Grilling pizza crust... for diabetics?
June 11, 2010 12:19 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to do pizza on the grill, and I have the equipment. The challenge? Boyfriend is diabetic.

I'm mostly looking for either a homemade diabetic-friendly pizza crust recipe that'll hold up to grilling, or some good store-bought product substitution. Recently I tried making a flax-crust but it burned to ash rapidly and with fanfare both on the grill itself and on the doohickey for grilling pizza on your grill.

Surely this has something to do with food chemistry, which is why I'm experiencing failure. The glycemic index seems to be out to get me. I'm reasonably clever in the kitchen, so why can't I get a diabetes-friendly pizza crust to work on the grill? Please advise, and save our summer!

(If it matters, I have a Q100-line Weber gas grill.)
posted by juniperesque to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pizza and blood sugar control do not mix. Even low glycemic grains such as barley become far more digestible once they are ground into flour. You could try using carbalose flour.
posted by caddis at 12:40 PM on June 11, 2010

Warning: I do not know exactly the guidelines that diabetics operate under. But I have made this pizza, available via mail order for my husband, who can't eat gluten. It's nice and thick, so I'd imagine it would work on a grill without going up in flames.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:40 PM on June 11, 2010

also, Trader Joe's apparently has a somewhat lower carb pizza dough.
posted by caddis at 12:45 PM on June 11, 2010

Type I or Type II?

Honestly as a Type II, as long as it's a thin crust, I don't worry about it too much (Good A1Cs). If it's a somewhat thick, I'd treat it more as special occasion and be sure to work out hard earlier in the day and enjoy a couple of slices.

Pizza and blood sugar control do not mix.

Such a blanket statement isn't necessarily true. It's just a carb and depending your exercise level, what else you're eating and what meds you're on, it can be fine in moderation.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Agree with Brandon Blatcher. Type II with a thin crust seems to work for my husband. He has very tight control of his blood sugar and eats thin crust pizza a few times a month (2-3 slices).
posted by fifilaru at 3:22 PM on June 11, 2010

Pizza and blood sugar control totally mixes, even if you're insulin-dependent. It's not good for you, and it's not something you should eat every day (though that applies to all of us, unless you're in college), but it's not difficult. Caveat: I'm only speaking from an insulin-dependent Type-1 perspective.

When my wife and I want to make our own pizza, we buy premade pizza dough from Trader Joe's because it has the nutritional information on it. We weigh it beforehand to make sure it's the same size the package claims (the nutritional information is for the dough raw). So now we know how many carbs the entire ball of dough contains. We make it just like it says to make it, and then once it's cooked, we reweigh the entire pizza (toppings and all). Now we can calculate what percentage of the pizza is carbs. When we weigh my wife's serving (she's the diabetic), we know what percentage of that is carbs, and she gives insulin accordingly. This requires trying to keep the toppings about equal on each slice. It also helps if you don't pour on the cheese or use a lot of fatty, greasy toppings, necessitating a combo bolus, which complicates things. But with some experimenting, you should get decent results.

Before we bought the food scale, my wife's A1C number hovered above 8. After the food scale: below 6.
posted by incessant at 4:48 PM on June 11, 2010

My wife is Type I and we eat take out pizza once a week. Her A1C's are ridiculous, she is the poster child for good control. I've been married to a diabetic for 18 years and I have no idea what a diabetic friendly pizza crust should be. Domino's seems to be plenty diabetic friendly for her. Carb counting can be a little tricky with the multiple ingredients, but as incessant said, it just takes a little practice.
posted by COD at 7:39 PM on June 11, 2010

I do low-carb because my family has a ton of diabetes in it. Trust me when I tell you: it's near-impossible to make a low-carb pizza crust that's worth a damn. What you can do is make a partly whole grain crust; even that is highish in carbs, but it's not as hard on your body since it's absorbed more gradually. I've seen the Trader Joe crust linked above but I haven't tried it. I've had some really good whole grain pizza crust at other places, but I've never bothered making it myself because usually you need to add honey to get a good flavor, and it's not a good enough trade off for me to bother with it.

As others have mentioned, if you have it maybe once a week and he eats well otherwise, it won't be that big a deal. I eat pizza, despite doing low-carb every other day, maybe once a week or every two weeks -- either making my own with normal refined white flour, or I get it somewhere. When I'm on low-carb my blood sugar is better controlled so I usually only want a couple pieces anyway -- as opposed to when I'm off it and I could eat like, four or five slices. It's really just one of those things that, try as I might, I can't make low-carb; you can put pizza toppings on a portabello mushroom cap, or make a meat crust, or a pizza flavored casserole, or these things I make sometimes called pepperoni cups... but when it comes down to it, pizza is one of those things where the crust is an important part of the experience. Usually when I want pizza, it's less that I want the toppings than I want the crust part. Plus all those alternatives end up feeling pretty heavy.

Thin crust works for some people. I dislike thin crust pizza so I'd rather not waste the carbs on something I don't like. If your husband likes it, this is a great alternative though.

So, to summarize:
- try a premade dough that includes whole grains, like the Trader Joe brand.
- invest a lot of time and energy into trying to make your own with whole grains, though it will likely need some honey and will only be sort of better for him; whether you're up to this depends on you. I haven't found it worth the effort, but I might if I ever get the experimenting urge.
- just eat normal pizza rarely, or not a ton at once, or thin crust.
posted by Nattie at 9:33 PM on June 11, 2010

Oh, one thing I will mention in favor of making your own whole grain crust, though: it has a pleasant kind of healthy flavor. That's the only reason I might bother with it in the future; sometimes I want pizza, but it tastes a tad too junk foody, like in a queasy unsatisfying way. When I've had good crust that includes whole grains at the rare pizza chain that offers it, it's really nice. It's kind of earthy and satisfying without feeling like health food.
posted by Nattie at 9:35 PM on June 11, 2010

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