Healthy alternatives to enjoy delicious pasta
A delicious big ol’ bowl of pasta – yes please! No doubt a few of us have indulged in some pasta isolation feasting over the past month, as it’s such a great pantry staple to have on hand to whip up a meal for many people.
Whilst indulging every now and then on the standard white pasta variety is ok – there are some amazing alternatives in out stores these days .. some you might not have tried.
So – we’re putting them to the test and giving you our verdict on some of the few favorites. Give a healthier option a go – it might become your easiest go to meal yet!
Plant Based Pasta
From mung bean, black bean and more
Some of our favourites are from Eco organics, Explore Cuisine & Ceres. They make a range of different ‘pastas’ made from things like mung beans, edamame, chickpeas and black beans, providing gluten free, lower carb, options. Great for vegans and people wanting a higher protein alternative.
We love the fact that the ingredients are super simple as well .. often just ONE ingredient! Like Ceres Organic Edamame Spaghetti – made with just one simple ingredient- organically grown edamame beans! Straight up goodness. Traditionally eaten in Asian cultures, edamame beans are the ideal ingredient for a unique and nourishing pasta that can be enjoyed by all, including those avoiding gluten. This pasta is loaded with natural plant-based goodness, including over 40% protein and nearly 20% dietary fibre! And with a mild, earthy flavour, it’s super versatile.
The cooking time is super simple – often just 3-5 mins in boiling water. Delicious hot or cold – simply enjoy with your favourite toppings.
A warm sauce on current rotation at our house is canned tomatoes, olives & mushrooms.
Slendier Calorie Clever pastas and noodles are made from konjac…a high fibre, Asian root vegetable. They are great for people following a lower carb diet that still want the pasta texture. Their lasagna noodles are a favourite. Use them with strips of eggplant and zucchini to create an incredible low carb ‘lasagne’. Their range includes spaghetti, fettuccini, angel hair noodles and even rice…they are very versatile and delish!
OR – you can work with vegetables in their raw form.
Such as zucchini’s – nature’s pasta with the help of a spiralizer. Simply ‘spiralize’ your zucchini’s into a colander to help drain off the excess moisture. You can also pop them in the fridge for a few hours and blot with a clean / dry tea towel for further moisture removal. (Zucchini’s are quite water dense – so when you cook them, they can become quite water logged if you don’t try and remove some of the excess liquid first.
We suggest frying over med – high heat, with organic olive oil, salt & pepper until soft .(roughly 5 mins)
Flour Alternatives Pasta
Try some ancient grains
You may have seen names such as Kamut, Spelt, Buckwheat & Sorghum in store but wondered what they actually were .. and what the nutritional difference and benefits they contain. Unlike processed, refined white flours, these are often ancient grains, farmed and milled into flour types, which are then used to make delicious pasta.
- Sorghum: An ancient grain native to Northeastern Africa, sorghum is revered as a ‘super crop’. It requires little water to grow, so it’s great for our planet too! The ideal ingredient for a nourishing pasta that can be enjoyed by all, including those avoiding gluten.
- Spelt: Whilst spelt does contain an element of gluten, it’s more water soluble than traditional wheat – meaning it’s much easier for the body to digest. A delicious nutty flavour, if your trying to avoid gluten but not fussed about being completely gluten free, give this a try. It’s also packed with added nutrients such as iron, zinc & magnesium.
- Buckwheat: Whilst technically, buckwheat is a ‘pseudo-cereal’, and related to the rhubarb fruit seed family – we’ve included it here, as the buckwheat is ground into a flour to make delicious pasta. It’s naturally gluten free & packed with fiber – which is great news for digestive health.
Orgran Buckwheat pasta spirals are actually a blend of buckwheat & rice flour.
Try our delicious Salmon, chickpea pasta made with Orgran Buckwheat pasta spirals:
GRAB THE RECIPE
Gluten Free, Rice & Grain Pasta options:
Gluten free doesn’t have to taste boring!
If you want something a little more like real pasta, that is gluten free and is a little more #wholefood…Olive Green Organic pasta tastes like the real deal. Their pastas are made from grains like rice, amaranth and quinoa, making them a little healthier than regular wheat pasta. A definite gluten free staple to have on hand.
Other gluten free pasta options such as Casalare cannelloni are a blend of rice, tapioca and maize flour with potato starch.
If you’re not reliant on 100% gluten free but looking to eliminate wheat in your diet, the Nutritionist Choice bifun brown rice noodles are fantastic. Bifun noodles are thin noodles made of 100% rice – in this case, brown rice. As well as a pasta option, try adding it to your soups, stirfrys or as a cold salad loaded with veg. The kids will love it too!
Our stores carry different selections of the above products and so much more.
And – we have you covered with plenty of recipe inspiration to keep your pasta dishes exciting. It’s a great one to get the kids involved with too.
Here’s a few of our favourites:
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