5 Fantastic Homemade Pizza Recipes For Boosting Brain Health

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Making pizza at home is always a fun family experience and can be a better option than your usual takeout. There’s no need to feel like you’re eating something unhealthy and greasy when chowing down on homemade pizza. In fact, it can be very healthy for you. With the toppings you decide to put on your pie, especially the cruciferous vegetable kind, you can actually boost your brain health. That’s why our team has compiled a list of some of the top homemade pizza recipes from the experts themselves to help improve your mental acumen.

One tasty topping to add to your homemade pizza is mushrooms, which may help sharpen your brainpower. A recent study finds that seniors who consume two portions of mushrooms per week are half as likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI). MCI is considered a stage of cognitive decline not as serious as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but sufferers still find themselves struggling to a degree with memory, attention, and other executive functions. As many as one in five seniors battle MCI, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) say that two portions of mushrooms is equal to about a half a plate or 300 grams, though even enjoying one portion a week still provides brain benefits.

For those who are pregnant, topping your homemade pizza with cruciferous vegetables is not only healthy for you, but also your baby. A recent study shows that eating a choline-heavy diet, including cruciferous veggies like broccoli, during pregnancy can boost the child’s attention span. The study compared 7-year-old children from mothers who ate a diet with normal levels of choline and another group from mothers eating twice the typical amount. The results suggest that recommended choline levels in dietary guidelines don’t fully meet the needs of a mother and her unborn child. Moreover, researchers say most prenatal vitamins don’t contain choline and 90 percent of pregnant women don’t even meet the recommended amounts in their daily diet.

Not only can adding cruciferous veggies to your pizza help boost your brain health, but it can also enhance a person’s blood vessel health. Researchers at Edith Cowan University in Australia say eating more cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower — could be the key to better blood vessel health. In the study, researchers looked at data from 684 women in Western Australia who were recruited in 1998. Results show that women who eat more than 45 grams of cruciferous veggies each day — equal to about ¼ cup of steamed broccoli or ½ cup raw cabbage — are 46 percent less likely to have calcium build-up on their aorta.

Maybe the best thing about making a homemade pizza is you don’t have to worry about pigging out on it! A study involving pizza finds people can eat much more than what normally makes them feel “full” without causing health problems. The University of Bath says young men are able to devour twice as much pizza when they push themselves. For some in the study of 22-37 year-olds, this means chowing down two-and-a-half large pies in one meal!

Are you ready to make some healthy and scrumptious homemade pizza? Our team has put together a list of just of the best, expert-recommended homemade pizza recipes that can help boost brain health. Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

The List: Best Homemade Pizza Recipes For Brain Health


1. Homemade White Pizza With Broccoli

“This delicious white pizza with broccoli recipe features steamed broccoli tossed in olive oil and red pepper flakes, ricotta cheese mixed with garlic, mozzarella, and fresh lemon zest. It’s a simple vegetarian meal that the whole family will love!”

Key brain health ingredients:

  • Broccoli florets
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups broccoli florets – cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil – divided
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes – more to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • 12 ounces pizza dough – store-bought or homemade
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest – more to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the pizza stone on the center rack of the oven while the oven preheats. If you don’t have a pizza stone, you can still preheat the pan or baking sheet you are using to cook the pizza.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli by placing the florets in a large skillet. Cover them with water, bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. (Be careful not to make the broccoli mushy.) You can also steam the broccoli in a vegetable steamer basket if you have one or use roasted broccoli instead. Drain the broccoli, transfer to a mixing bowl, and toss in about 1 tablespoon olive oil and the red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the pizza dough by pulling/rolling it into a ~12-inch flat circle on a floured surface. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. When you are ready to make the pizza, remove the pizza stone from the oven. Spray with nonstick cooking spray if needed (some pizza stones are inherently nonstick). Carefully slide the pizza dough onto the stone. You should hear it sizzle slightly; this is a good sign and means that you will have crispy crust! Brush the dough with a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with about half of the mozzarella cheese (~¾ cup).
  5. Place the steamed broccoli florets on top of the pizza, followed by dollops of the ricotta cheese and garlic mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese and lemon zest on the pizza. I like to finish the process by adding some more freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
  6. Place the pizza stone on the center rack of the oven, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the cheese bubbles and the crust is slightly browned. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, and cut into slices. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 476mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg


2. Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Possibly our favorite use of cauliflower as a culinary master of disguise is in pizza crust. It might sound crazy but it can be a delicious and healthy alternative to the classic. In this easy, gluten-free pizza recipe, you’re basically making cauliflower rice as base the base for your crust.

