How to Make a Healthy Pizza

How to Make a Healthy PizzaOn the surface, pizza doesn’t seem like it’s really that bad for you. At it’s most basic, it’s bread, tomatoes, and cheese, all of which are relatively healthy considering some of the other things you could choose for lunch and dinner. But is pizza a healthy option or should it be lumped in with other fast foods and only eaten occasionally?

The reality is, whether a pizza is healthy depends entirely on your ingredients. Of course, extra cheese, meat, and loads of other toppings will only add to the caloric content and take the meal from “not that bad” to “you’re eating a week’s worth of calories in one meal” territory.

Let’s start with the base of the pizza: the crust. When you’re making a pizza yourself, you have many more options in terms of ingredients compared to a chain restaurant. I do realize that there are some pretty wacky pizza crust recipes out there, many of which are gluten-free or made with vegetables, but I’ll keep things traditional.

Like choosing bread to eat, you’ll want to choose a pizza crust that’s 100% whole grain. Making your own will require more effort than buying a pre-made pizza crust or a flatbread, but you’ll have more control over the ingredients and you can skip any necessary chemicals and preservatives. You can also control the thickness. As you can imagine, thinner is better, since you’ll be eating less of the dough.

For sauce, tomato is the obvious choice, but not your only option. If you do prefer a tomato base, choose a simple tomato paste with as few ingredients as possible. Store-bought “pizza sauce” often has a lot of ingredients you may not want, but with a simple tomato paste as your base, you can tailor it to your tastes. Or, you could go in a different direction and try salsa, humus, garlic paste, or pesto in place of tomato sauce.

Mozzarella is the classic cheese used for pizzas, but you could try and branch away from this and still arrive with a satisfying and delicious pizza to eat. Some of the healthiest cheeses to consider include feta, part-skim mozzarella, Swiss, or a combination of the three. Also, use the cheese sparingly to cut down on the calories. You should be able to see the sauce underneath!

Finally, we come to the toppings. This is the tipping point between healthy and Dominos. Obviously, you’ll want to choose vegetables rather than meats for toppings, but this doesn’t mean you will sacrifice flavor. Onions, sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, and even pineapple are all healthy and tasty choices.

Bon app├ętit!

What is Kombucha Tea?

What is Kombucha Tea?Like many things related to fitness and health, I was first introduced to kombucha tea via The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. While he hasn’t spoken much about it lately, Joe seemed to be on a big kombucha kick a year or so ago. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try it for myself, but I’ve always wondered, what is kombucha tea?

Kombucha tea is a tea that’s made by combining water, tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. Once combined, the bacteria and yeast consume the sugar, eventually producing a tea that’s fizzy like pop or beer, but with a slightly sour taste. Speaking of beer, the process of creating kombucha results in a tea that does contain alcohol, albeit a very small amount. Typically this is around one percent or less.

After looking into kombucha a little further, I realized that it’s actually possible to make it at home. All you need is a large glass jar, water, sugar, tea, and a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY for short. The last ingredient can actually be found online quite easily. There are even dehydrated SCOBY specifically for making kombucha tea. The rest of the ingredients you likely already have in your cupboards, or can find quite easily.

What’s a little strange about kombucha tea for anyone who hasn’t seen it before is that the SCOBY actually floats to the surface of the tea during the seven-to-ten day fermentation process. When it’s ready to drink is really up to you. After a week or so, you begin tasting it daily until it becomes appealing to your palate. At that point, you can scoop out the SCOBY, add it to a new batch of kombucha, and then pour (or strain) out the remaining kombucha into glass bottles.

Onnit Hemp Force Power Balls Recipe

Onnit Hemp Force Power Balls RecipeI’ve shared a couple Onnit Hemp Force recipes on this blog in the past, but they’ve all been for shakes that you drink. After checking out Onnit’s official blog, I uncovered a Hemp Force recipe, but not for something that you drink. This particular recipe is for something Onnit calls Hemp Force Power Balls!

My favorite type of recipe is a no-bake recipe, and that’s exactly what this one is, though you will need to use the stove briefly. Using only six ingredients, the recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, packed with protein, and doesn’t require you to add any sugar. You might even have all the ingredients in your cupboards already.

