Think back to one of your favorite childhood memories. Maybe it’s a birthday party at the local arcade. Maybe it’s a family dinner, with everyone gathered around the kitchen table. Maybe it’s a special vacation where you discovered a fun new restaurant. We’re willing to bet that at least one of your favorite memories involves food. The fact is, our memory is linked to it.
Harvard University Press' blog tells us that it’s, in part, due to the way our brain has evolved. Finding food is critical to survival, so our brains developed in such a way to create core memories around food. But it’s not just that. Some of the best memories we have about food are also about emotions. A pizza party at a skating rink or a new candy bar shared with a family member are fun, joyous, silly memories—one’s we likely want to hold on to (as long as the pizza and candy bar were tasty, at least!). It boils down to this: food is tied to survival, emotion, culture, and connection.
But when you or a loved one is on a strict diet—for whatever reason—food can be challenging. For the gluten free community, finding gluten free food that fuels the body and tastes great sometimes feels like an impossible task. This is especially true when searching for alternatives to foods that traditionally have gluten as a primary ingredient, like pizza.
At ZeroCarb LYFE, we're out to change that. Made from just four ingredients–chicken, olive oil, salt, and spices–our pizza crusts are keto-friendly, diabetic-friendly, and totally free from gluten. And on top of that, they taste great too! Before we talk more about our products and our brand, let's dive into the ins and outs of gluten free pizza crust. In this guide, we're answering all of your questions, including:
What Is Gluten?
Before we dive into pizza, let’s take a step back for a moment to focus on gluten itself. According to Celiac.com, gluten is the term used to describe naturally-occurring proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. It essentially acts as a glue or a binding agent that helps foods hold together as they’re baked or cooked. Gluten is not inherently bad for some peoples’ bodies, and many foods containing gluten provide us with an assortment of different nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. However, if you’re on a gluten free diet due to celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, or for any other reason, your body doesn’t handle gluten well (or sometimes, at all) so you likely need to avoid gluten completely.
You’ll commonly find gluten in bread, baked goods, pasta, beer, and pizza—foods you might generally associate with wheat or flour. But as anyone who is trying to avoid gluten can tell you, it hides in a lot of other foods, too. Gluten is found in an assortment of different soups, sauces, chips, candy, deli meats, and so much more. Companies like ZeroCarb LYFE understand just how challenging and frustrating this can be. That’s why we’re dedicated to creating quality products that meet dietary restrictions and taste great, too!
Does Pizza Crust Have Gluten?
Yes, most pizza crusts do contain gluten (with the exception of those that are labeled as gluten free). From pizzas you order from your favorite local pizza joint to those you might pick up in the freezer aisle at the grocery store, most of your options contain gluten. On top of that, you may also have to worry about the potential for cross contamination in some gluten free items, especially when you’re purchasing from a restaurant or manufacturer that doesn’t have a strictly gluten free kitchen.
Gluten is present in the flour used to make the dough, and it’s there for a reason. It helps to provide the dough with structure and flexibility, delivering a product that can hold air bubbles and offer the chewy texture we associate with pizza.
So what’s someone to do when they’re craving pizza but can’t have gluten? Fortunately for those following a gluten free diet, there are a number of different crusts available that don’t contain gluten.
What Are Most Gluten Free Pizza Crusts Made Of?
Gluten free pizza crusts are made from a wide variety of ingredients, although some are certainly better than others from a nutritional and/or taste standpoint. Below, we’ve laid out a few of the most common ingredients used in crusts as well as some general information about each one.
• Grains: One of the most common ways to make gluten free baked goods—including pizza crust—is by simply replacing flour with gluten free flour and starches. For example, you might find rice flour in pizza dough. Other popular gluten free grains include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, oat, sorghum, and teff. Pizza crust made from these ingredients is often attempting to mimic the look and feel of traditional pizza crust recipes. And while this can sometimes be successful, other times it's better to go back to the drawing board to create an even better product! What’s more, because there’s no gluten to act as a binding agent, you’ll usually also see binders and fillers like tapioca starch or xanthan gum included to help the crust hold together. This may not be your best option if you’re looking for gluten free pizza dough with no xanthan gum or other binders.
• Legumes: Legumes, or foods that fall into the category of beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts, are naturally gluten free. And while they’re not low carb, legumes like chickpea, fava bean, and pea flour are common options for making a gluten free and paleo pizza crust. Although they're somewhat high in carbs, legumes do offer a fair amount of nutritional value.
• Nuts: Similar to grains, another popular substitute is nuts. In particular, almond, almond meal, and almond flour are quite common, though it’s important to note that they can be fairly high in calories. There are a number of easy almond flour pizza crust recipes available online. Many of these recipes aren’t just gluten free, they’re also options for those following keto and paleo diets. But, this kind of ingredient is not an option for households with nut allergies, so be mindful of any additional food allergies.