Key brain health ingredients:

  • large head cauliflower
  • grape or cherry tomatoes
  • garlic
  • large egg

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, divided
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 c. marinara or pizza sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Torn fresh basil, for serving
  • Balsamic glaze, for drizzling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large skillet, bring about 1/4″ water to a boil. Season with salt. Add cauliflower in one even layer and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean dish towel (or paper towels) and squeeze to drain water.
  2. Add drained cauliflower to food processor and pulse until grated. Drain excess water in paper towels.
  3. Transfer drained cauliflower to a large bowl and add egg, 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan, then season with salt.
  4. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with cooking spray and pat into a crust. Bake until golden and dried out, 20 minutes.
  5. Top crust with marinara, remaining mozzarella and Parm, garlic and tomatoes and bake until cheese is melted and crust is crisp, 10 minutes more.
  6. Garnish with basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.


3. Mushroom Pizza With Fresh Herbs

Now, what kind of mushrooms go on pizza? Literally any kind of fresh mushroom will work here, but not canned.

This mushroom pizza recipe uses a handful of fresh herbs: and it’s so much more fun to grow them yourself!” write Sonja and Alex Overhiser. “We grow herbs all summer long, and it’s one of the most satisfying things to run out to the garden and harvest a few herbs. You don’t even need garden space: you can just grow herbs in pots as long as you have a sunny ledge! And adding herbs to your cooking is a healthy flavor addition, without adding calories.

Key brain health ingredients:

  • mushrooms
  • goat cheese
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice

Ingredients

  • 1 ball Best Pizza Dough (or Food Processor Dough or Thin Crust Dough)
  • 1 ½ cups sliced mixed mushrooms (such as baby bella aka cremini, button, shiitake, and oyster)
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh thyme and oregano, plus more sprigs for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting the pizza peel
  • Cook Mode Prevent your screen from going dark

Instructions

  1. Make the pizza dough: Follow the Best Pizza Dough recipe to prepare the dough. (This takes about 15 minutes to make and 45 minutes to rest.)
  2. Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500°F. OR preheat your pizza oven (here’s the pizza oven we use).
  3. Prepare the toppings: Clean the mushrooms and slice them. In a saute pan or skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil to medium high heat. Add the mushrooms, chopped herbs, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When mushrooms are tender, reduce the heat to low, add lemon juice. Remove from the heat.
  4. Bake the pizza: When the oven is ready, dust a pizza peel with cornmeal or semolina flour. (If you don’t have a pizza peel, you can use a rimless baking sheet or the back of a rimmed baking sheet. But a pizza peel is well worth the investment!) Stretch the dough into a circle; see How to Stretch Pizza Dough for instructions. Then gently place the dough onto the pizza peel.
  5. Brush a thin layer of olive oil onto the crust. Then top with the mozzarella cheese in an even layer, then the cooked mushrooms, and crumbles of goat cheese. Garnish with the chopped chives and additional thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with 1 pinch kosher salt.
  6. Use the pizza peel to carefully transfer the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Bake the pizza until the cheese and crust are nicely browned, about 5 to 7 minutes in the oven (or 1 minute in a pizza oven). Slice into pieces and serve immediately.


4. Brussels Sprouts Pizza With Balsamic Red Onions

This pizza may not be for everyone, but I’m a fan. Boldly flavored, semi-caramelized onions with reduced balsamic vinegar, topped with mozzarella and Brussels sprouts (sliced two ways for maximum crispiness and texture) and a sprinkle of Parmesan for good measure,” says Cookie + Kate.

