You probably already guessed that this pizza is loaded with garlic, huh? I could have called it “Garlic Chicken Pizza” but that’s not nearly as much fun!
Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is a member of the onion family and has potent medicinal properties.
Garlic is known to help reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and support the body’s protective mechanisms by preventing oxidative damage.
Traditional cultures have known about garlic’s immune-boosting properties for centuries. It’s a magnificent herb to include in your diet, especially during cold & flu season.
The compound allicin is responsible for these benefits but unless you prepare your garlic properly you lose the benefits!
How Allicin is Formed
Allicin is made of two compounds: a protein fragment called alliin and a heat-sensitive enzyme called alliinase. These compounds are stored in separate compartments within the garlic cloves. These compounds don’t combine and form allicin until the garlic clove is chopped, sliced or crushed.
Most of us just crush or chop our fresh garlic then toss it in the pot. But doing that prevents the formation of allicin.
You see, heat destroys the enzyme alliinase. Without this enzyme, alliin can’t become allicin (I know….all these names are so similar!) so you lose all the beautiful health-boosting benefits of garlic! (source: Eating On The Wild Side by Jo Robinson)
How to Properly Prepare Garlic
So does this mean you can only eat garlic raw? Not at all! You simply need to protect the enzyme alliinase long enough for it to do its work with alliin. This only takes about 10 minutes.
To maximize the benefits of garlic, simply cut, slice or crush it then allow it to rest for about 10 minutes away from heat.
If you really want to get every last bit of goodness out of your garlic, the best thing to do is Press then Rest. Use a garlic press to crush the garlic. This breaks open the most cells in the garlic clove, releasing the alliin and alliinase. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before adding to your recipe. Not only does crushing your garlic release its full healing potential, but it also helps infuse its lovely flavor evenly through your dish. Nice!
Eating Raw Garlic
So do you need to allow garlic to rest when using it in raw dishes? Nope.
Remember, it’s heat that destroys the enzyme in garlic and that’s what prevents the formation of allicin. When you eat garlic raw the enzyme remains intact. So you can prepare and immediately eat your raw garlic dishes.
Immune-Boosting Vampire Slayer Pizza
AIP & Paleo Friendly
This dish is based on a recipe in The Healing Kitchen by Alaena Haber and Sarah Ballantyne. I highly recommend this cookbook! Every recipe I’ve tried has been delicious.
I use simple homemade cassava tortillas as my crust. I make them in huge batches and keep in the freezer. When I want pizza I simply toast a tortilla in my air fryer for a few minutes until its crispy. Then I add my toppings and toast again to heat. But there are lots of other AIP flatbread and pizza crusts on the internet if you’d like something a little more traditional.
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (the kind in a can not a carton)
- 1 – 4 Tablespoons garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt
- 2 chicken breasts cut into 1” pieces
- 10 ounce frozen chopped spinach or other green. You can also use fresh if you prefer
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and onion powder to taste
- Nutritional yeast to taste (can also use cheese if you eat dairy, but not AIP compliant)
Prepare your sauce:
Using the full 4 Tbsp of chopped garlic results in a VERY STRONG garlic flavor. Hence the name, Vampire Slayer. I suggest starting with 1 or 2 Tbsp of crushed garlic and see what you think. You can always add more if you like.
If you make it too strong, remember, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” Simply dilute the strong garlic flavor by adding more olive oil and coconut milk.
Place all sauce ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
NOTE: This sauce is also excellent when used on roasted veggies or in a salad dressing.
Prepare your topping:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add enough olive, avocado or coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan and allow the fat to get hot. Add the chicken to the pan and sprinkle with a little salt and onion powder.
Stir frequently to brown the chicken on all sides. Be careful to not overcook.
Remove the mostly-cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add the greens and mushrooms to the pan and cook until tender.
Put the veggies in a sieve or kitchen towel and squeeze out excess moisture (this keeps the pizza crust from getting soggy).
Add the veggies to the chicken and stir to combine.
Top your pizza crust with the chicken mixture, drizzle with some of the garlic sauce (that's drizzle not drench!) and sprinkle with nutritional yeast (adds a cheese-like flavor). You could also use cheese if your body approves of dairy.
Toast in the oven or air fryer on about 350 until hot.
Enjoy the immune-boosting benefits!
Let me know what you think of this recipe after you try it. Leave me a comment below.