Ingredients:

  • a half cup of creamy peanut butter
  • one tablespoon of unrefined coconut oil
  • six scoops of Hemp Force protein powder
  • a half cup of almond milk
  • a half cup of coconut flakes
  • three cups of brown rice cereal

To prepare, you’ll need to grab a large saucepan and melt the peanut butter and coconut oil together. Using a separate bowl, combine the almond milk and protein powder and mix it into a thick paste. Then, add the protein powder mixture to the saucepan and mix again. Next, fold in the coconut and cereal and mix everything together. With your hands, roll the mixture into balls measuring one to two inches in width. That’s it! Store in an airtight container and eat them before working out or to curb your appetite between meals.

Obviously you can use whatever brand of peanut butter or unrefined coconut oil (though Onnit does have its own) and you can substitute brown rice cereal for Rice Krispies and the almond milk for regular milk if it’s of no issue to you, but the one ingredient that must remain is Onnit Hemp Force protein powder. This is because unlike other hemp protein powders, Hemp Force actually tastes good. If you make this recipe using any other type of protein powder, it likely won’t turn out too well so keep that in mind.

Again, this recipe was originally posted on the Onnit Blog, so all credit goes to them.

How to Make Your Own Healthy Granola

Make Your Own Healthy GranolaGranola has gotten kind of a bad rap for being unhealthy for you. A lot of store-bought varieties certainly are, not to mention expensive. Packed with sugar, many of them can be just as bad for you as a bowl of your favorite sugary cereal from your childhood. But if you spend a bit of time making a big batch of your own, you can have healthy low-fat granola ready to eat each morning.

Granola is great because it’s relatively easy to make at home and you can make up a recipe as you go using things you already have in your house. For the base, you’ll want to choose quick cook oats, making sure to not use instant oatmeal. Next, you’ll want to add in something that holds it all together into the crunchy clumps that are so satisfying to eat. Honey, egg whites, maple syrup, coconut oil, or even water are all good options. Use one or a combination of these ingredients depending on your tastes.

That would be good enough for me as it is, but you can add in virtually anything for more flavor, texture, and vitamins and minerals. Dried fruits like cranberries or apricots are a great choice, as are nuts, like almonds or walnuts. Coconut flakes are a popular choice as well. Sprinkle with cinnamon or stevia for sweetness and you’re good to go.

With your dry ingredients in one bowl, mix together the wet ingredients while your oven preheats to 300 degrees. Slowly pour the liquid over the dry ingredients, ensuring everything gets coated evenly before mixing. Next, pour the mixture on one or two lightly oiled cookie sheets, spreading into a large donut shape across each pan. Finally, bake for about a half an hour. After a cooling period or 15 minutes or so, break it up and separate into Ziploc bags or mason jars. From start to finish, you’re only spending about an hour of time to prepare many weeks worth of breakfast at a much more affordable price compared to store-bought oatmeal.

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake Recipe

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake RecipeI’ve done it, people. You can quit looking. I’ve come up with what could very well be the ultimate Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder shake recipe. I’ve been doing something similar for a while now, but Onnit just released its new Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter and it has taken my shakes over the top. It literally does taste like a milkshake now, so calling it a shake is actually quite fitting, except this particular shake is good for you.

I’ve been trying to cut down on dairy in favor of rice or almond milk, and fortunately there are a wide range of options from a variety of brands. I choose either a vanilla or chocolate rice or almond milk, but always unsweetened. The stevia that’s added to the Hemp Force will add a bit of sweetness to the shake, but to be honest, I enjoy this milk substitute on its own and it tastes just fine, so there’s really no reason to choose the sweetened variety.

With a cup or two of rice or almond milk as a base, I add in my Hemp Force, and then add in a banana, either a half or a whole depending on how big of a shake I want to make that day. I enjoy the taste of banana anyways, but I use it in this recipe because it thickens up the drink and gives it the consistency of an actual milkshake made with ice cream. Finally, I add in generous tablespoon or two of the new Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter. You can use regular natural peanut butter instead, which is what I used to do.

I’ll review the Onnit Walnut Almond Cashew Trilogy Butter at a later date, but for now I’ll just say that its benefits over using regular ol’ peanut butter are numerous, especially when included in a drink designed for maximum protein. Not to mention it tastes tremendous, too. I actually prefer almonds over peanuts, so this works well for me.

So that’s it! Then you blend it all up in your Blendtec blender (of course!) for a delicious, chocolatey, nutty, bananay (is that a word?) drink that’s packed with protein and will give you a kick in the butt in the morning. It literally feels like a treat, not something that would be good for you. Below is the full recipe, and let me know in the comments if you have any Hemp Force recipes of your own that are good!

The Best Onnit Hemp Force Protein Powder Shake Recipe