It’s National Pizza Day: Here are 3 healthy pizzas to make at home

If we counted days solely based on our Instagram feeds, it would seem like nearly every day of the year celebrates a type of food. In fact, there are at least 175 days each year that recognize food or drinks, according to the New York Times.

But the most popular food day of the calendar year may be National Pizza Day, which occurs annually on Feb. 9. According to the National Day Calendar, pizzerias make up 17 percent of American restaurants, and over 3 billion pies will be sold in the U.S. this year. On Super Bowl Sunday alone, Americans were expected to buy over 12.5 million pizzas.

While there isn’t a magical “zero-calorie pizza” on the market, Yahoo New York’s Executive Chef Jo-Ann Abuzo consistently bakes healthy pizza alternatives in the office’s cafeteria. In honor of National Pizza Day, she shared three healthy recipes to Yahoo News’s Summer Delaney that still taste like your favorite childhood snack.

Sweet Potato Base Pizzas
Sweet potatoes are a great crust alternative for someone who can’t eat gluten or is trying to cut back on carbohydrates. According to Abuzo, they are also a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

2 sweet potatoes (or yams)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Before you begin chopping up toppings for your homemade pizza, Abuzo recommends washing and then cutting a sweet potato lengthwise into half-inch slices which will make up each “slice” of pizza. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper before roasting them in a preheated 350° oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Once your half-inch slices are tender and cooled down, it’s time to put on the toppings. One delicious combination is adding smoked Gouda, chopped chicken, tomatoes and avocado. See below for the final baking instruction.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Like sweet potatoes, a cauliflower makes a healthy alternative to regular pizza crust. As an added bonus, the dough looks like regular pizza crust, so kids won’t know they’re eating vegetables!

1 head of cauliflower, cut into big chunks and put in processor until resembles rice
1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg

Cook the cut and processed, rice-like cauliflower in a sauté pan over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes to evaporate any excess liquid. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the egg, salt and cheese. After the cauliflower is done, combine all ingredients, which will make a doughy base. Mold the base in a round, pizza shape and add topping ingredients such as blue cheese, roasted pears and fennel. See below for the final baking instruction.

Flatbread Pizzas
Flatbread is the most common alternative to a regular pizza crust, and while you can make your own homemade base, you can also buy flatbread at your local grocery store. At home, preheat your oven to 350° before toasting your flatbreads for 5 minutes. After they have cooled down, add toppings like grated smoked Gouda, diced chicken and avocado.

For all of the above homemade pizzas, Abruzo recommends baking them for 8 to 10 minutes with your oven set at 500°, or as high as it will go. After your pizzas are cooked, feel free to add extra toppings, such as extra avocados, olive oil or parsley.

Bon appétit!

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