On Tuesday, Blaze Pizza became the first national chain to offer a keto-friendly pizza crust.
Blaze, which has more than 300 locations in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East, just introduced a new crust that replaces flour with cheese, eggs, flax seed and cauliflower. Blaze, which counts basketball superstar LeBron James among its investors, is known for its Chipotle-style service which allows diners to customize individual pizzas with a la carte toppings before their pie is baked to order.
The low-carb crust has just 6 net carbs for the whole pizza compared with around 80 net carbs in the traditional crust. The keto crust contains roughly the same number of calories per serving.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of Better Than Dieting and author of "Read It Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table," told TODAY Food via email that "generally, cheese is much lower in sugar/lactose content," so it's allowed for keto dieters and, if you're not indulging in carbs throughout the day, this pizza would keep you within keto guidelines.
In addition to the keto crust, Blaze is also offering a new vegetable-based cauliflower pizza crust made with cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, rice flour, egg whites and cultured brown rice, among other ingredients. Cauliflower pizza crusts are increasingly popular with options available at California Pizza Kitchen and as part of Oprah's O! That's Good food line.
Both of the new crusts are also gluten free and will set customers back an additional $2 to $5 per pizza, depending on the market.
So far, people are champing at the bit to get their hands on a keto crust, with many wanting to know if it's already being offered at their local Blaze.
Others are applauding the chain's carb-conscious move.
And few have chimed in saying they've already tried it and gave it a positive review.
In addition to the new crusts, Blaze is also launching a new line of what it's calling "Life Mode" pizzas, which are available only online or via the company's mobile app. They include: Keto, Vegetarian, Vegan and Protein.
For example, the Keto Pizza will use the keto crust with toppings that include mozzarella, bacon, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach, while the Protein Pizza, which also uses the keto crust, features mozzarella, meatballs, smoked ham, grilled chicken, black olives, green bell peppers and oregano.
Taub-Dix notes that the sugar listed as an ingredient in the sauce for the Keto Pizza "may be shunned by some who are anti-sugar in any form and in any amount [on the diet], while others may allow it if they are "kindof keto, and they allow a certain amount of generally-avoided foods."
The pizza chain also recently added a plant-based protein topping, vegan chorizo, which is made with ingredients free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
"We like to stay with or ahead of trends," Blaze Pizza's executive chef Bradford Kent told TODAY Food over email. "These pizzas were created in response to a growing demand for lower carbohydrate, ketogenic and vegan diets and lifestyles." He added that so far, the customer response has been very positive.