8 Healthy Substitutes To Traditional Pasta
Pasta is no doubt a crowd-favorite. Aside from the mouthwatering taste of a tomato-based sauce or oil-based pasta dishes, preparing a pasta meal either for yourself or for your family to enjoy is also quick and easy.
However, despite the delectable flavors a bowl of pasta can bring, it’d be good to note that traditional pasta is high in carbs, which are considered unhealthy, especially if you consume large amounts. Moreover, white pasta is frequently made with refined grains of white flour, which makes them unhealthier.
The good thing about this is that today, there is a lot of healthy ways to prepare and consume pasta dishes. There are dozens of alternatives that can give you the same flavor but is certainly healthier.
Orzo, which is oblong in shape and frequently used in Mediterranean cuisine, resembles rice but has a pasta texture. It originated in Italy and has spread throughout Europe, especially in Greece, and the Middle East.
Orzo is known to be high in carbs, which can help fuel your body throughout the day. But the good thing about orzo is that it’s also rich in protein and fiber and doesn’t have much fat content. While it resembles rice grains, their preparation is very much like how you cook dry pasta. Aside from pasta dishes, orzo can also be used as an ingredient in broths or soup. You can check out https://riceselect.com/product/orzo to learn more.
These Asian noodles are gaining popularity in the Western World due to their high fiber content and low-calorie count. Since it is high in fiber, it can give the impression of being full when consumed. And because the noodles are naturally calorie-free, you may add richer, cheesier sauces without guilt. A few recipes you might want to attempt are Chicken Alfredo and Turkey or Chicken Tetrazzini.
Unlike the other pasta, shirataki noodles are sold pre-cooked and packaged in water. To prepare, rinse or boil the noodles thoroughly to remove any residue or odor from the packaging liquid.
Quinoa is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods since it is high in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and essential amino acids. It may help you lose weight by lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Quinoa pasta is typically made by grounded quinoa seeds mixed with other grains. This pasta is gluten-free, high in protein, and rich in fiber. Quinoa pasta is known to have a grainy texture with a nutty flavor, which may discourage some people from trying it. However, due to its benefits to the digestive system, it is considered to be a great healthy alternative to harmful, starch-heavy ingredients.
Another healthy alternative is pasta made out of zucchinis. Zucchinis are known to be rich in water and fiber content, which can contribute to healthy digestion. It is also rich in antioxidants that can help prevent cancer. Moreover, it’s high in vitamins and protein and may help strengthen the cardiovascular system.
However, it’d be good to note that zucchini has a different texture, making it different from the actual taste and texture of flour-based pasta. To prepare, slice the zucchini with a potato peeler, then chop them into long pieces if desired. Cook it in a little olive oil and water, then add your preferred herbs and spices.
Spaghetti Squash is another good replacement for white pasta. It is high in calorie and fiber content, which may help if you want to lose weight.
This vegetable bakes into buttery, noodle-like strands. To prepare, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place the cut sides face down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can fill the squash with pasta sauce or use the noodles to make a casserole or side dish. You can spruce it a bit by filling the squash with shredded lettuce or cabbage, black beans, and avocado.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine. If the thought of making a sauce from them seems strange, consider that hummus is a thick chickpea sauce. And yes, hummus does go well with spaghetti. Chickpeas form an earthy, nutty sauce for spaghetti.
Chickpeas have a moderate flavor and absorb a wide range of flavors. Traditionally, cumin is used, but you may instead use smoked paprika, curry powder, or even cinnamon. This protein and the fiber-rich combination can help you stay full, and the texture will fulfill your pasta need.
The one disadvantage is that it tastes more like chickpeas than pasta, so pasta lovers beware. After all, it’s not like white-flour pasta. It’s got that nuttiness you love from whole wheat pasta, but without the gritty, rough texture.
Mung Bean Pasta
Mung bean pasta is another unusual choice worth trying. You can get it in combo pasta with edamame and mung bean, which is a legume. Mung bean pasta is fiber-rich and low in glycemic index. They are also known to be rich in antioxidants, which can help prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and cardio-related diseases.
These gluten-free Japanese noodles are produced from buckwheat flour. These noodles are perfect for stir-frys or pasta salads since they taste nuttier than white pasta. Soba noodles are low in calories and high in manganese, which is essential for metabolism and bone health. It also contains minerals such iron, calcium, and potassium
Soba noodles can be consumed hot or cold. To spruce up your dish, you can add protein such as grilled salmon and some vegetables.
Today, cuisines aren’t the only ones evolving because so are their ingredients. If you love having pasta over for lunch or dinner, but you are concerned about how it affects your health and diet, it’d be good to note that there are a lot of alternatives out there.
Not only do these alternatives have fewer fat and carbs content, but they are also packed with other nutrients and minerals. Keeping these alternatives in mind can be a great start to your healthy living journey.