I was born and raised in New York City, a place that prides itself on its diversity, history, and the resilience of its people. But above all else, we’re proud of our pizza. I’m talking the classic New York slice: a thick, crisp crust at the top that thins out to make way for layers of decadent tomato sauce and oozy mozzarella cheese.
And no, I won’t entertain any comments about so-called “pizza” from other major cities. As comedian Jon Stewart put it, “You call it Chicago-style pizza, deep-dish pizza. You know what we call it? Pizza.”
So it’s only natural that when I was offered a sneak-peek of Banza’s new chickpea-based pizza crusts I was a little wary. My girlfriend was a little more excited to try it than I was, but had concerns it’d be soggy like most other frozen, alternative pizza crusts.
But, we’re two open-minded people so we figured we’d give it a shot. After all, we’ve had Banza’s chickpea-based pasta before and loved it for its nutrition content and taste.
What did we think? Banza’s pizzas certainly scratched the itch and then some. The crusts were surprisingly crisp for something that came out of the freezer, and the cheese had a delightful ooziness to it that you want to see out of any pizza.
One of the immediate pros was that we didn’t feel weighed down by the pizzas—even though we each ate an entire pie in one sitting. Even two slices of the traditional stuff can sometimes make you feel like you ate a brick, but that wasn’t the case with Banza. While we were full, we could walk around without feeling gross.
Banza sells four options: a plain crust that can be topped with anything you like, four-cheese, margherita, and veggie.
But is it healthier?
When you compare Banza’s pizzas to a New York slice, the winner, nutritionally speaking, is clear. A slice from any Manhattan pizzeria can contain anywhere from 285 to 400 calories, depending on how it’s cooked. Most of that is going to be carbs with very little fiber, tons of saturated fat, and minimal protein.
One serving of Banza’s four-cheese pizza is half the pie, a generous portion. In that, you’re getting 390 calories, 16g of protein, 49g of carbs (six grams of fiber), and 19g of fat (nine of which are saturated). So you’re getting more food for just about the same amount of calories, but with the added benefit of fiber (5 grams per serving) and protein (17 grams per serving) to help keep you fuller for longer.
Banza stands up against its competition, too. Just one slice of DiGiorno’s four-cheese pizza has almost the same amount of calories as half a Banza pie, and nearly the same macros. If you were to grab a second slice of DiGiorno’s, you’d nearly double the amount of calories in half a Banza pie.
So again, you’re getting more bang for your buck with the chickpea pies.
Banza also doesn’t put any added sugar in its crusts—DiGiorno can have as much as six grams per serving.
If you’re looking for a cheat meal, treat yourself to a traditional pizza. That being said, Banza’s pre-made pies and crusts are a great way to incorporate more pizza into your diet while maintaining your physique.
We’ve written about the benefits of chickpeas in the past—they’re one of the best foods to control blood sugar and help you lose weight. So what better way to incorporate them into your diet than pizza?
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