Everyone loves pizza around the world, right? The delicious tasty smell of the cheese and tomatoes and all the other toppings and herbs. If you are not already heading for the refrigerator, stop and listen for a moment. The problem is that most pizzas have a relatively high saturated fat content – and that’s bad news if you try to take care of your heart health or you struggle against high LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.
The British Heart Foundation recommends a total daily fat intake of 95 grams for men and 70 grams for women. If you eat half of a typical stuffed crust 14 inch pepperoni Pizza, you consume about 75 grams of fat. So you can regularly way exceed your daily fat limit with the extra dietary intake of fat from other foods for the rest of the day. If you’ve been asked to avoid cheese, you may despair as you suffer from the craving for your favorite food – Pizza!
What if there was a type of pizza that was not only friendly to your heart health but actually reduced your cholesterol levels, the more you ate (within reason). Does that sound too good to be true? The good news for pizza lovers everywhere is that it is now possible. Incredible – a hearty Pizza packed with healthy ingredients that are friendly to your heart and health.
A new type of cheese that lowers cholesterol.
The breakthrough came with the introduction of a new type of cheese that has all the flavor of a ripe cheddar, but can be used as a topping for Pizza or Lasagna. In England, this product is known as miniCol. This is a healthy alternative to ‘normal’ cheese and is definitely to eat or cook with, for people who are concerned about cholesterol levels.
The difference between traditional cheddar and miniCol is that miniCol is made from milk that has removed virtually all of its dairy product and replaced with wheat brand oil containing many unsaturated fats and plant sterols. Most plants contain sterols, which are natural substances found as constituents of certain vegetable oils. Plant sterols are effective in lowering cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from the diet and also by stopping the re-uptake of cholesterol produced by the liver. Studies have shown that miniCol is found to be capable of reducing blood cholesterol levels.
You can find information about miniCol here: http://www.emmi-minicol.ch/news/
Pizza Margherita Recipe (Enhanced)
This recipe is for a basic 14 inch Pizza Margherita, but you can easily add additional healthy toppings such as tuna, chicken or extra lean beef (raw meat to marinate and pre-cook). Because you do it yourself, you know and control what goes into it. Manufacturers recommended the daily amount of miniCol Cheese at 65 grams per day. Person, so the recipe contains 130 grams – enough for 2 servings.
You have two choices for the base – you can either make your own using one of the excellent home-made bread machines now available, or buy a ready-made pizza base from the grocery store.
Dough (enough for 2 pizzas)
- Water – 1 cup
- Strong bread making flour – 3 cups
- Dried milk powder – 2 tablespoons
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Low sodium salt substitute – 1 tsp
- Yeast – 2 ½ teaspoons
All you have to do to make the dough is to throw all these ingredients into the bread maker and press the ‘pizza dough’ button. An hour later you will have a dough ball ready to roll to a pizza base.
The rest of Pizza
- Tomato paste tube
- 4 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Mixed herbs – 2 tablespoons
- 1 onion – chopped
- 2 tomatoes sliced
- 1 onion – sliced
- 1 green Capsicum slices
- olive oil
- 130 grams of ‘miniCol’ cheese grated
Assembling and cooking the pizza
- Cut the dough ball into 2 halves. You can freeze one half for another time.
- Spread some flour on the table top and layer the dough
- Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough the size of the Pizza cookie tray
- Spread a small amount of olive oil on the pizza bake and rub around with some kitchen towel (this will prevent the base from sticking)
- Place the pizza base on the baking tray
- Spread tomato puree from the tube evenly around the pizza base
- Sprinkle the freshly chopped garlic evenly in the tomato paste
- Collect tomato, onion and bell pepper evenly around the pizza base
- Sprinkle black pepper over the ingredients
- Spread the grated cheese over the ingredients
- Sprinkle the mixed herbs on top of the cheese – done
The finished pizza should be baked in the oven at 200 degrees for approx. 10 minutes and served with fresh salad and a glass of red wine.