OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS, I CANNOT EVEN BEGIN TO CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT (hence the all-caps) ON THIS ONE!!! Developing an alternative pizza crust recipe that actually holds up and tastes like pizza crust has seriously been my Holy Grail quest for like 2 years now and........... I'VE FINALLY DONE IT!!!
I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love pizza, right?! It's a no-fail dinner choice, definite go-to as a late night snack, and is even awesome as leftovers served cold for breakfast. On top of the fact that you can eat it anytime of day, pizza becomes even more versitile when you think of the never ending flavor options in terms of toppings.
The only thing NOT to love about traditional pizza is that it makes me feel like crap! I looked into it and here's the run-down on what I learned from registered dietitian-nutritionist Sonya Angelone on what exactly happens to your body when you eat pizza:
Sure, that first bite (or slice) is great! In fact, it activates the pleasure center in your brain and causes you to drool. This triggers the release of digestive enzymes in your mouth that start to break down the carbs from the crust into glucose (aka sugar) that your body can use as fuel.
Within 10-15 minutes, these sugars start to hit your bloodstream and you may experience belly bloating from your body continuing to digest and release gases.
In the next 5 minutes or so, your rising leptin levels will signal your body that you're getting full and tell you to stop eating as your cells absorb the sugar from your bloodsteam. If you continue eating anyway, your body will reject the fuel and instead send it to the liver to be turned into fat.
By the 30 minute mark, your stomach acids will be working to digest the fat from the cheese/toppings, releasing it into the bloodstream (therefore raising triglyceride levels) and eventually heading to the liver where it will be either sent to muscles to be used for fuel or stored as fat. This is also the same time that your body will stop releasing the hunger hormone, grehlin and you will feel satisfied.
If you're pretty healthy and stop eating when you start to feel satisfied after one slice, your triglyceride levels should taper off within about six hours. But grabbing a few more slices (and let's face it, it's often hard to stop at just one) will cause you to feel sluggish and your triglyceride levels will continue to rise even more, which can contribute to clogged arteries....ummmm, no thanks, I'll pass!
On top of making me feel crappy, "regular" pizza is extremely heavy on the calorie count and low on actual nutritional value. Just one slice of Papa John's cheese pizza packs on a whopping 295 calories and 38 grams of carbs.
In comparison, cheese pizza made with Kelly's Krazy Pizza Crust comes in at 155 calories, 7 grams of carbs (of which 3 grams are dietary fiber), and 15 grams of protein per slice.....AND it doesn't make me feel crappy since it's gluten-free and low-carb.
I am extremely happy to say that, for me, the hunt for a truly delicious alternative pizza crust is officially over!!