Key brain health ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • balsamic red onions
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil

Ingredients

  • Balsamic red onions
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium or 1 extra-large red onion
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Dash salt
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • Brussels sprouts
  • 8 ounces (½ pound) Brussels sprouts
  • 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pizza

  • 1 batch easy whole wheat pizza dough or store-bought whole wheat dough (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups grated low-moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese (6 to 8 ounces), depending on how cheesy you like your pizza
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place a pizza stone on the middle rack if you have one. Slice your onions into thin rounds (the thinner you slice them, the faster they will cook).
  2. Prepare the Brussels by slicing off the tough ends and discarding them. Use your fingers to pull off the individual leaves around the outside, then trim off the newly exposed tough end, and continue until you have broken the sprout into leaves. Repeat for about half of the Brussels sprouts, then slice the rest into thin slices from top to bottom. Drizzle the sprouts with 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil and toss well. Rub the oil into the sprout leaves so they’re all lightly coated in oil, adding another dash of oil if necessary. Toss with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. To prepare the red onions, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a dash of salt. Toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the onions are nice and soft. The thinner you sliced them, the sooner they will cook. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine. Continue cooking, uncovered, for a few more minutes, until the balsamic vinegar has condensed and mostly absorbed into the onions. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Prepare the pizza dough as directed. If you’re using store-bought dough like me, I’d roll it out into one pizza. If you’re using my pizza dough recipe, I’d make two pizzas. I like to roll out the dough on pieces of parchment paper for easy transfer to the oven. For best results, roll the dough out as thin as reasonably possible while maintaining an even surface level.
  5. Top the dough with an even layer of red onions, followed by mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle the Brussels on top, then finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
  6. Transfer one pizza to the oven at a time (if you don’t have a baking stone, bake your pizza on a cookie sheet). Bake until the crust is golden, the cheese is bubbly and the Brussels sprouts are crispy on the edges, about 10 to 14 minutes. Repeat with remaining pizza, if you have one. Top the pizza(s) with a light sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper (trust me!) and red pepper flakes if you’d like, then slice and serve.


5. Supreme Vegetarian Pizza With Mozzarella And Feta

This Vegetarian Pizza is loaded with fresh vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, and more! Pizza with veggies is a great way to use up your favorite vegetables. The mixture of salty feta and creamy mozzarella really make this easy veggie pizza recipe.

Key brain health ingredients:

  • Black Olives
  • Bell Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mushroooms
  • Onions

Ingredients

FOR THE PIZZA TOPPINGS

  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1 1/2 c fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled

FOR THE PIZZA DOUGH (MAKES 2 PIZZAS)

  • 1/2 c warm water, about 110 degrees
  • 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 c water, at room temp
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 c bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

FOR THE PIZZA TOPPINGS

  1. Toss zucchini with 1/2 tsp salt in a colander. Let sit for 30 minutes to release excess water. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron pan. Add the bell pepper, onions, and mushrooms, and saute for 3 – 5 minutes over medium heat to release any excess moisture.
  3. Preheat Grill.
  4. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce or tomato paste over crust of pizza. Season with salt, pepper, and the fresh basil.
  5. Evenly distribute vegetables over top. Sprinkle with feta and mozzarella.
  6. Preheat oven broiler.
  7. Brush grill grates with olive oil. Place crust, on preheated grill (don’t close the lid).
  8. You can place it directly on the grill grates or place the pizza pan on the grill. This time I did it in a pizza pan.
  9. You won’t want to step away because it cooks fast. It will take about 5 minutes, depending on your grill heat.
  10. After crust bottom is crispy and nice and brown, take pizza off and place it under the broiler in a stove until the cheese is golden and bubbly. This will give it a nice browned appearance on top.

FOR THE PIZZA DOUGH

  1. Measure warm water into a medium sized bowl or measuring cup (with at least a 2 c capacity).
  2. Sprinkle the yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
  3. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.
  4. Slowly add the liquids and continue to mix on low until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.
  5. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  6. Form dough into a ball and put in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Let rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in bulk. Press the dough to deflate.
  8. Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into pizza rounds.
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About the Author: Amelia Turner

Amelia Turner is a renowned archaeologist specializing in ancient civilizations. She has dedicated her life to uncovering hidden artifacts and deciphering the mysteries of lost cultures. Her expeditions have taken her to remote corners of the world, where she has made groundbreaking discoveries, reshaping our understanding of human history.

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