Yes, you can eat pizzas on a healthy yoga retreat!
Many of us including myself have kinda cut pizza from our diets, believing them to be a hangover-style food which wreck havoc with our digestion and skin. However, that all changed for me when I tried a superfood pizza at InSpiral vegan lounge on Camden canal. The award-winning eco-cafe really opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of creating healthy pizzas to suit every nutritional need. Whether you are wheat, gluten, fat, dough - whatever intolerant, you don´t have to cross pizza off your foods list. With a little preparation and savvy ingredient sourcing you can make a superfood pizza to suit every nutritional need.
On Bilbao Yoga Retreats I really aim to place a big emphasis on balance, truly believing that balancing pleasure and sensibility is key to a happy, harmonious life. Yes the students are going to practice yoga twice a day, meditate, have silent periods and eat lots of veggie food but I also want them to laugh, play games and eat PIZZA. Healthy pizza.
Let’s begin with the base…
We are always looking for alternatives to dairy, wheat and gluten products on retreat as so many people have various intolerances. After a fair bit of research I discovered that there are endless possibilities for substituting white flour. You have brown rice flour, coconut flour, soy flour, chickpea flour, millet flour and the long list goes on. It’s true that gluten free and white flour substitutes can be tricky and you usually have to combine several flours to get the same or similar textures. You can read some great articles on how to do so at Nourished Kitchen and One Green Planet.
Being the first to admit I like an easy life I was very happy to find a packet of gluten free white bread flour blend, perfect for pizza bases in good old Morrisons, pictured above. The Hemsley and Hemsley sisters also have an easy to follow recipe for pizza bases made with chickpea flour here http://www.hemsleyandhemsley.com/socca-pizza/. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or the patience to be making pizza bases, don’t worry - pitta breads, rye bread and tortilla breads are all perfect options. Have a play.
By whipping up a homemade sauce with fresh juicy tomatoes you’ve already made the leap from junk food to health food. Simply chop or blend 10 of the freshest tomatoes you can get your hands on, heat some oil in a pan, fry 3 cloves of garlic, throw in the chopped tommies with 2 tbsp of dried oregano, 1 chopped chilli and salt and pepper to taste. Cook into a thick sauce for around 15 minutes and spread over your bases with a spatula.
So here is where we can evolve from healthy food to superfood. We’ve got our base, homemade sauce and now it’s time to choose our toppings. Rocket, spinach, kale, olives, aubergine, homemade pesto, sunflower seeds, basil, chilli flakes - all are healthy, delicious, vegetarian and very good for you. Although it’s not essential, if you do decide to add cheese just pop your pizza in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes and enjoy with friends and family.
If you fancy enjoying a pizza party on a Bilbao Yoga Retreat we still have a few spaces left for March.