leek asparagus pizza

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent lots of time in my kitchen cooking up some of my favorite Spring ingredients. One of the healthy recipes I made was this yeast and wheat-free Leek and Asparagus Pizza.

I wanted to try a yeast-free pizza dough recipe that I’ve had my eye on for some time. It’s the Yogurt Dough recipe from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (if you have the book, it’s on page 459; if you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it! It’s quite an enlightening take on nutrition and it has tons of intriguing recipes).

It’s a simple recipe made from butter, yogurt, spelt flour, and sea salt– not technically a sourdough (since there is no “starter”), but similar to one since it stands overnight before use. Not using yeast and allowing the ingredients to ferment overnight makes the resulting dough much easier to digest than a “regular” pizza dough. Fermenting the dough also makes the nutrients in the grain more available to your body.

I tinkered with the recipe by reducing the butter (from 1 cup to 1/4 cup) and I substituted Greek yogurt for standard yogurt (I just adore Greek yogurt because it is delicious and has a creamy texture that works beautifully in recipes). The yogurt I used in this recipe is the wonderful Oikos organic Greek yogurt made by Stonyfield Farms.

Yeast Free Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
1/4 cup organic butter, softened
1 cup Greek yogurt (I used Oikos plain non-fat organic Greek yogurt)
2 1/2-3 cups spelt flour
1 tsp. Himalayan or sea salt

Directions:
In an electric mixer, cream the butter with the yogurt. Add the salt and flour and mix until blended (use just enough flour so that you have a solid ball of dough). Place the dough in a bowl that has been buttered a bit and cover and allow to stand overnight (remember that it has no yeast so it’s not going to rise).

When you are ready to use the dough, preheat your oven to 350°F and sprinkle your rolling surface with some spelt flour. Roll your dough out to the desired shape. I made my pizza in a half sheet pan, so it was rolled into a large, thin rectangle. (The dough is very forgiving, so you can piece it together wherever necessary if the rolling doesn’t go too well for you.)

Sprinkle the pan you’ll be baking your pizza in with cornmeal, and then place your dough in the pan. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and then spread it with a thin layer of ricotta cheese (I used about 1 cup total–feel free to use a thicker layer of the ricotta cheese if you like; you could also skip the ricotta and make a more traditional pizza by spreading it with tomato sauce instead).

Spoon the leek asparagus pizza topping(see below) over the ricotta, season with salt and pepper, and bake in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes (you’ll know it’s done when the bottom is lightly browned and the dough appears cooked through; watch for the last few minutes to make sure it does not burn).

Leek and Asparagus Pizza Topping

Ingredients:
1 bunch leeks, white and green parts only (this is approx. 4 leeks–leeks need to be cleaned very well; I find it best to chop them first, and then place them in a colander and swish them under running water for a few minutes)
2 Tb. olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, chopped (remove and discard/compost tough ends)
Himalayan or sea salt and black pepper

Directions:
Clean and chop the leeks. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the leeks, cover, and cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Uncover and add the chopped asparagus; cook for a few more minutes, just until the asparagus is tender. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool a bit before spooning over the ricotta cheese. Bake as directed above.

yeast-free pizza

These wheat free dark chocolate cupcakes are the among the best healthy chocolate cupcake recipes I have made. Instead of the typically overconsumed and often allergenic wheat flour, they are made with nutritious spelt flour.

darkchocolatecupcakerecipes1

Spelt flour does contain gluten, so these are not gluten-free (you can find a gluten-free chocolate cake recipe here).

I usually use raw chocolate powder in my dark chocolate recipes, but I ran out…I used Rapunzel brand organic cocoa powder instead, along with organic sugar and just a little organic butter. I was really pleased with how super “chocolate-y” and absolutely scrumptious these turned out.

As far as chocolate dessert recipes go, I think these are pretty healthy, and they will make a great addition to your healthy chocolate recipes collection. Just know that for optimal health, all sugar, even organic sugar, should be limited as much as possible, and it should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight.

If you really like dark chocolate, you could try reducing the sugar by 1/4-1/2 cup.

Wheat Free Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

*1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 1/2 cups organic sugar
*1 cup spelt flour (I used Bob's Red Mill brand)
*1/4 teaspoons baking soda
*1/4 teaspoons Himalayan or sea salt
*1 cup cultured buttermilk (I used low fat because that is what I had in the house; you could also use organic plain yogurt or organic regular or low fat sour cream)
*2 eggs, preferably organic and free-range
*2 tablespoons organic butter, melted
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting:

*4 tablespoons organic cocoa powder (or raw chocolate/cacao powder)
*2 tablespoons agave syrup
*2 tablespoons organic creme fraiche (or organic low fat sour cream)

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients (cocoa powder through salt). In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (buttermilk through vanilla).

2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix well with a rubber spatula.

3. Pour batter into cupcake tins that have been lined with paper liners or smeared with a little melted organic butter (or melted coconut oil).

4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool before removing from the pan. You can serve these "as is", sprinkled with a little organic powdered sugar, or topped with the following easy and healthy chocolate frosting that contains no refined sugar or trans-fats.

5. For the frosting, mix ingredients together in a small bowl until the desired consistency is reached. I personally like the tangy not-too-sweet flavor achieved with the 2 tablespoons of agave syrup, but sample the frosting and adjust the flavors to your taste accordingly. Enjoy!

This healthy fruit soda is a homemade treat that’s not very hard to make…patience is the only skill that is required, as you’ll have to wait a little while to enjoy it.

blueberrysoda

There is nothing like a cold and bubbly drink to quench your thirst, but sodas are generally terrible for you. High in corn syrup or sugar (or artificial sweeteners, which aren’t good for you, either) and chemicals that make a mess of your body’s calcium balance, I try to consume them rarely, if ever.

This healthy fruit soda, on the other hand, is made using the lacto-fermentation method.  Lactofermented foods and drinks are excellent for your health (they are particularly good for the digestive system, the immune system, and they help with natural weight loss, too).

I got this healthy soda recipe from the wonderful folks at LearningHerbs.com. I try to keep the ginger soda culture on hand at all times, because this is one of my kids’ favorite healthy drinks.

I used organic frozen blueberries, strawberries, and mango in my most recent batch of homemade soda and I let this batch ferment for about a week.  In warmer weather, it takes less time to get bubbly.

If you’re interested in healthy drink recipes, I highly suggest you try this one (and again, thanks to LearningHerbs.com for the inspiration!)