Product: BOLD Organics Gluten-Free and Vegan Veggie Lovers Pizza – $9.49+
Sometimes…if you look hard enough…you manage to find something amazing…despite it being a processed food in the freezer department. At least it was at a natural food store…so that’s saying something, right? Right!
That’s what I’ll keep telling myself.
Anyway…what I speak of is a brand of gluten-free and vegan pizza (this version anyway) made by BOLD Organics. In fact, BOLD Organics pizzas (the vegan and the meaty ones) are all gluten-free, milk-free, lactose-free, casein-free, whey-free, egg-free, peanut-free, and treenut-free. EPIC!! I mean…EPIC, right?! Right!
BOLD Organics was founded with a simple principle to strive for – creating the most delicious and healthy frozen pizza on the market. And that vision was reached and realized with the line of gluten-free and dairy-free pizzas that, as the Web site puts it, “are redefining just how good eating healthy can taste.”
It’s not too bold (see what I did there?) a statement either. Because what BOLD Organics did…was take their goal and do everything in their power to make it a reality. Seriously. Founder, Aaron Greenwald, often found that traditional gluten-free products on the market were bland and lacked taste. That was when Aaron embarked on his mission to not just help people eat better…but also feel better. And he sourced the best chefs he could find who not only understood gluten-free food, but could also provide bold (I did it again) flavors to the products his company would produce. And so…BOLD Organics was born.
BOLD Organics began producing high quality, allergen-free foods…so people could have a choice when it came to gluten-free pizzas. He strove to provide restaurant quality food with premium taste…without paying a premium price.
Well, when I spotted this in my natural food store’s freezer…I decided that having a frozen pizza on hand wasn’t a bad idea. I mean…when you need something easy one night, just pop it out of the freezer, onto a pizza stone…and viola…dinner! So, I had one stashed in my freezer. And, as I am trying very hard to work my way through the plethora of gluten-free goodness I have stocked up in my freezer and pantry, on Friday, as I had a 16 mile run on Saturday, I figured gluten-free pizza would be the way to go.
Out of the two vegan options offered by BOLD Organics, I went with the Veggie Lovers version. Why? Because any pizza that is topped with seasonal vegetables (organic roasted red peppers, organic roasted yellow onions, and shiitake mushrooms) is okay in my book. The cheese they use is completely vegan. So, I pulled this out of the freezer directly after work and preheated the oven to 450° F, per the instructions on the box. I stuck my pizza stone in to warm while the oven preheated and set about opening up the box.
The box does make me think that the pizza would be a little bigger than it really is…but what it lacks for in size (it’s an 8-inch pizza), it makes up for in the fact that it is not a cracker-crust, very thin-crust pizza. Nope. Not at all. This pizza has depth to it. It has the most amazing crust…and I could tell that before it was even baked. With the oven heated and pizza stone warm, I tossed the pizza in to cook for 20-22 minutes. If the vegan cheese has not melted, it says to broil it for 1-2 more minutes. The cheese on my pizza melted beautifully and the crust became fluffy and golden and just…perfect looking.
I removed the pizza from the oven and sliced it in half. The box I have says the serving size was half the pizza. That seems to have changed now…but…I’ll go off what I had in my freezer. One half went to my roommate, the other half was mine…all mine. I can say this…it looked and smelled amazing. But, as always, the true test lies in the taste. That is the absolute heart of the matter.
I settled in for dinner, fork in hand, and sliced through the crispy, yet soft crust. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. That is pizza crust perfection, my friends. PERFECTION! And, furthermore…this pizza was frozen pizza perfection. It looked like all the non-gluten-free counterparts you see on the market. It wasn’t this sad-looking thin crust slab of cheese and veggies. No. This was a bold looking, veggie laden (save for the mushrooms…I got a bit gypped on those), vegan cheese coated amazing thing. The flavors were melt-together perfect. It was sweet from the peppers and savory with the cheese. It had that perfect crust. I was in pizza heaven. I was. Because, with the exception of my local allergen-free bakery, I can’t find anything but cracker-crust when it comes to gluten-free pizza. That just changed. My whole frozen pizza world just expanded. I was…SO impressed. The cheese, even being a vegan mozzarella, was stretchy and melty and gooey. Pizza perfection. BOLD pizza perfection. I’m sold. For life.
Let’s talk ingredients and nutrition, shall we?
This pizza is made up of filtered water, vegan gourmet mozzarella cheese alternative, inulin, soy protein, agar agar, sea salt, plant-based natural flavor, carrageenan (BOO!), vegetable source of lactic acid, organic crushed tomatoes, organic potato starch, organic rice flour, organic corn meal, organic roasted red bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms, organic roasted yellow onions, fresh yeast, organic tomato paste, organic extra virgin olive oil, xanthan gum, organic evaporated cane juice, organic oregano, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and organic spices (rosemary, black pepper, granulated garlic, red chili).
As far as nutritional value goes…for half of a pizza…this isn’t too bad. One serving (1/2 of the pizza) served up 340 calories and 13 grams of fat. That’s actually not bad! I was impressed. It has 670 mg sodium, which is a little high…but…not bad in the grand scheme of things. The serving has 6 grams of sugar as well, which is super good. And, 1/2 of the pizza dishes up 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.
It’s awesome. BOLD Organics produced a product they can totally be proud of and stand behind. I loved every bite I took of this one. And I will definitely try the Vegan Cheese version in the future too. With a fluffy and flaky crust like that…it’s hard to stop me from stuffing another one in my freezer.
This pizza BOLD-ly went where no gluten-free pizza went before…and they did it perfectly!