Pasta is a very popular meal enjoyed worldwide. It facilitates very delicious comfort meals — no matter how it is prepared. However, regular pasta isn’t always vegan-friendly hence the need for plant-based options. Today, many plant-based pasta options are fast becoming staples in people’s pantries.
Plant-based pasta is an excellent gluten-free pasta option.
The market for plant-based pasta is booming.
Regular wheat pasta lacks nutritional value, but plant-based pasta is often loaded with healthy nutrients, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
What’s for dinner? Spaghetti, ravioli, penne, rigatoni, or linguine pasta? There are so many different pasta types, and pasta remains one of the most ubiquitous meals in any kitchen. Whether it is creamy, cheesy, hot, and spicy with tomato sauce, or mixed in a salad, pasta is an easy-to-prepare comfort food. It is a common favorite for the old and young.
However, regular pasta is wheat flour-based and, hence, contains gluten. Gluten is a protein found in foods like wheat, rye, and barley, giving a food structure. Unfortunately, some people suffer from gluten sensitivity. This often comes with digestive discomfort, such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
For this reason, plant-based pasta has become a desired option. People may also prefer plant-based pasta because they are on a plant-based diet. Plant-based pasta is typically made from legumes or whole grains. They are rich in fiber and also offer many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Examples of plant-based pasta
Pasta made from legumes and whole foods is growing in popularity. Furthermore, sticking to a healthy diet doesn’t mean giving up your favorite pasta dish. Pasta is often considered delicious and fun — though adding cream, butter, and cheese increases fat content and calorie count. However, it can also be healthy, and gluten-free pasta is a great alternative. In addition, new, amazing plant-based pasta options help create tasty, healthy pasta meals.
Chickpea pasta is one of the most popular plant-based options. It is made from legumes, and garbanzo beans, to be precise and is rich in protein and fiber. Chickpeas also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
Chickpeas are also very filling due to their high fiber content and protein level. This helps reduce caloric intake, maintain a healthy weight, and manage blood sugar levels. Studies show that consuming chickpeas better help to reduce blood sugar levels after meals than other foods like white bread.
Lentil pasta is another interesting plant-based pasta option. Lentils are also an excellent source of fiber and plant protein. In addition, they provide many vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.
Lentils are also rich in polyphenols such as procyanidin and flavonols. These polyphenols deliver numerous health benefits, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. In addition, similar to chickpeas, lentils have a low glycaemic load, making them a great dietary option for diabetics.
Lentil pasta is readily available on store shelves. For skeptics, consumers agree that the texture and structure are more similar to regular pasta than other alternatives. Therefore, it is easy to make delicious, more familiar meals.
Black bean pasta
Black bean pasta comes in different shapes and is made from dried black beans. This nutrient-packed pasta can be cooked in different ways, including casseroles, soups, salads, and stir fry dishes.
Besides being gluten-free, black bean pasta is loaded with many vitamins and minerals. For example, it is rich in potassium, which helps support cardiac activity and muscle contractions. Black beans also offer high protein and fiber content, which are also very healthy.
One downside to black bean pasta is its physical appearance. Some may find its dark, black color unappealing and, for that reason, deliberately avoid it.
Hearts of palm spaghetti
Palm hearts and hearts of palm pasta are popularly known for their low-carb and low-calorie content. The pasta is made of the “heart” of the cabbage palm tree and is rich in iron, manganese, zinc, potassium, and vitamin C. However, it doesn’t contain as much protein as other plant-based pasta.
When cooked, it has a similar appearance and taste to regular pasta. This is why many consumers are drawn to this particular plant-based pasta. It’s featured in many pasta recipes like Alfredo, spaghetti Bolognese, and pasta puttanesca. It is also commonly an ingredient in Thai food recipes.
Sticking to a healthy diet requires planning and deliberate action. It doesn’t have to be boring or completely different from what you are used to. Plant-based pasta provides amazing health benefits. By incorporating it into your meals, you can eat more delicious and healthier meals. Remember to use other whole foods when making soups or sauces to go with the pasta for a fully nutritious and healthy meal.