for some education on how to use healthier alternatives when making a dessert!
Have you made a pizza crust using a gluten or grain-free flour? What kind did you use and how did it turn out? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
- Pizza Crust:
- 1½ tablespoons Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal (or ground flaxseed)
- 4 tablespoons water
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Pizza Toppings:
- 2 tablespoons coconut nectar (or honey), divided
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 fresh fig, sliced into coins
- 1 apricot, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped 70% dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl add the flaxseed meal (or ground flaxseed) and the water, stir to combine and let sit for 3 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl add the almond flour, salt, vanilla powder (if using extract add to the wet ingredients), and coconut palm sugar to a bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the olive oil to the flaxseed and water mixture and give it a little stir then pour it into the large bowl with the almond flour mixture.
- Stir together until well combined and batter can be formed into a ball.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dough ball on the paper, then roll with a rolling pin or flatten with your hands until dough is about ½" thick evenly.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, cut and prepare all the fruit and toast the coconut lightly in a pan over medium heat, set aside.
- Once the crust is done, you can choose to let the crust cool before adding the toppings or enjoy the pizza with a warm crust.
- Start by drizzling 1 tablespoon of coconut nectar over the crust, then layer on the sliced fruit, sprinkle with the chopped dark chocolate and coconut, then sprinkle on the chopped mint.
- Finish by drizzling with 1 more tablespoon of coconut nectar and the 1 tablespoon of balsamic reduction.
- Cut the pizza into 8 pieces and enjoy!
Nutritionist in the Kitch