Pasta is delicious. A steaming bowl screams comfort food! The thing is, traditional white pasta isn’t the healthiest food around. It is a highly-processed grain that can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash giving you short term energy followed up with possible fatigue, brain fog and even hunger.
The great news is that noodles made of everything but wheat are gaining popularity and most of them are full of protein, iron and fibre making them a much healthier choice! The mix of good protein and fibre will give you a nice, even flow of energy and keep you feeling full longer.
Now I’ve tried many different pasta alternatives and some of them simply don’t make the cut. I’m picky about my pasta and often the texture and/or taste is way off. The ones listed below passed my taste and texture test and I’ve served them to others who really enjoyed them.
Here are 3 healthy and delicious pasta alternatives I’m loving on the market right now.
This pasta is basically the nutritional value of a complete meal – minus some veggies of course! Lentils are an amazing source of iron – ¾ cup of lentil pasta (dry) has 50% of the daily recommended amount of iron, 21 grams of protein and 11 grams of fibre (also half of your recommended intake). It is gluten free and high in zinc and folate – both essential nutrients. You cook it the same as traditional pasta and it has good texture and tastes great! There are various brands depending on where you live. So far I have only found it at health food stores or Whole Foods but with its growing popularity I feel it will be on conventional grocery store shelves very soon.
Not quite as high in iron and protein as the lentil but still a great alternative and is gluten free. It cooks easily and is delicious with a classic tomato sauce. I’ve found this one in some grocery stores lately and different brands are definitely at health food stores.
If you can get past its dark colour, black bean pasta has the most nutrients by far of any alternative I’ve tried. 22 grams of protein, 15 grams of fibre, 60% of your iron and even 25% of your calcium (in ¾ cup dry). Now that is a LOT of good stuff! I like to use it in a light olive oil sauce with lots of veggies or try it in this Summer Pasta Salad. As with the lentil pasta I have only found this at health food stores right now.
I encourage you to give one or all of these a try. It is such an easy way to get more clean protein, iron and fibre into your day without having to think too much about it.
I would love to hear from you…Do you have a pasta alternative you love? Let me know what it is in the comments below.