• Vegetables: The last couple of decades spurred a trend of replacing grains with vegetables like cauliflower. These days, most grocery stores carry at least a variety or two of cauliflower pizza crust—or even the whole pizza. And while this option is certainly more nutritious than some of your other options, with relatively few calories and carbs, cauliflower is a pretty divisive food. Some people just don’t like the flavor it brings. And for a fan favorite like pizza, compromising on taste isn’t always the right choice.
• Chicken: Finally, you can even use a protein like chicken to make a gluten free pizza crust! How’s that possible? At ZeroCarb LYFE, our pizza crusts are made of chicken, olive oil, salt, and spices—that’s it. You won’t find any binders or fillers. They’re gluten free, carb free, sugar free, dairy free, high in protein, and full of flavor. They look and feel a lot like a traditional thin pizza crust. If you’re looking for the best gluten free pizza crust that tastes great and gives you the fuel you need to follow your dreams, this is a great option.
Of course, there are plenty of other ingredients you’ll find in a lot of gluten free pizza crusts—many contain seasonings, for example, to enhance the flavor. Checking ingredient labels against other foods you may need to avoid is still important, but the above list should provide you with a jumping off point to decide what’s right for you and your family.
Is Gluten Free Pizza Crust Ok for Keto or other Diets?
When it comes to pizza, the answer varies depending on what kind of crust you’re talking about. Let’s revisit the ingredients we discussed in the previous section (grains, legumes, nuts, vegetables, and chicken) to see which of them are keto, paleo, and/or diabetic friendly. Before we get started though, it’s important to note that this information should not be construed as medical advice. You should consult a medical practitioner before making any significant changes to your diet.
• Keto: The keto diet is designed to limit the intake of foods that spike blood sugar. It’s considered to be one of the lowest-carb diets around, though it does still allow for a relatively small amount of carbs. Most grains are a no-go on keto, and legumes should mostly be avoided. Low carb pizza crusts made of nuts, vegetables, and chicken are generally allowed on the keto diet.
• Paleo: The paleo diet focuses on the foods our ancestors would have had available to them—meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds—while eliminating most everything else. Gluten free pizza crusts containing most grains and legumes would not be paleo-friendly. Most nuts, vegetables, and chicken-based crusts would be allowed on the paleo diet.
• Diabetic: While there is no one specific diet for those with type 1 or 2 diabetes, every one of them has two things in common: you need to eat the right amount of food at the right times throughout the day. In general, however, foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and proteins are great for diabetic individuals. With this information in mind, gluten free crusts made from certain gluten free grains, nuts, vegetables, and chicken may work for this diet.
Is Gluten Free Pizza Crust Healthier Than Regular Pizza Crust?
It certainly can be! How healthy a gluten free pizza is (or isn’t) depends on a couple of important factors, like:
• What ingredients are used? Gluten free flour isn’t necessarily any healthier than flour that contains gluten. Whole wheat flour, for example, is considered a relatively nutritious flour. Your average 8-inch whole wheat pizza crust contains 53 grams of carbs and 12 grams of protein. Now let’s compare that to your average gluten free crust of the same size (using gluten free flour and starches), which contains 60 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein. The gluten free variety contains more carbs and less protein. At ZeroCarb LYFE, our 8-inch chicken pizza crust contains 0 carbs and 41 grams of protein. Ingredients matter, and some are certainly healthier than others!
• What’s the nutritional value of those ingredients? Along a similar line, it’s important to look at how nutritious the ingredients are. Many gluten free foods are high in refined sugars and processed carbohydrates, both of which can be unhealthy in larger quantities. But, gluten free products without these additives and processed carbs can certainly be healthier.
All of that’s not to mention the toppings, which can also impact how nutritious a pizza is. Loading your pizza up with vegetables and lean protein can provide a number of additional nutrients to further fuel your body. But don’t get us wrong—we love almost every pizza topping imaginable, and our recipes contain vegetables, meats, cheeses, and even mashed potatoes with gravy! At ZeroCarb LYFE, we know that sometimes Loving Yourself ForEver means enjoying your food down to the last bite, sometimes it means maintaining a healthy diet, and sometimes it's somewhere in between.
With all of this in mind, let’s jump into some more specific topics around calories, carbs, and dietary needs to truly give you all the information you need to know about health and gluten free pizza crusts.
How Many Calories Are in a Gluten Free Pizza Crust?
It depends on the crust! Below, we’ve broken down about how many calories you can expect in various types of 8-inch gluten free pizza crusts. We’ll also provide a gluten free pizza vs regular pizza calories comparison to provide an even more detailed baseline.
• Whole wheat crust: 300 calories
• Gluten free crust: 303 calories
• Cauliflower crust: 216 calories
• ZeroCarb chicken crust: 220 calories
As you can see, cauliflower crust has the fewest calories, followed by ZeroCarb chicken crust, whole wheat crust, and gluten free crust. It’s important to remember that calories aren’t bad—they provide energy for our bodies. It’s all about intaking the right amount of calories for your body and lifestyle.
