Pizza-Is It Good For You? & How To Make Pizza at Home

John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John's Pizza, stated that pizza is healthy if you don't eat too much. He advised that people only eat 1 to 2 slices, otherwise it is too much.  He advises against eating 5 or 6 slices. 

John Schnatter knows his pizza!  He began making pizza when he was 15...and is still making pizza today.  He began his business in 1984 after graduating from college with a degree in business administration.  What started off as a business located in the back of his father's bar, has grown into the "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Papa John's" of today.

According to Forbes magazine, Papa John's pizza is the only big chain using "real Italian fresh-packed sauce".  The other big chains use "re-manufactured sauce from concentrate".  Forbes state "that sauce is the cornerstone to John's motto: "Better ingredients. Better pizza."

http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/23/brands-marketing-walmart-oped-cx_jt_0724trout.html

An article in People magazine states that "Schnatter insists his success stems from using only purified water, fresh spring wheat, fresh-packed tomatoes and the lowest-fat mozzarella available."  Schnatter also began rating his pizza.  He sold the ones he rated 9 or 10, and threw out the 7's and below.  His idea was if he only sold perfect pizza, he would sell more.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20123514,00.html

How Healthy is Pizza?

Let's get back to the question of how healthy pizza actually is. I looked up Papa John's nutritional information.

One slice of a large cheese pizza has:

  • 300 Calories (600 per 2) (1800 per 6)
  • 39 grams of carbs (78 per 2) (234 per 6)
  • 3.5 grams of saturated fat (7 per 2) (21 per 6)
  • 750 mg of sodium

One slice of Hawaiian BBQ Chicken has:

  • 340 Calories (680 per 2) (2040 per 6)
  • 46 grams of carbs (92 per 2) (276 per 6)
  • 3.5 grams of fat (7 per 2) (21 per 6)
  • 960 mg of sodium (1920 per 2) (5760 per 6)

That is all fine and good, but what does it mean? I looked up the FDA's dietary guidelines and found these key points:

  • Calories
  • Females between the ages of 31 to 50 should consume 1800 calories daily (600 per meal if eating 3 meals daily)
  • Males between the ages of 31 to 50 should consume 2000 calories daily (667 per meal if eating 3 meals daily)
  • Carbs
  • Consume 271 grams daily (About 90 per meal)
  • Fats
  • Total fat should not excel 65 grams (About 22 per meal)
  • Saturated fats should not excel 17 grams (About 6 per meal)
  • Sodium
  • Consume less than 2300mg of sodium daily (About 767 per meal)

Looks as if John Schnatter knows what he is talking about. If you limit yourself to 1 to 2 pieces of pizza you are within most of the FDA's guidelines. Sodium is a concern, especially if you are middle aged or older, have high blood pressure or are of African American descent. 

Make Pizza at Home to Lower Sodium Content

The first thing to decide is are you going to make the crust from scratch or buy a premade shell.  Pizza crust is easy and quick to make at home.  You probably already have the ingredients in the pantry.  However, if you are feeling a little lazy, your best bet is buying some wheat pitas.  The pre-made pizza crusts have about 800 mg of sodium per serving.  One wheat pita has about 300 mg of sodium.

The second decision is the sauce.  Will you use your favorite spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, pizza sauce or just slice some tomato on it?  Regular pre-made pizza, spaghetti and tomato sauces all have sodium content of about 300mg per 1/4 cup.  Salt free tomato sauce usually has a sodium content of less than 20mg per 1/4 cup.

To keep the sodium content down even further it is best to stay away from processed meats, such as pepperoni and bacon.  However, I realize that many people don't consider pizza pizza without the pepperoni. 

This dough needs to be kneaded a little more.
This dough needs to be kneaded a little more.
This dough is done.
This dough is done.

How to Make a Pizza Crust

I have a recipe that I was given to me by a friend's Mom in New Jersey.  It is quick, easy and I let the dough rest while I prepare the other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups of flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water  
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the salt and the yeast in a large mixing bowl.  Add the water and the oil.  The water needs to be pretty warm, almost hot.  Mix with a fork until it forms a sticky dough.  Add 1 cup of the remaining flour into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time.  Knead the flour into the dough, adding more if needed to make a firm, smooth dough.  Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and let the dough rest for at least 10 minutes at room temperature.  If you want to make the dough ahead of time you can cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.  Give the dough at least 10 minutes to come up to room temperature after taking it out of the refrigerator. 

Be creative with your pizza!
Be creative with your pizza!

