Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Awesome Green Spinach Pesto Pizza with a Gluten Free Crust


Sometimes It can be difficult to get your kids to eat their spinach but this recipe might make them change their mind. Especially if you allow them to create it with you.
Spinach pesto has a very vibrant awesome green color and makes me think of Nickelodeon slime. Let your kids pick out the toppings so that they feel as though they have more authority over what they eat. We have found with our Kids Cook lessons that if our students make the food they are more apt to try it and even like it because they have a sense of creation about it.


Through a very generous gift from Eat'n Park we are able to offer some really fun and healthy recipes for our students. We taught them how to make Pesto for their Pesto Pizza and had some fun introducing new ways to eat spinach. We cooked up the pizza ahead of time and brought it to the school and heated it in an oven for them to try the final product.


We made a gluten free Pizza crust due to the fact that I (Amber) cannot have gluten and we thought it might be fun to do something a little different. The students didn't even know that it was a different kind of crust. For other simple recipes for crust using regular all purpose flours try 'By your hands...' Easy Pizza Crust or 'The Bake upstairs' Simple Pizza Crust, or maybe even use whole wheat pita bread or naan as a simple and easy crust.
We also chose to do a nut free pesto because some kids have nut allergies and it kept our recipe relatively budget friendly, the same goes for the use of spinach instead of basil, to keep costs low. When buying produce we tend to buy organic when possible.
Not only do you get around 30 % more nutrients, but organic produce is oftentimes sourced locally and is therefore more fresh and and apt to stay fresh longer than commercial produce, plus you are investing in local economy. 
It's a guilt free decision!


Gluten Free/Vegan Crust:
1 1/2 cups of Brown Rice flour
1/2 cup Tapioca flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 packet of instant yeast
2 teaspoons of sea salt.
1/2 - 3/4 c. warm water
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil plus a little extra

Nut free pesto:
2 good handfuls of fresh Spinach
8 tablespoons grated parmesan, fresh and fine
2-3 garlic good sized garlic cloves minced
Juice of half of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Toppings:
2 plum tomatoes
1 package of fresh mozzarella
(or whatever you child wants to top it with)

Step 1. In a large mixing bowl mix flours, baking powder, yeast and salt. Mix. Slowly add Warm water and Olive oil as you mix with a hand mixer. Mix well. Preheat oven to 375


Step 2: Knead for a minute then mold into a ball in the mixing bowl. Place in a warm place with a towel over the bowl for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse your spinach and place in a food processor or magic bullet, drizzle a little olive oil and blend it a bit. Add  minced garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend. Add olive oil slowly and blend. It should be a brilliant Nickelodeon Slime green color. Kids will love this.



Step 4: Brush olive oil a pizza pan with a pastry brush. Remove dough from bowl and smooth out on pizza pan, we used a 12 inch pizza pan and it fit perfectly. Cover with a towel and place in a warm area and allow to rise for about 15 minutes.

Tip: Pour a little oil over your hands or have a small bowl with warm water in it to dip your hands in while you smooth out the dough. This will keep the dough from sticking to your hands as gluten free dough tends to be sticky.

Shayna likes to make silly faces

Step 5: Chop up your toppings to be ready to put on the pizza

Step 6: Place risen Pizza dough in oven and bake for 10 minutes until dough starts to crackle a bit on the surface.



Step 7:  Remove the dough from the oven and brush on a a bit of olive oil with a pastry brush. Spread on Pesto and add toppings, Return pizza to oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until toppings are melted and crust  is slightly browned.

Step 8: Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.


We made the pesto with our 4th and 5th graders and they really liked it! Several asked for the recipe and one boy kept trying to swipe the original copy of the recipe I was using for the tutorial.
I was a little nervous about sharing this recipe with the students since it was a little unconventional they might not like it, but I was proved wrong and again, if you let them help in the kitchen and have a sense of creativity when it come to their food they are more apt to really like what they make, even if it is a little different than what they are used to.
It has been a lot of fun to see how our students taste buds have evolved over the last year just through trying new recipes during our Kids Cook sessions

Check out a few of our other recipes:

Follow us on Pinterest to keep up with lots of fun DIYS, and recipes to do with elementary age students.

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-Amber

18 comments:

  1. What a fantastic recipe, I have to admit I am very much stuck in a rut when it comes to Pizza recipes, so I will most definitely be trying this! What are your opinions on perhaps baking a pizza on a BBQ

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