Gluten Free Thrive Diet Inspired “Pizza” With White Bean Sunflower Crust and Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

When first transitioning into veganism, pizza was my biggest temptation. I cut out eggs (which I ate all the time), milk (which I always thought was gross) and butter (which I never used) and all other dairy products just fine. I’ve always loooved pizza. Even after cutting out all other dairy I did eat some pizza every now and then for the first couple months into my transition. Finally, I told myself that I was being wrong and I wasn’t fully committing to this lifestyle. I’ve made plenty of delicious homemade pizzas without cheese or with daiya and I’ve been to a vegan pizza place and they’ve all been even more delicious than the traditional pizza.

If you take apart the ingredients of a traditional pizza, it’s anything but healthy. White, enriched, bleached flour for dough. The sauce does have tomatoes in it, but there’s also a high chance of the sauce containing sugar or other unwanted ingredients. And then there’s the cheese, and lot’s of it. So the whole thing is just unhealthy. And I dont know about you, but I always found it hard to eat just one piece of pizza.

What I decided to experiment with is a Thrive Diet¬†inspired pizza. The Thrive Diet is something that athlete Brendan Brazier put together to optimize your full athletic potential by eating whole, vegan (and raw vegan) food and cutting out allergens and processed food. In his book, he has recipes for what he calls pizza. These are not the traditional pizzas you’d find in a pizza shop. These are pizzas with crusts made with ingredients like chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and / or beets. I had never thought of a pizza with a wheat-less crust, so I decided to try out my own recipe.

1. Crust recipe:

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 can white beans (any kind will do)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 clove garlic

a couple pinches of sea salt, dried rosemary, and black pepper

Before you do anything, preheat the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit so it’s ready for action.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process until everything comes together. Make sure the oil is well incorporated into the entire thing and the herbs and spices are all mixed in. Then take the dough and flatten it onto a greased sheet pan. I made two small pizzas, but you can easily make one big one.

2. Sauce recipe:

1 1/2 cup tomato

2 gloves garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

a few pinches of fresh or dried rosemary and basil

a dash of black pepper

4 sun-dried tomatoes

Add all the ingredients except sun-dried tomatoes to the food processor. Process until everything is chopped and then add sun-dried tomatoes and process again. Evenly spread the sauce mixture onto your dough.

3. Veggies

This step is up to you, add any veggies that you want! For mine, I just added spinach and extra basil leaves. Here are some suggestions for good toppings: red onion, white onion, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, seaweed, zucchini, daiya, nutritional yeast

4. Bake

By now, you should have preheated the oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. If not, then do this now and wait until your oven is ready. When it’s preheated, add the pizza and bake for about 45 minutes or until the crust is crisp. Don’t be surprised if it falls apart when you’re eating it. Like I said, it isn’t traditional pizza! Cut a slice and use a spatula to transfer it to your plate. This is best eaten with a fork. This “pizza” is loaded with nutrients and the textures and the flavors are really incredible!

Have you heard of the Thrive Diet? Have you read any of the books by Brazier? What do you think? If you try this pizza or have tried any other thrive diet inspired pizzas, let me know what you think!