Banza GF Pizza Crust Review: Do Chickpeas Outshine the Rest?

Banza, recognized for its chickpea-based food lineup, not only offers an array of premade pizzas but also a standalone gluten-free crust. Comprising primarily chickpeas blended with tapioca, this crust is a pleasant change from the typical veggie-based gluten-free pizza crusts that dominate the shelves.

My introduction to Banza began with their Margherita pizza, a taste so compelling it left me thinking: how much did this chickpea crust influence the overall flavor? Having tried numerous store-bought gluten-free crusts, the idea of a chickpea-based crust stood out, pushing me to look into it further.

So I decided to put Banza’s crust to the test with a classic pepperoni recipe; I figured if this crust works well with a pepperoni recipe, it should work well with any other combination.

This review unpacks that experience, aiming to determine if Banza’s plain GF crust truly holds its ground in the crowded gluten-free market.

Stay with me to see what I uncovered!

Bottom Line

My Take

Banza’s crust felt the closest to real wheat crusts I’ve tasted in the gluten-free realm. Whether it’s the chickpeas or the blend with tapioca, they’ve nailed the wheat texture. Not as protein-packed as some of their other pizzas but still tops many GF options. Bonus: It’s vegan and you get two crusts for a good price. If cauliflower crusts or other GF options haven’t hit the spot, this might be your go-to.

My Rating

Excellent

Pros

  • Superior taste (compared to other GF crusts).
  • Close to wheat crust (in taste & texture).
  • Gluten-free and vegan.
  • Two crusts per box.
  • Reasonably priced (vs. other GF crusts).
  • Retains freshness post-cooking.

Cons

  • Smaller size (only 10 inches).
  • Lower protein (4g per 1/4 crust).

Taste Testing and Facts: Exploring Banza’s Crust Inside Out

Banza GF Plain Pizza Crust

As touched upon in the opening, I decided to test Banza’s crust using a classic pizza recipe – the ever-popular pepperoni. I thought, if this crust complements the rich, salty notes of pepperoni, it’s likely a good fit for any other toppings you might want to toss on.

True to my suspicions, it was a resounding success.

Pepperoni on Banza GF Plain Pizza Crust

The crust not only held up but enhanced the pepperoni’s flavors, suggesting it’s versatile enough to pair with almost any topping you can think of.

Now, let’s delve deeper into the specific taste and texture of the crust itself:

Taste

If you’ve snacked on dry chickpeas and can recall that distinct earthy, nut-like taste, you’ve got a hint of what Banza’s crust offers. This crust captures those familiar notes, complemented by its yeasty undertones. The combination delivers a taste strikingly similar to wheat flour. The yeast flavor gives it the authenticity of real dough, while the nuttiness from the chickpeas evokes a wheat-like sensation.

Among all the gluten-free crusts I’ve tried, Banza’s is the front runner in delivering a flavor that feels just like a thin wheat-based pizza crust.

Texture

Banza’s crust strikes a delicate balance: thin yet sturdy. When you take a slice, the base supports a hearty layer of toppings without wilting or tearing. It’s crispy on the edges, with a slight chewiness in the center, similar to traditional thin-crust wheat pizzas.

Banza Crust's Thinness

The texture isn’t just impressive for a gluten-free option; it can compete with many regular crusts out there.

Banza Crust's Back

So, if you’re looking for that authentic pizza experience without the gluten, this crust should be on the top of your list.

Ingredient Breakdown

Crust: Chickpeas, Water, Tapioca, Cocoa Butter, Olive Oil, Less than 2% of: Yeast, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Salt, Date Powder, Sunflower Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Baking Powder (Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate).

Nutritional Overview

Nutritional Values

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of the crust
  • Calories: 150
  • Total Fat: 6 grams
    • Saturated Fat: 2 grams
    • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 135 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 22 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: 3 grams
    • Total Sugars: Less than 1 gram (Includes 0 gram added sugars)
  • Protein: 4 grams

Banza’s Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Unpack the Crust: Take the crust out of the box and remove all packaging.
  3. Add Toppings: Layer the crust with your preferred toppings.
  4. Bake: Position the pizza directly on the middle oven rack. Bake until the crust turns a light golden shade, which should take between 10-15 minutes. Please keep an eye on it, as oven temperatures and cooking times can vary.

Baking Banza’s Crust: My Experience & Adjustments

The baking instructions provided by Banza are generally accurate. However, from my experiences, including the time I made the Banza’s Margherita pizza, I noticed a few things:

  • Cooking Time: Both times, the crust and the entire pizza seemed perfectly baked around the 10-11 minute mark. Perhaps a 15-minute bake is more suitable for ovens that don’t run as hot, but in my oven, 10 minutes was ideal to achieve that light golden color without drying the crust.
  • Using a Pizza Stone: An important note is that I bake my pizzas on a pizza stone, which is known for its even heat distribution. This might have contributed to the quicker baking time for me. Investing in a pizza stone is invaluable for pizza enthusiasts. It bakes your pizza uniformly and achieves results no ordinary pan can match.

In summary, while Banza’s guidance is generally spot-on, I found 10 minutes to be the sweet spot for a perfectly golden and well-cooked crust in my oven.

Where to Buy Banza’s Pizza Crust

Banza’s pizzas and crusts are primarily available in health food stores, with Whole Foods being a notable retailer. While you might spot other Banza products in various supermarkets, their pizza offerings seem to be more exclusive. Personally, I found my Banza crust at Whole Foods.

If you’re relying on the store locator feature on Banza’s website, note that it doesn’t specify which product each store carries. It might indicate that a store has Banza products, but not necessarily the pizza crust. If you’re keen on getting the crust, I’d recommend calling the store in advance to confirm.

Final Thought

Banza’s chickpea-based crust is a revelation. It stands out with its authentic taste and texture that rivals traditional wheat crusts.

Given its benefits and the impression it’s left on me, I’m all in—I’ll definitely be stacking up on Banza’s crust for future homemade pizza endeavors.

If you’re in search of a gluten-free crust that doesn’t compromise on quality, this might just be your answer.

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