My vegan salt-free pizza on a sourdough base

Pizza on a zero salt diet

It has been about a year since I gave up salt and with it all fast food and yummy things like pizza and burgers. Pizza is something I have missed but it’s surprisingly full of salt so it is definitely a no-go. Have a look at the nutritional content next time you buy a pizza from the supermarket. And that’s just the vegan pizza. Meat pizzas are way worse. It’s not just the toppings but also the pizza base.

This week I broke the drought by making my own pizza from scratch. I have been baking and eating my own bread for a year now because you cannot buy bread without salt in it. Message for the food industry: stop putting FUCKING salt in everything!

I’m not sure why I didn’t think to do this before as I have a sourdough starter I’m regularly feeding so on Monday night I made us pizzas. Ben had a work thing on so it was just the three of us. We each chose our own toppings. Here’s Elizabeth’s which I thought was very boring. She’s topped it with vegan cheese.

Elizabeth's pizza topped with yellow pepper, vegan cheese, mushrooms, kale, and cherry tomatoes

Daniel was a bit more adventurous.

Daniel's pizza topped with asparagus, kale, cherry tomatoes, onions, and yellow peppers

Mine, and I may be biased, was the best. Vegan cheese is full of salt like real cheese so I used use tahini instead. You’ll notice I also had to skip the tomato paste because … FUCKING SALT.

My pizza with yellow peppers, onions, mushrooms, tahini, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, kale and I think that's it.

They turned out really tasty and the kids, who, let’s face it, are always the fussiest of eaters, gave it a thumbs-up.

I’ve been vegan for 20 years so adapting to a new diet is not a foreign concept for me but I was surprised by how difficult a no-salt diet has been. It turns up in surprising things and you have to check everything. A couple of times I’ve been foiled like when I made us a curry using bought curry powder. Curry powder is full of salt but why? It’s a spice and shouldn’t need salt but they pack it in. Perhaps it makes it cheaper? It’s pretty crazy if you have to check the ingredients on herbs and spices. Salt is even sometimes added to flour. I have made that mistake too and bought some oat and linseed flour for baking bread without realising they’d added salt to it.

You might think I’m being really pedantic and shouldn’t worry about things like bread and spices but you must understand that I never added salt to my cooking before so I had very little wriggle room. If I already wasn’t intentionally consuming salt or adding salt then I had to remove the little I did consume unintentionally.

The best way to avoid salt is to buy food without labels: fresh fruit and vegetables. Everything with a label is processed and likely to contain salt. If you do buy processed food which is virtually impossible to avoid then don’t buy anything with a salt content higher than 0.1g per 100g. Once you start looking at ingredients you’ll see that rules out probably 80% of the stuff in supermarket aisles including things you don’t expect like bread, biscuits, yoghurts, cheese.

I do miss eating out but when I eat out my blood pressure goes up. As a result we hardly ever eat out now and I feel sad I’m not supporting the local restaurants I used to love but they need to change, not me, and until they do I’ll stick with my own cooking.

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