Unlikely Pizza Crusts

For most consumers, pizza crusts come in three variations: hand-tossed, deep dish, and thin crust. Unknown to most, however, there are a wide variety of different types of pizza crusts you can make to add a little bit of variety to pizza night. While many of these seem odd, it should be noted that almost all of them are utilized by those seeking to lose weight or with certain dietary restrictions.

Meat Crust

Hardcore low carb dieters find it difficult to replace pizza, often experimenting with new recipes to find that perfect vehicle for ketogenic-friendly mozzarella and low-carb pizza sauce. Perhaps one of the craziest recipes around eschews dough entirely: the meat crust pizza. Yes, it’s a pizza crust made entirely out of ground beef, sausage, or pork, and those that make it on a regular basis swear by it.

It’s actually quite simple to make, requiring a little more than a few pounds of beef or pork (depending on taste) and your desired pizza toppings. Simply mix the meat and whatever spices you’d like together, then spread it evenly in a baking pan. Add your toppings, then bake for about 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until the meat is cooked all the way through. You can check out our complete Meatza recipe here

It’s an interesting alternative to traditional pizza dough, but if you’re watching your waistline via a low carb diet, it’s one of the best ways to get all the necessary fat and protein into your body without having to worry about a carb crash later on.

Almond Flour Crust

The closest alternative to traditional flour-based pizza dough is the almond flour crust pizza. Almond flour does have a few carbs in it, but not so much that it will throw you out of ketosis (the process through which your body begins to burn fat instead of carbohydrates), and with the proper ingredients and spices, it’s a suitable, albeit not perfect, alternative to traditional pizza dough.

Now, some recipes ask that you include cheese in your almond flour crust, as this gives it a different consistency and taste. It also makes it slightly easier to pick up once it’s done cooking, but practice and trying various substitutions can also lead to a pizza that’s easy to handle without the added calories from cheese.

If split among two or three people and if low-carb toppings are used, an almond flour crust pizza is a perfect low-carb variation to traditional pizza. It’s also a perfect option for those wishing to splurge on pizza but still want to avoid all the unnecessary calories and carbs brought on by regular pizza dough.

Flax Meal Pizza Crust

Flax seed is a high-fiber seed derived from the flax plant. It’s brown in color and slightly nutty in flavor, and serves as an excellent addition for those seeking to add a bit more fiber to their diet. It can be sprinkled on ice cream, cakes, and a variety of other foods, and, yup, you guessed it, it can be used to make a high-fiber pizza crust with a unique flavor.

A flax meal pizza crust is made in much the same way an almond flour pizza crust is. Simply add some spices and parmesan cheese to the flax seed, then add the desired amount of eggs or egg whites and work into a dough. Spread out on a pan, bake, and voila. You have yourself a flax meal pizza crust.

This is one of the more daring types of pizza crust alternatives available, as its taste is one of the most unique. It doesn’t emulate traditional pizza crust well, though it is sturdy enough to pick up and eat with your hands. If you already love the flavor of flax seed, it’s an easy choice, but for those who prefer traditional pizza flavors, you might want to skip this crust.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower? You mean that white vegetable that resembles broccoli and most certainly NOT a pizza? Yes, despite its intended uses, cauliflower is a staple in low-carb dieters due to its ability to emulate a variety of food items. While the taste might vary from person to person, it’s capable of being combined with a variety of ingredients to make a low-carb, high-fiber pizza crust.

Unlike the other pizzas, which simply require mixing together some ingredients into a gooey mess and forming it into a dough, a cauliflower crust pizza requires a bit of effort. You have to “rice” the cauliflower (the finer the better), then squeeze out all the water with a towel or paper towels. This ensures that it will be drier when taken out of the oven, making it easier to pick up. Once it’s dry enough you add all of the ingredients together (eggs, cheese, spices, etc), then form it into a crust. Then you have to let it dry a bit more, or use paper towels to soak up more excess moisture. THEN you bake one side, flip it, then bake the other. This allows it to be as crisp as possible, which will make it easier to eat with your hands.

Sadly, in the end, the toppings will likely weigh down the already thin crust, so a fork is a necessity with this pizza crust. However, if prepared properly and spiced well enough, the cauliflower flavor (which I personally can’t stand), is almost non-existent.

Several other variations exist, such as using little sausage patties, biscuit halves, bagels, and the like, but those require little preparation and are ideal for snacks rather than whole meals. Thankfully, pretty much ANYTHING can be used as a base for a pizza, thus opening up a whole new world of flavor for those seeking a little change in their traditional pizza.

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 9:00 AM