[Breakfast pizza: topped with sweet potato-almond spread, chopped chard, and cinnamon-coated apple slices]
Although the anti-candida diet doesn’t require its
victims suckers followers to eat a grain-free diet, I’ve found more and more that I tend to find it easier to adhere to the torment misery regimen when I eat grain free.
But let’s face it: cutting out yeast, sugars, gluten, fermented foods, and basically all common allergens (the critria of the ACD) is hard enough; why would someone also want to cut out all grains as well? (For some insightful, inspiring musings on living a life with food restrictions–for whatever reasons–take a peek at Iris’s honest post about her own dietary parameters).
As it stands, my friends generally think of me as pretty wacky (oh, wait, they thought that even before the ACD) and it’s always a challenge to join in on “normal” social activities while on this diet. Even at home, it can feel like deprivation if the food you eat is markedly different from that of everyone else in the house, or excludes many of the ingredients you enjoy eating.
[A full meal: topped with pesto, zucchini, black olives, green pepper, jalapenos and seasoned tofu]
That’s why I vowed to make my ACD-friendly foods just as appetizing as “regular” food. And, for the most, part, I think I’ve succeeded (well, there was that one early experimental muffin that the HH spewed across the table when he taste-tested it, but we won’t revisit that unfortunate incident today). Today’s recipe for grain-free pizza is a great example of an alternative that works.
After no less than a dozen trials, I finally hit upon the magical combination of grain-free ingredients that (a) mimic the texture of a grain-based crust to a great degree (I won’t say it’s 100%, because let’s face it, the base is made mostly of puréed beans–but it’s damn close); (b) allows you to hold a whole piece in your hands and eat it without crumbling to dust–just like regular pizza!; and (c) contains no xanthan gum (which, while it remains an ingredient in many of my baked goods, is one I know many people dislike). With a wee bit of care in preparation, this crust has become my favorite pizza base and the one I use most often, even on days when I feel it’s okay to consume grains.
I first shared this recipe on Susan’s blog as part of her My Legume Love Affair celebrations over the summer (congrats again, Susan, on four years of a fabulous blogger event!). After I posted photos of last weekend’s apple-cinnamon breakfast pizza on Facebook, I received a few inquiries about it, so thought I’d share it here as well.
Yep, there’s nothing like a classic pizza for dinner. With or without grains!
“Mum, we don’t care if it has grains or not–we love pizza crust! And for some reason, our pals think our diet is wacky, too. Don’t all dogs eat grain-free pizza crust?”
Grain-Free Pizza Crust (suitable for ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
It takes a little bit of advanced preparation, but apart from the extra baking time, this crust is a breeze to make.
1 can (19 oz or 540 ml) white kidney or navy beans, rinsed well and drained (about 2 cups/480 ml)
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic, plus about 1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra
1/2 cup (120 ml) unsweetened plain soymilk or almond milk
5 drops plain stevia liquid (or 1 tsp agave nectar)
4 tsp (1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp or 20 ml) apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (45 g or 1.6 oz) coconut flour
2 Tbsp (30 ml) whole chia seeds, ground to a meal in a coffee grinder (about 1/4 cup or 60 ml of the meal)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) potato starch
1/4 cup (60 ml) buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking soda
3/4 tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
1 tsp (5 ml) dried basil, optional (omit if you’ll be topping with sweet ingredients)
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Line a large pizza pan with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.
In the bowl of a food processor, process the beans and 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil until relatively smooth. Add the soymilk, stevia, vinegar, coconut flour, chia meal, potato starch, buckwheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and basil and process again until the mixture comes together in a ball. Do not overprocess!
Take the ball of dough and, using your hands, pull of chunks the size of baseballs and distribute them evenly over the pizza pan. Use the final 1 Tbsp (15 ml) of oil to grease your palms and fingertips; then press the dough evenly in the pan until all the chunks come together in a single crust. Keep greasing your hands as necessary to avoid sticking. If desired, make a slight rim all around the edge of the dough.
Bake in preheated oven 35-45 minutes, until the crust is quite dry and lightly browned on the edges and bottom (if you underbake at this stage, the inside of the dough will remain moist after the toppings have been added). Top with desired toppings, then return to the oven for another 30-35 minutes, until heated throughout and toppings are cooked. Slice and serve. Makes 4-6 servings. May be frozen. To freeze, wrap slices individually in plastic and freeze until solid, then store in a ziploc bag.
[Note: a later version of this recipe exists, tweaked to switch the chia for psyllium and to remove the potato starch. See the other recipe here. ]
Last Year at this Time: The Most Outrageously Decadent Ice Cream You Will Ever Eat (No Ice Cream Maker Required) (ACD Stage 2 and beyond; GF)
Three Years Ago: Holiday Apple Bundt Cake (not GF; not ACD friendly)