Everybody loves Pizza worldwide right? The delicious savory smell of the cheese and the tomatoes and all the other toppings and herbs. If you're not already heading off towards the direction of the refrigerator, stick around and listen up for a moment. The problem is that most Pizzas have a relatively high saturated fat content - and that's bad news if you are trying to look after your heart health, or you are battling against high blood LDL Cholesterol levels.
The British Heart Foundation recommends a total daily fat intake of 95 grams for men and 70 grams for women. If you eat a half of a typical stuffed crust 14 inch pepperoni Pizza you will consume approximately 75 grams of fat. So you could regularly way exceed your daily fat limit with the additional dietary fat intake from other foods during the rest of the day. If you have been told to avoid cheese you may despair as you suffer that craving for your favourite food - Pizza!
What if there was a type of Pizza that was not only friendly to your heart health, but actually REDUCED your Cholesterol level, the more you ate (within reason). Sounds too good to be true? Well the good news for pizza lovers everywhere is that it is now possible. Unbelievable - a heart healthy Pizza packed with healthy ingredients that is kind to your heart and health.
A new type of Cholesterol lowering cheese.
The breakthrough came with the introduction of a new type of cheese, which has all the flavour of a mature cheddar, but can be used as a topping for Pizza or Lasagna. In the United Kingdom this product is known as miniCol. This is a healthy alternative to 'normal' cheese and is perfectly safe to eat or cook with, for people with concerns about cholesterol levels.
The difference between traditional cheddar and miniCol is that miniCol is made from milk, which has had virtually all of its dairy fat removed and replaced with wheatgerm oil, which is high in polyunsaturated fat and plant sterols. Most plants contain Sterols which are natural substances found as component parts of certain vegetable oils. Plant sterols are effective in lowering cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, and also by stopping the re-absorption of cholesterol produced by the liver. Studies have shown that miniCol is proven to be capable of reducing blood cholesterol levels.
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Pizza Margherita Recipe (enhanced)
This recipe is for a basic 14 inch Pizza Margherita, but you can easily add further healthy toppings such as tuna, chicken or extra lean beef (raw meat to be marinated and precooked). Because you make it yourself you know and control what goes into it. The manufacturers recommended daily amount of miniCol Cheese is 65 grams per person, so the recipe contains 130 grams - enough for 2 servings.
You have two choices for the base - you can either make your own using one of the excellent home bread making machines now available, or buy a pre-made pizza base from the grocery store.
Dough (enough for 2 Pizzas)
- Water - 1 cup
- Strong Bread Making Flour - 3 Cups
- Dried Milk Powder - 2 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 2 Teaspoons
- Low Sodium Salt Substitute - 1 Teaspoon
- Yeast - 2 ½ Teaspoons
All you need to do to make the dough is to throw all these ingredients into the breadmaker and hit the 'pizza dough' button. An hour or so later you will have a ball of dough ready to roll into a pizza base.
Rest of Pizza
- Tomato Paste Tube
- 4 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
- Mixed Herbs - 2 Tablespoons
- 1 Onion - chopped
- 2 tomatoes- sliced
- 1 onion - sliced
- 1 Green Capsicum - sliced
- Olive Oil
- 130 grams of 'miniCol' cheese - grated
Assembling and cooking the Pizza
- Cut the dough ball into 2 halves. You can freeze one half for another time.
- Spread some flour onto the worktop and coat the dough
- Use a rolling pin and roll out the dough to the size of the Pizza cooking tray
- Spread a small amount of Olive Oil onto the pizza baking tray and rub around with some kitchen towel (this will stop the base from sticking)
- Place the pizza base onto the baking tray
- Spread Tomato paste from the tube evenly around the pizza base
- Sprinkle the freshly chopped garlic evenly into the tomato paste
- Assemble the tomato, onion and capsicum slices evenly around the pizza base
- Sprinkle the black pepper over the ingredients
- Spread the grated cheese over the top of the ingredients
- Sprinkle the mixed herbs onto the top of the cheese - done
The completed Pizza should be baked in the oven at 200 degrees for approx. 10 minutes and served with fresh salad and a glass of red wine.
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