Healthy pizza: top tips and recipes

Supermodel Cindy Crawford showed off to her Twitter fans on Monday when she announced she was going to eat some pizza with her husband Rande Gerber, son Presley, 13, and daughter Kaia, 11: "Off to have pizza night with my family!"

Delicious, oozing with cheese and other tasty ingredients, pizza is perfect for film night or the weekend, but if truth be told we all love a slice or two, whatever the day of the week. 

And believe it or not, you can enjoy pizza as part of a healthy diet, as long as you make a few smart choices to boost nutrition while cutting calories. Making your own pizza at home means you choose the ingredients and can stay away from fattier options, leaning instead towards healthy ones such as vegetables, rocket leaves and thin bases.

Next time you fancy a pizza, make it healthy by following these five easy steps...

Balsamic roasted red onion pizza with feta

Thin crust: go whole wheat. Or be creative and try a pitta or tortilla, both of which are thin, healthy and turn lovely and crunchy in the oven. Whatever you do, keep it thin!

Sauce: Use lots of traditional tomato sauce – not only is it tasty, but healthy and low in fat. Tomato sauce is also an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help to prevent some chronic disease. Better still, take inspiration from some restaurant recipes that have a light glaze of olive oil and fresh tomato slices in place of the sauce. For a cream alternative, try Greek yogurt.

Healthy Mexican tortilla pizza

Cheese: Although an excellent source of calcium, cheese is where lots of calories come from. Use a light, even sprinkling, or try a lower-fat type of cheese. 

Protein toppings: Steer clear of pepperoni and sausage, which are high in fats, and opt for lean topping options, such as grilled chicken, prawns, tuna, or make it vegetarian.

Toppings: There's no need to hold back on the vegetables. They're nutritious and low in calories, so pile on as much as you like. Some delicious choices include sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, olives, spinach, red and green peppers and mushrooms. Rocket is also great to sprinkle over the pizza once it's been taken fresh from the oven.

Pizza needn't be a weekend treat with our healthy pizza recipes...

Healthy tortilla pizza florentine

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