Product: Schär Gluten Free Bontà d’Italia Frozen Veggie Pizza – $8.99+
Way back when my gluten-free journey began, I was trying out a variety of pizza shells. You know…either shelf-stable or frozen gluten-free pizza crusts that I could build my own pizza on and cook up however I wanted. That was all fine and good…as I love building new flavors and making a delicious and actually healthy pizza. But sometimes…you just don’t want to do all that chopping and saucing and cheesing…right?
Hey…we all lead busy lives and cooking takes time.
Well, my entire point to that opening anecdote was that one of my favorite crusts I used was made by Schär. If you’ve delved into the gluten-free world for awhile, you’ve probably become familiar with Schär’s products. You can find many of their shelf-stable and parbaked breads on grocery store shelves. You can also find many of their delectable cookies and crackers as well. The company’s vision statement says that they aim to become the leading specialist for particular dietary and nutritional needs in Europe and North America. Schär specializes in the development and production of foods for people with special dietary needs. They focus on producing delicious products with quality ingredients, wanting to assure that consumers receive balanced nutrition and quality of life through their diet.
And tonight, I was trying one of their new products out in the market. They recently introduced gluten-free bagels and gluten-free pizzas to their line of frozen products. So, while you can get their gluten-free pizza shell (shelf-stable)…you also now have the option of just going to your grocer’s freezer and retrieving a ready-to-bake frozen pizza as well.
Schär currently offers two varieties of their gluten-free frozen pizza: Veggie and Cheese.
You know I went for the veggie pizza! HAHA!
There it was, in my freezer now…the Schär Gluten Free Bontà d’Italia Frozen Veggie Pizza. Tonight…it was dinner.
So…after a long day from work, I came home and got the oven preheating at 425°F, getting out my pizza stone to get it warming. The actual pizza itself had to be unwrapped and left to thaw for about 10 minutes, which is about how long it takes for my dinosaur of an oven to reach the correct baking temperature. So, that was perfect. I removed the pizza from the box, then it’s little plastic wrapper, and let it sit on a pizza pan. I already loved the look of it. It had a very thin crust, but it was loaded with amazing and fresh looking vegetables. For real!! I could clearly see a thin layer of red sauce, a light sprinkling of cheese, but the biggest stand-outs were the amazing looking vegetables scattered on top. Red peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms, onion, and spinach. They looked completely fresh and super bright. I was already impressed. I’d never had a frozen pizza look like that before.
Once the oven was heated, I pulled out the pizza stone and transferred the pizza to it. Back into the oven it went for about 8 minutes, until the cheese was bubbly and the crust got that nice color to it. It really is that simple. Get together dishes and drinks for dinner time and before you know it…it will be time to pull the pizza out of the oven.
Let me tell you…while this is cooking up it smells fantastic! Honestly!! I was in pizza heaven. It actually smelled like a pizzeria in my apartment. That made me so happy. I commented that it smelled so good, but my roommate is fighting off a cold, so she had to just take my word for it. In no time, I was pulling the Schär Gluten Free Bontà d’Italia Frozen Veggie Pizza from the oven and letting it sit for a moment before slicing into it.
The back of the box for the Schär Gluten Free Bontà d’Italia Frozen Veggie Pizza states that “the goodness of Italy is just minutes away from your table” with the creation of Schär’s new line of frozen entrees that are “rich in natural flavors and nutrients.” The thing that I think really sets this pizza apart from all that have come before it is that thin crust is actually brick oven baked. Yes. So, you get this richness to the crust that usually you don’t find in gluten-free crusts. Add to it the blend of sauce, cheese, and toppings and you have one authentic sounding pizza.
So…did it live up to the box hype?
MORE THAN! Seriously. When I took my first bite, I was so impressed. For a frozen pizza, this was full of flavor. The pizza crust, being stone baked before hand, has this nice charred taste that makes it feel like it came out of one of those pizza ovens. The crust may be thin, but it is sturdy. None of the toppings were too much for this crust. And the crispiness that the edges got was perfection. I felt like I was eating a real pizza at a real pizzeria. That’s not a feeling I get often, especially while dining on my couch in my apartment. In fact…it never happens that way. The cheese wasn’t overwhelming. In fact, the vegetables were the most predominant topping and the stars of this pizza. And when you eat a veggie pizza…that’s how it should be. The peppers, onion, and mushrooms all cooked perfectly and tasted like they were fresh off the farm. Seriously. And the spinach didn’t get mushy. It was the perfect dusting of green over the top. My taste buds were blown away. And while I really had wanted to skip this easy-to-prepare meal and go out somewhere, I’m glad, in the end, my empty wallet won because nothing could have compared to this!
Let’s talk ingredients! Schär is dedicated to using only the highest quality ingredients, and that is beyond evident…even when the pizza was still frozen. The Schär Gluten Free Bontà d’Italia Frozen Veggie Pizza contains: water, vegetable mix (red peppers, yellow peppers, mushrooms, onion, spinach) tomato puree, rice flour, potato starch, mozzarella cheese, potato flakes psyllium seed husks, sunflower oil, sugar, soy protein, modified cellulose, carob-see flour, salt, mono- and diglicerides, oregano, and apple fiber. This product contains no gluten or wheat and is a good source of fiber.
As far as the nutrition information…this isn’t too bad either!
A serving size is 1 slice (my roommate and I had 2), and the entire pizza serves 4. If you follow the serving size recommendation, you will be consuming 170 calories and 6 grams of fat. You will also be taking in 10 mg of cholesterol, 370 mg sodium, and less than 1 gram of sugar. One slice will provide you with 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. So, don’t let that thin crust fool you. You will definitely feel full!
More importantly, however, you will feel satisfied…because this pizza is beyond fantastic. It takes gluten-free frozen pizzas and turns it into something that actually tastes like it came from a wood-fired pizza place. It was amazing. And I was one happy girl. Sometimes a frozen product has the potential to surprise you. Well played, Schär! Color me surprised…and full.
Now I need to stock another one in my freezer…