Do you know the staple food of ancient India was millet and not rice? High in fibre, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, millets are naturally gluten-free, non-allergenic and easily digestible. With low GI and always good for cholesterol, diabetes and weight loss, it’s not surprising that many people feel healthy and light when they incorporate more millets in their diet.
Sometimes it’s not intolerance but gluten sensitivity that make people feel better with gluten-free diets. Although difficult to diagnose, this can be worked out with diets incorporating alternate grains. And millets are a smart choice to start with.
As I always say, go slow in the beginning, take one step at a time and start adding millets to your everyday food. You must completely do away with processed snacks. In the name of gluten-free, you might be consuming high-calorie junk, which again is a vicious circle.
Market bought Gluten Free Pizza is one such trap. Any gluten-free flours cannot and should not be stored for long, forget the kneaded dough…and the preserved pizza bases! If it’s not fresh, it’s not healthy. So if you are just positioning your gluten meter, let me tell you, the rest of the parameters are already going for a toss. Zero nutrition, high fat, loads of preservatives and, I believe, a great compromise on taste as well.
This very thought of compromising on taste pushed me to demonstrate a 100 per cent gluten-free pizza in one of my Millets workshops recently. I’m happy to share that the results were awesome. But I earned my brownie points when my participants tried the same recipe back home and their kids went gaga about it. There is no other joy bigger than the joy of seeing your participants perfecting healthier recipes. When forgotten grains like Bajra, Ragi and Jowar are loved back in their most exotic form, I feel my job is done. That too, satisfactorily.
Read more for the step by step recipe of gluten-free pizza. Here, I have raised the nutrition meter by kneading the dough with all healthy winter veggies in steamed form. Try this recipe today and make your Sunday guilt-free and to some extent gluten-free.
Gluten Free Farm House Pizza with Homemade Pizza Sauce
Ingredients: (makes 6 Pizzas)
1 cup – Pre-roasted Ragi Flour
1 cup – Jowar flour
½ cup – Bajra flour
1.5 cup – Steamed Veggies pureed to knead (beetroot, turnip, spinach)
2 tsp – Jaggery powder
30 gms – Butter (1/4 block)
1 tsp – Instant yeast
1 tsp – Rock salt
Pizza sauce (homemade)
1 cup – Chopped bell peppers
½ cup – Sliced mushrooms
½ cup – Steamed sweet corns
1 block Mozzarella Cheese (can be substituted with homemade cottage cheese)
*Activate yeast in ¼ cup warm water with a pinch of jaggery powder.
*Let it stand for a few minutes until yeast is activated.
*Take all millet flours and add activated yeast mixture to it.
*Add butter at room temperature.
*Make a soft dough with light hands.
*Knead for 3-4 minutes.
*Let it ferment for 30-40 minutes (covered) till the dough significantly increases in size.
*Start forming a base on the parchment paper.
*Give shape, spread Pizza sauce and toppings (Mushroom, corns, bell peppers) followed by grated cheese and Pizza seasonings.
*Preheat oven for 180 C for 15 minutes
*Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Pizza Sauce (Ingredients):
1 medium – Onion chopped
2 medium – Tomatoes chopped
Residuals of bell peppers
Extra virgin Olive oil
2 tbsp – Tomato ketchup
1 tsp – Lemon juice
Rock Salt to taste
½ tsp – Red chilli powder
Method (Pizza Sauce): Saute onions and tomatoes along with other veggies in olive oil. Add salt and red chilli powder. Cool the mixture and blend it to a smooth paste. Add tomato ketchup and lemon juice. This pizza sauce should be used within a day. Try to make a fresh batch always.
Health benefits of Millet Flours and Winter Vegetables
There are countless health benefits if you start using Millets. They treat coronary artery disorders, help in weight loss, reduce risk of colon cancer, help to decrease high blood pressure, help in preventing Celiac disease, control diabetes, are a good source of antioxidants, help in slowing down muscle degradation, aid in sleep, relieve menstrual cramps, aid breast milk production and improve skin elasticity.
Spinach contains some essential vitamins like A, B, C, E, K, zinc, magnesium and large amounts of iron that is necessary for the red blood cells in the body.
Turnips are loaded with fibre and vitamins K, A, C, E, B1, B3, B5, B6, B2 and folate (one of the B vitamins), as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and copper. They are also a good source of phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and protein.
Beetroots are a great source of fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Beetroots and beetroot juice have been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved blood flow, lower blood pressure, and increased exercise performance.
Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits — they’re packed with vitamins and low in calories. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate and iron.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.
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