Each time I hear about a new product touting good health, I just roll my eyes. It's usually something ridiculous like bacon steeped in some superfruit or sugar-fraught energy drinks promising antioxidant benefits. I had the same reaction when I first learned about Naked Pizza, a small take-out and delivery-style pizza chain out of New Orleans. Really, I thought? Pizza that's good for you? Here we go again.
But then, I visited the Denver outpost on Colfax Avenue and Gaylord Street. Outwardly, the two-month-old shop looks like every other take-away pizza spot. But behind the scenes, I began to understand that this is a different sort of operation. To start, the ingredients used to make the pies are fresh and devoid of preservatives and weird chemicals, the tomato sauce (often a source of hidden calories) has no added sugar, and the meats are hormone-free. But the real difference comes in the crust. The dough—which is gently stretched rather than tossed and beaten to a pulp—contains 10 grains and seeds, plus probiotics and prebiotic agave fiber. (These are what originally garnered an eye-roll.)
So what does that mean, and how does it all taste? Probiotics are good bacteria that help promote belly—home to 70 percent of the body's immune system—health. You've likely heard these claims made by yogurt companies; what's unique about Naked Pizza's probiotics is that they actually reach the all-important lower digestive track. But enough unappetizing stomach talk—what's significant is that the pizza actually tastes good.
I tried most of the menu and found favorites in the Mediterranean (pictured) with garlic-infused olive oil, artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, black olive, feta, and mozzarella, and the Smokehouse, which is Naked's take on the barbecue chicken combo. Interestingly enough, the best-selling pie both in-store and in the company's frozen line, is the Superbiotic, a veggie powerhouse with artichokes, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, onion, and cilantro.
Now, just because this is functional food doesn't mean Naked Pizza is health food. Probiotics and all-natural ingredients aren't an excuse to take down a whole pie. To help manage those expectations, calorie counts—which fall between 572 and 1,908 per pizza, and depend on the size and type of crust ordered—are listed on the menu.
In the Freezer Aisle: Look for Naked Pizza's frozen pies at Sunflower Farmers Market.
2207 E. Colfax Ave., 303-355-2443