Friday the 19th June
Pizza is one of the most popular ready meal takeaways in the world, but the real history of pizza starts in Italy, as pizza dates back to at least the 1st Century B.C., when the Roman poet Virgil wrote “To mend the scanty meal, their cakes of flour. See, we devour the plates on which we fed.”
Pizza has always been associated in modern society as a party treat or a staple meal choice for some, as it is not the healthiest meal, but you just can’t beat the taste. As a vegan I struggled to find a healthy non-dairy pizza which still tasted just as good, until I discovered the vegetable base pizzas such as cauliflower, quinoa and butternut squash. I was so intrigued by the idea of a healthy pizza so I had to try it out for myself. After trying loads of different vegetable I found butternut squash was the most flavoursome, which suited me.
This recipe combines some of my favourite flavours of vegetables and spices, but you can go mad with the flavours, changing the topping choice and even the base vegetable to suit your needs. I chose butternut squash for the base as it’s such a fragrant vegetable, with a great texture, it lightens up any meal. I then made my own pesto as the sauce but you can use tomato if you wish ( but ideally pesto is more healthier and nutritious ). I just found pesto suited the butternut squash better as on previous attempts the tomato sauce was too pungent tasting.
1 butternut squash cashew nuts
100g ground almonds 1 cup of fresh spinach
150g buckwheat flour 5-10 basil leaves
3 tablespoons flaxseed juice of ½ lime
1 teaspoon dried oregano sprinkle of salt and pepper
Sprinkle of salt and pepper glug of extra virgin olive oil
Toppings: You can go for any topping you like but I used spinach,cherry tomatoes, peppers, red onions and pine nuts. Make the recipe fun by alternating your toppings.
Pre heat the oven to 200. Firstly wash the butternut squash in the sink. Then cut it in half down the middle into two equally sized sections, taking out the pulp (I often keep the pulp and use it in soups as I don’t waste anything). Find a deep roasting dish and fill it half with water, then place the two pieces of butternut squash in the dish in the oven for 45 minutes to soften it, so you can make it into a dough. After 45 minutes the butternut squash should be a soft smooth texture.
Whilst the butternut squash is left to cool, in a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of flaxseed with 4 tablespoons of water and leave it to settle.
Then scoop out the butternut squash, leaving just the skin behind and put it in a mixing bowl. Add all the base ingredients to the bowl and mix together forming a sticky dough. Then take a piece of grease proof paper on a baking tray. Spread the dough on the baking sheet to form a base shape. Make sure that the base is not to thin or else it will burn, I made a rectangle shape but you can make any shape you wish.
Put the base in the pre heated oven on the middle shelf for up to 35 minutes on 200c, until it is lighter in shape with a crunchy bready texture.
Whilst the base is cooking make the pesto by adding all the pesto ingredients into a high speed blender/food processor until a thick smooth consistency has been reached.
When the base is cooked leave to cool for 5 minutes. Spread the pesto over the base, but leave the sides free to make a crust. Then add the topping of your choice evenly on the pizza, returning it back into the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.
You can then drizzle some olive oil on top of the pizza and sprinkle some dried herbs along with salt and pepper.
I hope you enjoy this blog post. I was inspired by Niomi Smarts and Marcus Butlers recipe video, they both did an amazing video about it ,I will leave it below .