Paleo Pizza — Making Use of Flax Part 1

My continuing weakness — in spite of profound allergies to all things glutenous — is any kind of bread, and pizza definitely falls under the category of bread (as well as under the category of bliss). But bread is no longer on my plate, so what’s a cavegirl to do?

The Paleo community to the rescue! This recipe is a conglomeration of a bunch of different Paleo Pizza recipes from around the ‘net, and does a surprisingly good job of reining in those wild pizza cravings. The crust is more bread-like than pizza-crusty due to the lack of gluten, but it works. The toppings are the same as traditional pizza, so that definitely works!

Milled or ground flax seed is a popular ingredient in low-carb recipes, and for good reason. It’s super high in soluble fiber (over 93% of the carbs are fiber) and omega-3 fatty acids and it has a yummy, nutty taste. Flax also provides interesting texture, with a nice, subtle bit of graininess that lends itself well to the bread experience. I mill my own flax in a spice grinder, as pre-ground flax is more susceptible to rancidity and will not last as long as whole seeds (keep them in the fridge, too, to extend shelf life).

This recipe makes a pie about 12″ in diameter with a very thin crust. If you like a thicker crust, don’t spread it out as far and you’ll have a smaller pie. You could also bake the crust in an 8″ or 9″ pie or cake pan, which would eliminate the flipping stage.

Almond flour can be made at home with whole nuts and a food processor/spice grinder if you can’t locate the flour in the store (the flours are available online as well). Coconuts don’t process into flour easily at home; due to the fat content, they tend to end up as more of a paste (a very delicious paste!). Commercial coconut flour is mostly de-fatted. Almonds are much easier to process if you buy sliced as opposed to whole — the whole nuts make a heck of a racket in a food processor. Sort of sounds like trying to process quartz gravel.

Dough:
4 eggs
1/3 cup coconut flour (or half almond flour/half coconut flour)
1/3 cup flax meal
1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, stirred thoroughly)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Oregano
pinch of salt
water

Topping:
Mozzarella cheese (or cheese of your choice — cheddar is delicious)
Tomato sauce
Any meats or veggies

(I make my own sauce out of tomato paste thinned with a little water, with dried basil mixed in. Store bought sauce tends to have added sugar in some form or another.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pre-sift coconut flour (and almond flour if using); they tend to be lumpy and the lumps don’t break up easily the way they do in wheat flour.  If you don’t have a sifter, put the flour in a separate dish and crush the chunks with your fingers or a fork.

In a mixing bowl (preferably the sort with a pouring lip), lightly beat eggs. Add all other ingredients (except water) and combine.  The garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano should be added to taste.  Add water as the flour soaks up the coconut milk and eggs; coconut flour is an especially thirsty little particle.

Stir until the dough has the consistency of pancake batter. If it’s too thick to stir, keep adding water 1 – 2 tbsp at a time to loosen it (if you go too far, just sprinkle in more flour). It should end up fairly wet, and won’t form a ball the way regular dough will. The final dough should be thin enough to pour slowly but thick enough not to spread without help.

On a baking sheet, place a layer of parchment paper. Pour/scrape the dough onto the paper and spread into a circle with the back of a large spoon to a diameter of about 12″ (depending on how thick you want your crust). Bake in preheated oven for ten minutes. After ten minutes, turn on the broiler with the dough still in the oven to brown the top a little (keep an eye on it! less than five minutes. when it burns, it burns fast).

When the dough is nicely browned, take it out. Slide an oven-mitt-protected hand under the paper and quickly flip the dough onto its belly on the bare pan. This will put the browned side down. Add sauce, cheese, and any toppings, place back under the broiler for 15 minutes or until done.

Very very oh yum!

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 223
Fat: 16g
Protein: 13g
Carbs: 8.5g
Fiber: 3.8g
Net Carbs: 4.7g

(a regular Mushroom Pepper Pizza slice of similar size has 35g Net Carbs, 11g fat, 287 calories)

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