There are three things about this pizza which make it pretty darn fabulous. (a) It’s vegan, which of course most pizzas are not, (b) it’s gluten free, which whilst you can sometimes get at pizza spots, it’s always a trade off in flavour, and (c) the topping combination is delicious. Once you’ve made this pizza I’m pretty sure you’ll be wanting to eat it every night the rest of the week. What’s more, all three elements of this recipe – the base, the mushroom topping, and the mozzarella sauce, are all fabulous recipes in their own right that you’re bound to want to use elsewhere. Think mushrooms on toast for brunch, creamy mozzarella on your favourite lasagna, or your go-to pizza toppings on this little-bit-special base.
The inspiration for this pizza base came from the Farinata, a chickpea based flatbread that's eaten in Italy. It's so simple to make with only five ingredients, and is naturally gluten free. It’s also really high in protein, and has a wonderful texture and taste. You really have to try it to appreciate how amazing it is! When I’m out at a restaurant, I’ll always opt for the authentic crispy thin Italian pizza base, but when I'm making pizzas at home, this chickpea version is my go to. If you're a pizza fan from way back, definitely give this Mushroom and Mozzarella Pizaa recipe a go - I know you are going to love it.
I often top this base with a tomato based sauce, then whatever veges we have on hand. This time though I wanted to get a bit more creative for you, and thought why not combine a pizza Bianca (pizza with just mozzarella, no tomato) with a funghi pizza (mushroom pizza) - my all time favorite pizza topping. Conveniently enough, a cousin of mine has also been growing the most amazing oyster mushrooms recently and gave me a container last week, so I thought what better a time than to get down and funghi on it!
I’ve used a combination of brown, portobello, and those lovely home grown oyster mushrooms, with fresh thyme from our garden, New Zealand garlic (not bleached like the imported stuff!), and shallots, to create a classic but delicious marriage of flavours. The whole thing is then topped off with the most delicious homemade mozzarella cheese sauce. I tested the final version out on my Mum for Mothers’ Day last Sunday (along with this Feijoa Crumble Cake), and it got the thumbs up all round. Mila even sat there picking all the mushrooms and shallots off the top, so yes it’s good for the kiddos too!
The marvellous mushroom
Whilst the base of this pizza is pretty fabulous, and the mozzarella sauce is to die for, the star flavour that really shines through is the marvelous mushroom. Mushrooms are one of my favourite ingredients I recommend people incorporate on a plant-based diet, as once cooked they take on a really dense and meaty texture and flavour. Perfect for convincing that carnivore in your life that plant-based foods can indeed be filling, substantial, and delicious!
The other wonderful thing about mushrooms is that they are one of the best plant-based sources of vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin, that we normally get from the sun. Indeed, it is almost impossible to get all of your vitamin D from diet alone, and so sunlight is still needed to get our fill (ie no hermiting away eating a truck load of mushrooms alone please). The best way to get your sunlight-derived vitamin D is by going for a 30 minute walk outside with your arms and legs bare, before 10am or after 4pm in summer, and around midday in winter. For people who live in very cold climates however, or places like northern Scandinavia where there are only very small amounts of sunlight during winter, then mushrooms are here to the rescue!
Mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D when they’re exposed to sunlight. An analysis of supermarket bought mushrooms showed they can contain up to 5mcg of vitamin D per 100g, around 50% of our daily needs. Organically grown mushrooms grown in small batches (and exposed to more sunlight) can meanwhile contain up to 10mcg per 100g serve, or 100% of our daily needs. This pizza contains 100g of marvelous mushrooms per serve, so one pizza devoured = your vitamin D done and dusted!
Vitamin D is needed for bone health and to maintain calcium homeostasis in the body, which is vital for muscle function and movement. It’s also important for our immune system, and can enhance our ability to fight those nasty winter colds and flus (which Mila seems to be bringing home a string of from pre-school of late). More mushrooms on the menu for us please!
So there you have it - make this delicious pizza, and eat it whilst basking in the evening sun. You’ll be sure to be getting a good ol’ dose of your vitamin D needs, as well as pleasantly surprising your taste buds. If you do give it a try, I’d love to see how you go, so tag your versions on Instagram @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics, and leave me a comment below. I love hearing when you’ve made and had success with my recipes – it truly makes my day – especially when the hubby and kids approve too!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and til next week, stay smiling and well.
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Always use certified organic, local and fairly traded ingredients wherever possiblePizza Base
c = 250ml cup, tbsp = 15ml tablespoon, tsp = 5ml teaspoon
* Soaked for 1-2 hours in cold water, or 5-10 minutes in boiling water.