Make the Pizza

Collect the ingredients to put on top of your dough.  Shred the cheese and cut vegetables and meats into bite size pieces.  Use what ever you like,  be creative.  Remember, if you use sauce, it does not just have to be tomato based.  The sauce can be BBQ, Alfredo or salsa, to name a few...it all depends on what you want it to taste like. 

I use a 10 X 15 X 1 inch jelly roll pan to make my pizza.  Make sure you have the oven preheating to 400 degrees F so it heats up while you assemble your pizza.  Flour your hands well and pat the dough into the pan evenly, pushing it up the sides. 

Spread your sauce on evenly.  I never use a lot of sauce, usually there are areas of my dough that look more wet than red. 

Cover the sauce with cheese, put on your desired toppings and sprinkle a little more cheese over the toppings. 

Place the pan in the middle of the preheated oven.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  If you used a lot of toppings it may need more time.  Make sure the cheese has melted in the middle. 

Take your pizza out of the oven when it is done.  Let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes, cut and enjoy. 

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Comments 38 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Now I see pizza with a different eye - and it's good thing! Nice hub and thanks for sharing the recipe :D


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks, Glad you enjoyed it.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Kari, this pizza hub is creating a stir. It's one of the freshly served hubnuggets for friday the 13th. :-) Way to go. For more details and information, click Shirley's hub and read all about it. http://hubpages.com/community/Hubber-Poll-Your-Feb...

After reading your hub, I'm craving for a pizza LOL :-) Do vote and remember to ask your friends to vote for your hub too. :-)


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks ripplemaker! I'll go look.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

ripplemaker, after checking out the other hubs in the poll, I just want to thank the entire hubnugget team for selecting mine. I always knew Friday the 13th was actually a lucky day! (my son was born on the 13th)

Good Luck to everyone!


mamakaren 7 years ago

Good directions--especially the pictures! Ever try pesto as a base on the crust? YUM!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

I agree, Pesto makes an excellent base! Much better than tomato if you ask me. Thanks for reading!


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

What a wonderful hub!  I can't believe it has taken me this long to get here!

300 cal per slice, huh?  If they only want us to have 2 slices, they shouldn't make it so deliciious!!

I thought Papa Johns was the guy that used to work at Pizza Hut and took what he learned to build a better pizza.  I tend to get things mixed up.....

I do have to say that while in Hilton Head, SC, we stumbled on a restraunt called "Bravo! Pizza".  It is absolutely the very best pizza I have ever eaten, bar none.  The owner makes every pizza completely from scratch--his own sauce, dough, toppings marinated for HOURS--everything!!!  It was beyond delicious.  There was no way I was eating only two slices.  Great!  Now I'm craving it, and it will be a whole 3 years before we return!!!!

I'll be over for dinner later, k@ri.  Can I request pepperoni?  :-))


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Come on over! The kids always love pepperoni.

It's funny you should mention that he used to work at Pizza Hut. That is what I thought also, until I researched it.

If I'm ever in Hilton Head I will definitely check out Bravo!, just your description has me drooling! (Doesn't help that I still am eating about 80% raw)


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Okay, you're going to have to explain the 80% raw thing. I'm lost.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Read my hub "Eat Raw-Lose Weight". It is some diet my daughter wanted to try.


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

Hmm... I've missed out, then.

My doctor has ordered me onto this Mediterranean diet. I haven't started it yet--still in the phase of trying it out. Do you know anything about it?


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

A little...it sounds pretty appetising from what I have read. I like Italian, Spanish, Greek...to name a few.


Proud Mom profile image

Proud Mom 7 years ago from USA

So far I've gotten that it's a lot of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in place of butter and most fats, feta cheese rather than cheddar and such, although I haven't figured out why yet, grains, pastas and breads, which throws me off. Still researching.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Whole Grains, Pasta with vegetables, and whole grain bread. I think it is mainly about getting rid of white flour and sugar products, eating more whole grain and vegetables, and yes-extra virgin olive oil!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Aweome topic, K@ri, and to answer your question; YES, pizza is good for you. That is, non-frozen pizza is good for you. To prove this, simply look at the ingredients. Not a bad or junk food to be had. In fact, everything in a piiza is wholesome, healthy, and real food. Of course, just don't live on the stuff...

Did you know there's a pizza magazine? It's true. And it's FREE! It has the best Italian food recipes you'll ever find... anywhere, from Italian chefs and cooks.

Here's the link: http://www.pizzatoday.com/

PS: The best pizza restaurant? Numero Uno's


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Constant Walker, Thanks for the link! I signed up for the newsletter. The stuffed mushrooms look to die for. I read some of the other recipes, and the antipasto salad really looks good. Can't wait to try them!

