To most people, pizza is almost synonymous with cheese. This presents a huge problem for vegans who enjoy pizza. The good news: it is really possible to make vegan pizza work without gimmicks or sacrifices in flavor. The result is actually tremendously more beneficial to health and will satiate even the most hardcore pizza cravings.
Don’t Cheat the Cheese
Many vegans looking for pizza will try to pretend they have cheese by using a cheese substitute. These products can be made at home or bought, but they generally do a poor job of tricking you into thinking you’re eating real cheese. Sometimes they are so off-putting that they ruin the pizza experience altogether.
Your best bet to getting on a path of enjoying vegan pizza is to stay away from cheese substitutes and the ultimate disappointment they will likely provide. Instead, focus on all of the true and tasty ways you can create a pizza without any cheese at all.
Lessons from Italy
Those who enjoy true Italian pizza in Italy come to realize that there are many ways to make delicious pizza. The secrets are in the crust and the quality and flavour of the toppings. True Italian pizzas are also very minimal. They contain just a few ingredients. One famous pie has little more than olive oil, rosemary and sea salt, and it is often hailed as one of the best pizzas available.
Take these Italian lessons to heart by focusing on crust quality and being light on ingredients. It may surprise many people how heavy coatings of cheese mask the true flavour of many other toppings. This is a key reason why cheese pizzas demand the strong flavours of cured meats and pickled vegetables. Without cheese, the subtle flavours of olive oil, fresh herbs, and other light toppings can shine in a way otherwise impossible.
Cutting Fat and Calories
Pizza isn’t generally hailed as a health food. In fact, large amounts of cheese and processed meats tend to make it decidedly terrible for one’s health. Vegan pizza is liberated from both of these problems. Pizza is transformed into something filled with healthy olive oil, vegetables and herbs on a thin and crispy crust. Vegan pizzas are much lower in saturated fat, phosphates from processed meat and empty calories. Instead, the right toppings can turn them into nutritional bounties that taste good, too.
Finding the Right Toppings
Remember that topping choice is everything when it comes to a vegan pizza. The subtlest flavors are going to be important, so quality becomes paramount. Fresh choices should be the norm. If possible, purchase organic from smaller, local shops or from a farmers’ market. Focus on bases of extra virgin olive oil or tomato sauce, freshly picked herbs and plenty of vegetables like onions, zucchini, garlic, peppers and even potatoes. You have more liberty to get creative than ever before.