Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) Pizza!45
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) is an eating plan to help deal with inflammation & chronic illness – it’s great that there’s a dietary approach to help lessen symptoms of many common conditions. I’ve personally found it very successful in addressing my various health issues including eczema, leaky gut, food intolerances and more, but it does involve the elimination of common inflammatory foods, such as grains, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds & seed-spices, and nightshades (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes). So, when it comes to a food like pizza, you’ve generally got layers of NOPE when you’re eating according to the AIP, since you can’t do a grain-based crust, no tomato sauce, or cheese.
AIP Pizza starts with a good AIP Pizza Crust
So then, how is this delicious-looking pizza even possible? It all started when I saw The Domestic Man’s AIP flatbread recipe. This flatbread is savory and mouth-watering and gets its cheesy flavor from nutritional yeast, so it’s dairy-free. It makes for the perfect pizza crust because it’s got the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the inside texture too. Now, I’ve done a few variations on this flatbread depending on what I’ve got on hand. Sometimes, I’ll throw in some chopped onion or garlic, or both, and instead of a rosemary/oregano mix, I’ll throw in two teaspoons of Italian seasoning mix instead (if you’re following AIP, make sure your seasoning mix is free of seed spices & nightshades). Really, you can experiment with the seasonings here and get some great flavors going.
An important note about tapioca flour: tapioca is derived from yuca and thanks to The Curious Coconut’s Plantain Stew Recipe, I now know that tapioca may be cross-reactive with gluten for some people. If you’re celiac or gluten-sensitive, I suggest you go over and read Amanda’s “Important Note about Yuca” (and while you’re at it, bookmark her AIP stew recipe for later). Update: If you are sensitive to tapioca, substitute the tapioca flour for arrowroot flour. The result is pretty much the same, though using arrowroot flour seems just a touch less stretchy to me.
AIP Pizza Sauce: Tomato-less Pizza Sauce!
Inspiration for this autoimmune protocol pizza struck when faced with some leftover roasted sweet potatoes – when blended, it’s got the right consistency for a sauce. Add some garlic, salt & seasoning, et voilà: a tomato-less pizza sauce. I’ll admit that the sweet potato sauce is a bit, well, sweet, so I’ve since found that canned pumpkin purée or roasted squash also works well, without being as sweet.
AIP Pizza Toppings: Go wild within what you can eat ;)
Really, this is where leftovers are great! For this particular pizza, I used up a lot of what I had in the fridge, including the roasted sweet potatoes for the sauce. This pizza was topped with a few leaves of spinach, sliced mushrooms, red onions, roasted chicken, and bacon. With leftovers, you can pretty much expect to have a pizza dinner on the table in under an hour. It’s not as fast as delivery, but you’ll know exactly what went into it, and your body will thank you when you avoid the symptoms you may be prone to when indulging in regular pizza.
- 1 cup of roasted sweet potato, roasted squash or canned pumpkin purée
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1-2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small handful of spinach
- 2 white mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
- 3/4 cup chopped roasted chicken
- 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour or arrowroot flour, if you are highly sensitive to tapioca (or could have a potential gluten cross-reaction with tapioca).
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- If you don't have leftover roasted sweet potato on hand, you can take one large sweet potato and pierce several times with a fork. Microwave on high for seven minutes, covered with a moistened paper towel or damp cloth. Scrape the sweet potato away from the skin. For roasted squash, cube your squash and roast at 400F for 25-30 minutes. Blend the sweet potato or squash with a hand blender until you get a consistency similar to tomato sauce.
- To your one cup of roasted sweet potato, squash or canned pumpkin purée, add 1/4 tsp of sea salt, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and minced garlic until well mixed. Set aside your pizza sauce until you are ready to assemble your pizza.
- Make sure all your toppings are ready before you start your crust. Slice or chop your raw ingredients (mushrooms, onions), and wash and dry your spinach and set aside. Pre-cook & chop your bacon and use leftover roasted chicken.
- Place your cast iron skillet or pizza stone in the oven and heat it to 500F while you prepare your dough.
- Set aside tapioca starch in a mixing bowl.
- In a small pot, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt and heat on medium until steaming. Add this to the tapioca starch and mix together.
- Add the nutritional yeast, 2 tbsp of onion, chopped garlic and Italian seasoning and knead together until seasonings are well-mixed and a dough forms.
- Be very careful not to burn yourself on the cast iron pan or on a pizza stone! Spread your dough to about 1/4" thickness. Your pizza is now ready for toppings.
- Dollop your pizza sauce on the prepared crust and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
- Top your pizza with raw spinach, raw mushrooms, and roasted chicken. Sprinkle chopped red onion and cooked chopped bacon. Feel free to use your favorite toppings instead! Leftovers make for interesting pizza toppings.
- Bake at 500F for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy!
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