Thanks for reading my hub. Pizza IS good for you as long as you don't eat too much. (or...eat too much, if it's going to be your only meal!)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

You're welcome.  Didn't want the magazine?  I framed one of the covers and hung it in my kitchen.  Looks great!  If you do sign up for the magazine, they'll ask for a business name (it's published for pizza restaurants), just make up something.  They won't check.  I've been getting mine for two years now.

Here's a pizza recipe I got from the magazine.  It was so drool-worthy I had to publish it on HP:  http://hubpages.com/food/Saffron-Vodka-Seafood-Piz...

If you change your mind, here's the free subscription page: https://macfadden-sub.halldata.com/site/MAC000004P...


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

I found it! I can't wait to get the magazine.


multimastery 7 years ago

Mmmm these Pizzas look Yummy!  I don't care how healthy or not they are I just Love 'Em! Thanks for the Hub:)


Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna Marie Bowman 7 years ago from Florida

Yummm!!! I attempted to make homemade pizza the other day, and it turned out ok...I think I needed a better recipe for the crust. I will have to try yours!!! Thanks!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Multimastery--Just don't try to eat more than 2 pieces :-))) You'll end up with a double chin!


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Anna Marie, I find the crust comes out well. Make sure the oven is heated up before you put it in. You can also rise this recipe for 1 hour in a warm, draft free area...keep it covered. Then punch it down, knead for 5 minutes, and use. It will be better, if you have time.


angelo 7 years ago

Hi, I'm sorry....I'm sure the "pizza" you make for your kids it's delicius! but please don't call it PIZZA.

I'm Italian and it's 30 year I make about 300 pizza a nights and I do not make pizza the way you do!

You can call it the way you lake but not PIZZA.

Thanks


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Angelo, Sorry to offend your Italian sensibilities...I'm not Italian, just American! Would you prefer "Flat Bread Pies"? Pizza has become a word for some crazy concoctions these days. The other day my daughter showed me a picture of a "corn dog pizza". Talk about bizarre!


blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 7 years ago from australia

Hi great story, well all my favourite things in the world are meant to be bad for me grrr.Why cant cheesecake, pancakes,crepes etc be the healthiest foods in the world lol.I watch what I eat all the time in my pursuit to stay slim.I adore pizza.When I make it I pile on the vegetables and use very little cheese.It then in fact becomes quite a healthy meal.It's hard going without cheese though aghhh


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Thanks blondepoet! I couldn't agree more, I love it with the veggies, but very hard without the cheese.


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

Nice hub and thanks for sharing the recipe


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Lgali, Thanks, glad you liked it!


apeksha profile image

apeksha 7 years ago from India.

I love pizza...


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

apeksha, I love pizza too! You should go up to the link Constant Walker provides and join up for the magazine. It is free and very nice!


TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

k@ri--As soon as I saw the pic of the pizza, I knew it was Papa John's! Our son works there, so needless to say--we order Papa John's whenever we want takeout pizza--of course, getting the 50% family discount DOES lean us towards it, too, lol...

Usually, our son makes ours himself, so we can special order it anyway we want, and it is soooo good--we keep telling him he needs to open his own place up--he a regular pizza genius, ha!

I'm afraid we couldn't do without the cheese, though...we have to have him pile it on...but we don't order it a lot, so we feel like we can indulge on occasion, lol...I do love veggie pizzas, though!!!

Great hub! :0


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Tamcor, It sounds like he really needs to open his own place. I will tell you that although pizza seems easy to make, pizza geniuses are very few and far between. Someone who can listen to what the customer wants will go far!

Personally, I cannot forgo the cheese myself...I don't eat pizza often so why not. I think it is more important to eat in moderation...hold yourself to 2 pieces tops...and enjoy the HECK out of it! Thanks!


s.aguilar1980 profile image

s.aguilar1980 6 years ago from Aspen, Colorado

I can eat pizza all day *sigh*


k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

s.aguilar, I soooo know how you feel! Thanks for stopping by. :D


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

I'm glad this came back. I missed it the first time.The best thing about making your own is you can put anything on. For instance, light alfredo sauce, cooked cubed chicken, tomato, red bell pepper, mushroom, olives, a little asagio cheese-- the best.


k@ri profile image

k@ri 6 years ago from Sunny Southern California Author

Rochelle, Mmmmm, Mmmmm, Mmmmm! I'm going to have to try your idea, my mouth is watering! :D


thefen 4 years ago

I think myself a good pizza once a year is the best thing for you, especially when the wife is gone for the weekend and you are working 12 and 16 hour shifts while she is gone

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