Gluten-Free Pizza

Having recently been diagnosed with adult-onset celiac disease, I’ve been slowing experimenting with various replacements for gluten-laden products that will now make me very sick. Some of these experiments have been more successful than others.

While good alternatives for most sweet baked goods exist for celiacs – I’ve found fantastic scones made with almond flour, decent corn-bread and a range of fantastic gluten-free cookies, bread is the biggest problem. Nothing except wheat really has the texture of wheat. Where this causes the biggest problem is in the realm of gluten-free pizza.

I’ve tried several brands of gluten-free pizza recently, and the only one that is remotely passage is Amy’s gluten-free spinach pizza with a rice-based crust. On the plus side, Amy’s pizza has a texture relatively similar to pizza as we know it, and the taste is pretty good too. The problem? Soy cheese. I realize Amy’s does this because many celiacs also have a problem with casein and/or dairy, making pizza an extremely dangerous and inconvenient food. The thing about soy cheese, though, is that although it takes fine it has a terrible texture and is disinclined to melt, making it easy to over- or undercook your gluten free pizza. That said, with trial and error, the Amy’s brand pizza is a viable alternative for celiacs. Amy’s gluten-free pizza also comes in a plain variety (no spinach). Do be aware there is also an Amy’s pizza made with a cornmeal crust, but it is not gluten-free and does contain wheat ingredients.

Two other varieties of gluten-free pizza I recently tried are worth noting only because they are so terrible. At $8 or more for a gluten-free pizza product (as opposed to $2 – $5 for those who can eat wheat), take my advice and save yourself the money. Unfortunately, I was so revolted by these options I discarded of them quickly, but hopefully this detailed description can help you avoid this gluten-free unpleasantness.

One pizza was explicitly designed for a healthy, low-carb diet, and also happened to be gluten-free. It came in plain and pepperoni varieties (yes, the pepperoni was also gluten-free which is what lured me in). This gluten-free pizza’s crust was made solely with egg whites – meaning it didn’t taste like anything, didn’t crisp up, and didn’t have the heft to support the cheese and meat toppings. Eating it was messy and unenjoyable. I recently described it to someone as “eating acidic grease on air” – make sure your gluten-free pizza crust is made with something to give it weight – rice flour, potato flour, tapioca starch, anything!

The other problematic gluten-free pizza I experienced was also a rice-based crust, but in this case brown rice was pressed flat into a pizza crust. It was clearly still rice, although toasted and mixed with sunflower seeds and some other ingredients. I thought this might provide an interesting illusion of eating a whole-grain crust – instead, this gluten-free pizza was sticky, hard to cook properly, and difficult and unpleasant to eat.

With gluten-free foods being so expensive, I hope this review helps you save some money. For me though, I think it’s time I gave up on pizza.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 − = six