Pizza is one of the most enjoyed foods worldwide. In 2022, a forecast was made by an international research firm, Euromonitor International, that an astronomical $141.1 billion would be made in pizza sales globally, with the United States estimating a $56.5 billion profit!1 To put that into perspective, there are over three billion pizzas sold in the U.S. each year!2 That amounts to 100 acres of pizza daily, or 350 slices per second. Americans on average eat over 6,000 slices of pizza throughout their entire life.2 That’s a lot of pizza!
Pizza is one of my personal favorite foods, and my family and I enjoy seeking out pizza restaurants in our local area or when traveling. I love the versatility of pizza. There are so many flavors, styles and toppings you can build upon the crust, not to mention the various types of bases that act as a crust.
Over the years, we’ve seen many different types of crusts, whether it is thin crust, normal crust, stuffed crust, deep dish, flatbread or pita bread, bagels or English muffins, whole wheat, gluten free, and now vegetable-based crusts. Cauliflower crust became a go-to low carbohydrate pizza crust a few years ago, but now I’ve seen trends of using sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, and leafy greens as a base for pizzas. Those methods often require many extra steps and preparation, but any way you can #haveaplant, do it!
Most people enjoy pizza for lunch or dinner, but it can be made into a breakfast or dessert, too! Here are some of my favorite ways to Build a Better Pizza.
- Use a store-bought pizza shell, flatbread, English Muffin or bagel as the crust. Top with pizza sauce or salsa, then add scrambled or pan-fried eggs cooked with any of your favorite veggies, cheese, and breakfast proteins. Scrambled Mini Pizzas
- Make your own pizza crust using oatmeal! This untraditional crust is like a giant oatmeal cookie, but can be topped with Greek yogurt, your favorite fruit, chopped nuts and a drizzle of honey. This one is sure to be a hit with kids! Oatmeal Breakfast Pizza
Lunch and Dinner
- Of course, a common choice to order from pizza shops is a Loaded Veggie Pizza, which can be a great way to sneak in more vegetables into your day. To me, the more variety of veggies, the better!
- One of my favorites is a unique twist on a Southwest Taco Pizza. This recipe uses a thin pre-made pizza crust, topped with a mixture of Greek yogurt, hummus and lime juice as the “sauce,” and then corn, salsa, sliced avocado, shredded lettuce and cheese. It’s so light and fresh as well as packed with great nutrition! Southwestern Veggie Flatbread
- Cauliflower crust pizzas are still trending! Check out this Gluten-Free Mini Mediterranean Cauliflower Crust Pizzas for a veggie-packed, lower carbohydrate, and flavorful pizza topped with artichoke hearts, red onion, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers and basil.
- Summertime is a great opportunity to use in-season produce and make fruit pizzas. Check out this kid-friendly Watermelon Dessert Pizza. Top triangular sliced watermelon with drizzled chocolate, Greek yogurt, chopped nuts, shredded coconut and sliced berries for a sweet and tasty treat!
Pizza can sometimes be thought of as a less healthy meal depending on the toppings. Ingredients like cheeses and meats can be high in sodium and fat. Next time your family is planning a pizza night, do your best to include some vegetables as toppings, or include a side salad or side of fruit to add more balance and you can Build a Better meal for your family. #haveaplant