Butternutsquash Pizza Crust & Spinach, Garlic, Cilantro Pesto


Butternutsquash Pizza Crust & Spinach, Garlic, Cilantro Pesto


When I was on a keto diet, I had made a cauliflower crust pizza because it has very low calories from carbs. I looked up healthy pizza crusts in google and came across this title "74 Smart Ways to Make a Healthier Pizza." Check out http://greatist.com/health/make-healthier-pizza for some great ideas!

I wanted to try something new so I decided to make a veggie-based crust from scratch. On the website above, they had listed zucchini crust or summer squash. The first thing I thought of was how much I love butternut squash, so I couldn't wait to try it. Let me tell you, it turned out delicious!!! I'd definitely recommend you try this sometime! I added some seasonings to the cooked butternut squash and used a spicy spinach, garlic, and cilantro pesto with some of favorite toppings! 


Ingredients:
Crust:
4 cups butternut squash, baked & mashed
2 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red peppers

Pesto:
3 cups spinach
1/2 cup cilantro
1 green chili (optional- if you want to make it spicy!)
1 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves 
1/8 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place upside down on a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until tender.

Check by putting a knife through the squash and it should easily touch the bottom of the sheet (as shown on the right).


2. While baking, you can make the pesto (optional)

3. Place the spinach, garlic, cilantro, chili, and salt into a food processor. Place half of the water in the 1/8 cup and pulse the mixture until finely ground.

Add more water if necessary so the mixture is easily spreadable on the pizza crust.


 4. Once the butternut squash has cooled down and the skin removed. Add about 4 cups of the squash in a mixing bowl and mash.
5. *Most important step* Squeeze out the excess water using a clean napkin/towel!
6. Add flour and seasonings (paprika, crushed red peppers, salt) and eggs and mix. Once mixed together, you used to be able to easily roll it into a ball. Add more flour if necessary if the dough is still too loose.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

7. Spread the mixture onto a pizza pan and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes. If it turns darker on the side, do not take it out and let it cook for at least 35 minutes. The most important part of this recipe is that you want the middle to cook well!



Using a spatula, try to lift up the bottom of the crust to make sure its not soggy. If it is, cook a little bit longer. Add another 10 minutes to the cooking time.







8. Add the pesto if you decided to make it or whatever else you'd like!






9. Add toppings and cheese of choice and enjoy!
I decided to add caramelized onions, red & orange peppers, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella balls :)







                                              And here's the final look, yummmm....


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