How Many Carbs Are in a Gluten Free Pizza Crust?
When it comes to gluten free pizza, carbs, or sugar molecules, are present in the majority of options. But how many? Is gluten free pizza low carb? Let’s take a look at an 8-inch gluten free pizza vs regular pizza carbs comparison using the same categories as above.
• Whole wheat crust: 53 grams of carbs
• Gluten free crust: 60 grams of carbs
• Cauliflower crust: 32 grams of carbs
• ZeroCarb chicken crust: 0 grams of carbs
In this breakdown, ZeroCarb chicken crust has the fewest carbs, followed by cauliflower crust, whole wheat crust, and finally gluten free crust. For those on a low-carb diet, ZeroCarb LYFE’s chicken crust can be a great choice.
How Much Protein Is In a Gluten Free Pizza Crust?
Of course, calories and carbs aren’t the only things that matter. Protein provides our bodies with a ton of benefits, from helping us maintain our skin and bones to building muscle and curbing our appetite, protein is critical. Let's take a look at how much protein there is in our four categories of 8-inch crusts.
• Whole wheat crust: 12 grams of protein
• Gluten free crust: 7 grams of protein
• Cauliflower crust: 11 grams of protein
• ZeroCarb chicken crust: 41 grams of protein
To give your body the energy it needs, ZeroCarb’s chicken crust provides the most protein, followed by whole wheat crust, cauliflower crust, and finally gluten free crust.
What Is the Healthiest Type of Pizza Crust?
At the end of the day, the healthiest kind of pizza crust is the one that gives your body the fuel you need to live your life to the fullest—whatever that looks like! Whether you’re following a gluten free, paleo, diabetic, or keto diet—or you’re just trying to eat a little healthier—ZeroCarb LYFE’s chicken pizza crust is among the healthiest around. With fewer carbs and calories than most other options and an abundance of protein, you can indulge in the food you love.
What Can You Do With ZeroCarb LYFE’s Frozen Gluten Free Pizza Crust
We’ve talked a lot about gluten free pizza crusts, like what they’re made out of and how healthy they are. But what about the fun stuff: how do you turn a gluten free pizza crust into something truly mouth watering? You’ve got a lot of options with ZeroCarb LYFE’s chicken crusts! Here are a few of our favorites.
• Pizza: Of course, we’ve got to start with pizza. Our recipe section is full of yummy ideas, from mushroom pesto pizza to holiday feast pizza to the ever-controversial pineapple and veggie pizza. Let your heart run wild! Looking for a fun family dinner idea? Our 8-inch pizza crusts are perfect for DIY pizzas with your kids. Just set out a bunch of toppings and let your family create their own personalized pizza!
• Flatbread: Flatbreads and pizzas are fairly similar, though some say the difference lies in the toppings. If you want to try out some fun new flatbread options, try switching up the sauce to something like alfredo, balsamic glaze, barbeque sauce, or olive oil—just ensure it’s all gluten free!
• Quesadilla: Looking for some Mexican inspired cuisine? Our chicken pizza crusts make a great stand in for tortillas in quesadillas. Fill it with cheese, meats, spices, and any other ingredients you love, fold it over, and cook on your stovetop or in the oven. We recommend salsa, sour cream, or guacamole on the side!
• Panini: Traditionally made with Italian bread, in the United States the word panini has become equivalent to grilled sandwiches. To get started, simply add your favorite fillings—usually meat, cheese, and vegetables—to one side of a pizza crust. Then, fold your crust over and grill up your sandwich. Don’t forget to add your favorite sauce or condiment at the end.
• Garlic Points: From salsa to hummus to guacamole to spinach and artichoke, there are a lot of great gluten free dips to choose from. Looking for some homemade garlic points to go with your dip? Simply add garlic (or whatever herbs you like) to a pizza crust, cook it, slice it into triangle-shaped points, and bring them to your next family gathering (or enjoy by yourself!).
ZeroCarb LYFE: Where To Buy Frozen Gluten Free Pizza Dough Crusts
We know there are a lot of gluten free products on the market. We also know that some options just taste better than others. At ZeroCarb LYFE, we're constantly striving to provide the best gluten free pizza crust to buy online or in your local grocery store. Our pizza crusts are carefully crafted with just four simple ingredients: chicken breast, olive oil, salt, and spices. You can count on our pizza crusts to combine both nutrition and a delicious taste–perfect for you and your loved ones. And, because we don't deal with gluten at all, there's no need to worry about cross contamination as you indulge!
Ready to try them out? Shop now for frozen chicken pizza crusts, or use our store locator to find them at an establishment near you. We also invite you to sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our homepage to be the first to find out about new products and great tasting recipes to try with your family and friends!