We all love pizza, but it’s hard to justify eating something that can make me feel bloated and uncomfortable. That’s why my new go-to recipe is socca, possibly the best paleo pizza out there. It’s made with chickpea flour, so it’s completely gluten-free and figure friendly.
What is Socca?
Socca is a sort of thin pancake that’s made of chickpea flour. The dish goes by a number of names depending on the location. In Italy, for example, it’s called farinata, meaning “made of flour.” But socca is actually a speciality of southeastern French cuisine, and it’s especially popular in and around the city of Nice.
The reason I love a socca recipe so much is that you get the sweet and nutty flavor of nutrition-rich chickpeas, and it’s perfectly crispy, which is exactly how I like my pizza. You can also dip socca into hummus because it becomes hard and crispy like a chip.
Although the ingredients for socca are pretty universal, there are a number of ways to cook the pancake-like dough. You can cook it in a cast iron skillet, or any flat, shallow and oven-safe baking dish that you have at home.
Chickpea Flour: The Best Option for Gluten-Free Pizza
Since chickpeas were one of the first cultivated crops by humans, it makes sense to use chickpea flour as part of a paleo diet. I think chickpea flour is your best option for making gluten-free pizza. Just like beans, lentils and green peas, chickpeas belong to the class of high-fiber foods called legumes or pulse. There are plenty of studies that suggest that eating fibrous legumes reduces our risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even some types of cancer. They provide ample amounts of polyphenols, many of which are potent antioxidants. (1)
Chickpea flour also provides a slew of vitamins and minerals, including folate (50 percent of your daily value for 1/2 cup of flour!), manganese, potassium, selenium, and an ideal ratio of calcium and magnesium. It helps to lower inflammation and improve immunity by counteracting acidity from a poor diet and balancing the body’s pH level.
All this and it’s completely gluten-free! Chickpea flour contains zero wheat, barley, rye or cross-contaminated oats. Whether or not you have a gluten sensitivity or allergy, you will probably notice that sticking to gluten-free flours, like chickpea flour, boosts your gut and digestive health.
How to Make Socca
The socca recipe is really simple — it calls for a cup of chickpea flour and water, mixed with a quarter cup of avocado oil, a teaspoon of oregano, and a pinch (or half teaspoon) of salt, pepper and raw garlic. Not only is garlic intensely aromatic and flavorful, but it has been linked to reducing or even helping to prevent major health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and infections. (3)
I choose to use avocado oil because it’s full of healthy fats, including oleic acid and essential fatty acids. It’s also very important to consider the spoke point when using oils to cook. Even the healthiest oils can become unhealthy when they reach their smoke point because the structure of the oil begins to break down and nutrients are lost. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, which makes it a top choice in the kitchen.
Mix your socca recipe ingredients in a medium bowl and let them sit for about an hour. Before you pour the mix into your cast iron skillet, let it heat in the oven at 425 degrees F.
Now you’re ready to bake your socca, and it only takes 5 to 8 minutes in the oven before it’s ready for toppings, which is the fun part.
Once your socca recipe comes out of the oven, add a drizzle of avocado oil to prep the dough for your toppings. Start by cutting up a teaspoon of basil, one of my favorite herbs.
>Chopped basil is the perfect ingredient for socca pizza because it adds a nice minty bite to the pizza, and it’s known as the “king of herbs” for a reason. There are a ton of basil benefits, including its ability to boost immunity, reduce inflammation and help the body to respond to stress due to its powerful adaptogen properties.
I use the basil as my base topping and then I add my favorite pizza toppings to that. There are so many mushroom nutrition benefits that they are a must-have. They are a high antioxidant food that provide a ton of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins like riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. (3)
Then I add tomatoes, kalamata olives, onions, artichoke hearts and some red pepper for a little heat. The ratios here are up to you — you can always add more of your favorites to make this a speciality pizza. I usually do equal parts of all toppings.
The past step is to add goat feta cheese. Feta cheese is made from sheep and goat milk and it’s a nutrient-rich option for getting the flavor you’re looking for, without the guilt. I choose feta cheese because its easier to digest and less allergenic than cheeses from cow’s milk.
And that’s it! Pop your socca recipe back in the oven for 10 minutes to heat the toppings and bring it all together.
You’ll be amazed how delicious socca pizza tastes knowing it’s a healthy pizza option makes it that much better.