Vegan Pizza: 6 Crucial Ingredients for Any Recipe

Although a vegan pizza sounds easy enough, creative recipe planning and using crucial ingredients can help you get needed nutrients and minerals. Pizza is a great choice for vegans…it is quick and easy to add those minerals that are generally lacking in a vegan diet. It is convenient to tweak meat-eater’s recipes to please vegetarian and non-vegetarians alike!

By making your own pizza –also a fun activity for families to cook together, or for friends to do with a glass of wine at a casual dinner party — you are getting vitamin B-12 in the yeast, protein, calcium, iron and MORE from these essential ingredients.

1. Yeast

Yeast is a valuable source of B-12, one of the most common deficencies for non-animal-source eaters.

To make pizza dough, combine one packet of yeast with a cup of warm tap water, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes before adding 3 cups of flour (see below), 1 tablespoon olive oil and a tablespoon of salt.  Add the flour one cup at a time, kneading with each addition.  Let the dough sit for an hour before making pizzas.

2. Whole Wheat flour

Substitute 1 and 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour with 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour for an extra boost of protein.  Most vegans are not lacking in fiber, but this is a great source as well!

3. Spinach

Adding this iron AND calcium packed powerhouse to your pizza is a great way to incorporate these two needed minerals into your diet. Soy cheese can be a welcome addition for some vegans, however, if a cheese-less pizza is more to your liking, then spinach is a must to help you reach daily recommended calcium levels. Try using cooked CHOPPED spinach to avoid the long string coming off of your pie!

4. Garlic

Adding some freshly minced garlic to your pizza not only packs a punch of flavor, but includes vitamin C as well!  Try sprinkling it lightly over the pie to get some major flavor…who needs cheese?

5. Tomato

In Italy, pizza is sold from carts on the street, and is more like focciacia bread –brushed with olive oil and topped with thinly sliced tomato and tons of fresh garlic.  Those slices help keep pizza moist, a feature that most vegans are missing without the cheese.  Pizza or tomato sauce has the same properties, and it produces a pizza that more people are used to.

6. Basil

No pizza is complete with out basil!  This herb is like a party for your mouth, jam packed with flavor, and doesn’t go light on minerals and nutrients!  Stack up a pile of the leaves, roll the pile into a log and slice the log against the grain for a long chiffonade.  Sprinkle it over your pizza for delicious flavor and a variety of key nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and vitamin A. Wow!

To Cheese or Not to Cheese

Since regular cheese is out of the question for a vegan, you have likely tried soy-based cheeses and may have found one that you like.  However, most vegetarians complain that soy cheese doesn’t melt the way you’d want to eat it on a pizza. Give it a whirl one time, and see what you think! Try a soy cheese that is billed as soy mozzarella. You may have the most success with the shredded variety, in terms of melting properties.

Now that you have your ingredients, make the dough and cut into 4 individual sized balls.  Roll the dough out with a rolling pin or your hands and brush with a bit of olive oil and top with slices of tomato (or sauce), garlic, spinach and basil. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a pizza stone or cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased with olive oil. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until the pizza is golden brown on the edges.  Let cool slightly and enjoy!

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