Italian & Greek connection
An Italian saying, una faccia, una razza (Greek: “μια φάτσα μια ράτσα“), is quite often used in Greece to express the perception of close cultural affinities between Greeks and Italians. From ancient times, when our ancestors made colonies all over the Mediterranean, Greek culture has been interlaced with the people of Apennine peninsula. However, when it comes to cuisine, Italians take pride in starchy and carby addictive foods, such as pasta, pizza and all other wheat-based baked goods. Most of these taste amazing, I must admit. But, as with everything, we the Greeks like to argue. So I will argue the fact about who had Pizza first.
Ancient Greek Pizza
The Greeks and Egyptians were making some early versions of pizza several millennia ago. They baked flatbread in clay ovens. Interestingly, Ancient Greeks did not use wheat. They cultivated a cereal rich in magnesium and very low in gluten called Zea. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians specifically, were coating the bread with olive oil and various spices, similar to what we call focaccia today. In fact, the name Pizza comes from the Greek word Pita which was greatly used during the Byzantine times. Modern history teaches us that Pizza originates from the streets of Naples. Well, again, this amazing picturesque city was founded by Ancient Greeks. The first Greek settlements were established in the Naples area sometimes in the 2nd millennium BC.
If we take away the crust made with wheat or any other grain flour, pizza can be quite healthy! Especially if prepared with fresh and organic ingredients. Now, we know this is always a case in Mediterranean countries. Let’s take a version with mozzarella, bacon, spinach, rocket, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, or seafood. All great and healthy ingredients! When you pair them with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, basil and other beneficial spices, you have another level of nutritional values.
What is the problem with modern pizza?
Besides the fact that the crust is made with grain flour, which brought us clusters of autoimmune diseases, pizza in the western world is made with overprocessed and cheap ingredients. The kinds of cheese used for pizza are usually the lowest quality. Sometimes the cheese is totally artificial. It’s the hydrogenated vegetable fat that plays the role of real cheese. Furthermore, sausages, hams and dried meat products used for most modern pizzas are full of nitrates, artificial taste enhancers, conservatives and additives. The famous tomato salsa, which is always placed first on Pizza, is usually enhanced with real and artificial sugars. So, you end up with a bomb of addictive poison on the plate.
How can we make Pizza healthy?
Simple! Just make it keto and use 100% natural and organic ingredients. I know that there are many versions of Low-Carb Pizza on the internet. Nevertheless, my quest was to make a Pizza recipe that gives the same amount of satisfaction while keeping the healthy ingredients on your plate. Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will make this Keto version your new favourite comfort food. This Pizza can compete with the real thing, in fact – it’s even better than the real thing!
PIZZA GOES KETO
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp psyllium powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup bacon cut into small slices
- 12 thin slices prosciutto (cut into smaller pieces)
- mozzarella cheese (feel free to use the amount to your liking)
- 4 diced chilli peppers (the mild variety)
- basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder
- Place all the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl
- Add olive oil, eggs and mix with your hands to create a firm ball of dough
- Place a sheet of baking paper on a wide baking pan and add some olive oil
- Place the ball of dough in the centre and add some extra olive oil on top
- Cover with another baking sheet and roll the dough with a plaster until it’s 7mm thin
- Bake it in the oven at 200ºC for 15 minutes
- Mix the tomato and bell pepper in a food processor to create a sauce. Add the spices
- Spread the sauce on top of your half way baked crust and then add all the remaining ingredients on top
- Bake for another 15 minutes and sprinkle with dried oregano when ready
- Enjoy it without guilt!