America’s unhealthy love affair with pizza may have a silver lining, an alternative to the carb-laden crust, is a healthier whole wheat crust which raises disease fighting antioxidants if cooked properly. Newport Beach based Z pizza cooks up the very same crust offering lean, tasty and healthy pizzas.
A University of Maryland research states that crusts made with “whole wheat which is baked longer at higher temperatures gives dough time to release more antioxidants”, the nutrients in our bodies that help fight chronic disease. Whole wheat flour is higher in antioxidants than all purpose flour.
Although pizza makers know that longer baking time at higher temperatures can enhance pizza flavor, this new study by food chemists at the University of Maryland shows that higher baking temperatures can also improve antioxidant content up to 82 percent.
The researchers exposed whole grain pizza dough from two different varieties of wheat to different baking temperatures, ranging from 400 to 500 degrees, and also to different baking times: from 7 to 14 minutes. A number of tests were used to measure changes in the crusts’ antioxidant properties. Antioxidants increased by 82 percent when baked at a higher temperature, by 60 percent when baked twice as long and doubled when the dough was left to rise an extra day.
Santa Ana’s Z pizza offers crusts made with 100% certified organic, whole wheat flour amongst other choices like regular and gluten-free. Pizza is baked at 600 degrees, the handmade, hand tossed and fire baked dough is allowed to ferment for 24 hours. This combination makes Z pizza’s whole wheat crust a great qualifier of the University’s study. Please see the picture slide show below.
Z pizza is a fast, casual restaurant with one of the largest selections of healthy toppings. Pizzas can be ordered by the slice, various sizes or as the build your own. One slice of their cheese pizza is 200 calories as opposed to most cheese slices which are between 270 to 300 calories.
Sauces such as organic tomato, roasted garlic, barbecue, peanut, salsa, marinara, basil pesto are offered.
Aside from popular toppings such as pepperoni and sausage, customers can also delight in varieties such as artichoke hearts, sweet corn, and avocado. There are roughly 20 vegetable toppings and 10 additive free meat toppings.
Vegan and vegetarian cheeses are also offered. Part-skim, rBGH-free mozzarella is used along with choices such as non fat, farm fresh feta, parmesan and a unique dairy free vegan cheese called Daiya. Daiya normally shreds and melts very well and is ideal for high baking temperatures. The bold, sour taste is one that pizza lovers will have to adjust to as a replacement for the mouth watering mozzarella.
Approximately 16 varieties of pizzas are offered with popular hits like Napoli made with roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, parmesan and fresh basil. Claudia Buisson, owner of Santa Ana’s Z pizza recommends seasonal styles such as the Corsica Rustica made with goat cheese, mozzarella, leeks, baby bella mushrooms, mint and pili pili oil. Pili pili oil is a fiery combination of herbs, hot peppers and oil.
Buisson concedes that the pizzas are priced higher and compares the pricing at Z pizza to California Pizza kitchen’s dollar amount. Prices range from $10 to $21 for pizza pies. “Quality comes with a higher price”, and Buisson recommends daily specials such as 2 slices plus drink for $6.49, a salad, 1 slice and drink at $8.99 or 12 salad and sandwich at $6.95. Z pizza delivers and caters. Buisson is very proud of the pizza line and emphasizes the fresh, lightly flavored, gourmet style which she gladly and regularly serves to her children.
Nutritional Content of Z pizzas
Two locations in Santa Ana:
121 E Memory Ln.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
3941 South Bristol (different franchisee)
Santa Ana CA, 92704
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