Just ten years ago, it was next to impossible to find a palatable gluten free crust option in the grocery stores. In fact, I remember purchasing a gluten free crust back then and having to toss the entire cooked pizza crust in the trash because it tasted like cardboard (or what I am guessing cardboard would taste like). Thank goodness that gluten free pizza crusts have come along way since then. Now, there are several tasty, gluten free crust options available like Cappello’s Naked Pizza Crust and most recently, the Banza crust made from chickpeas.
The Banza pizza crust has been around for about a year. And, I really have been meaning to try this pizza crust after seeing it on several stories on Instagram, but haven’t gotten around to it… until last week. For the past few weeks, Whole Foods has offered all pizza items at a whopping 50%. While I stocked up on my go-to Cappello’s crust as part of my latest Whole Foods order, I thought it was an opportune time to try the Banza crust.
Who is Banza?
If you are not familiar with the Banza brand, they have been offering revolutionary, chickpea-based products for years. Their nutrient dense pasta, which by the way has 25% fewer carbs and three times the fiber compared to wheat pasta, has been a staple in my pantry for years. I’ve also tried the Banza chickpea “rice” and the vegan, gluten free Banza mac & “cheese,” which are both delicious as well.
My Banza Chickpea Pizza Crust Review
I wasn’t planning on trying the pizza crust until this weekend. But, Monday was an insanely busy day at work, the weather was particularly cool, and I was craving comfort food. More specifically, I was craving pizza.
So, I pulled out the Banza pizza crust package out of my freezer. First off, I was impressed that the package comes with two pizza crusts as opposed to one – making it a much better deal than other gluten free crusts in the stores.
Next, I looked at the ingredients and nutritional facts. I was pleasantly surprised how clean the ingredients list was and seeing that it did not include any sketchy ingredients. The crust includes no added sugar, 2 grams of saturated fat and 3 grams of fiber per serving. The serving size listed on the package is 1/4 of the crust. (The only think I can say about that is good luck keeping to the serving size; I ate more than half for one meal!) As an added bonus, the Banza crust includes some vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.
After scanning the ingredients, I reviewed the directions which seemed easy enough. I preheated the oven to 400 degrees, added the crust to an oiled baking sheet (the directions state to put the crust directly on the middle oven rack but I opted to use the baking sheet instead), added my toppings (see below), placed the baking sheet in the oven and waited.
If you are wondering what toppings I used, I stuck with traditional pizza toppings. I used the 365 Whole Foods brand of organic marinara sauce (you can’t beat the price for organic marinara sauce), some Miyoko’s Creamery Organic Cashew Milk “Mozzarella” and some sliced organic red onions on half of the pizza. I do have to say that I am a big fan of the Miyoko’s cashew milk mozzarella; it has a similar consistency as real fresh mozzarella. I may even like this fake cheese better than the shredded Violife cheese.
After about 15 minutes, the pizza was ready. It smelled and looked absolutely delicious. I was pleasantly surprised that the crust got crispy without even using a pizza stone. (I sometimes struggle with getting a crispy texture with the Cappello’s crust.) Beyond the look and smell, the Banza crust tasted amazing. Like I alluded to before, I literally ate more than half of the pizza in one sitting. Thankfully the pizza crust is not that big! I really dig the flavor of the crust and how it meshes well with the toppings I chose.
I will say that the crust wasn’t as crispy when I heated up the pizza today for lunch. I did use the microwave, which is often not ideal for pizza. Although the crust was a little bit more bread-like after heating it up, it was still very tasty. Next time, I will heat it up in the oven instead.
The Final Verdict
This is a pizza crust I will definitely buy again. I think going forward I will rotate the Banza crust with the Cappello’s crust – or opt for whichever one is one sale. (They are both currently 50% off at Whole Foods! Catch this sale while you can!) I love the taste, texture, and the nutritional profile of this Banza crust. Next time, I might experiment using some savory or buffalo chicken ingredients. I am so happy to have found some exceptional gluten free pizza crust options like the Banza chickpea option!