If you’re a fan of pasta, you’ve probably noticed an abundance of different versions of pasta on your grocery store shelf. From pasta made with quinoa to lentils and chickpeas to spinach pasta or zucchini “noodles”…the options seem to grow every week! Here is a quick run-down of some pastas you may see at the store.
Pastas made from chickpeas, lentils or black beans have more protein and fiber than regular pasta which is a positive! These pastas tend to be “stickier” and may have a pasty/slightly mushy texture after they’re cooked. Definitely try them out! Banza, Ancient Harvest and Explore Cuisine are a few brands to look for.
Quinoa pasta, like bean based pastas, is a great choice as it is higher in protein and fiber than regular pasta and is considered to be a whole grain. Once cooked, quinoa pasta isn’t as mushy/sticky as bean based pasta. Ancient Harvest and Tinkyada are some brands using quinoa that you may see.
You can skip the healthier looking/healthier sounding pastas like green spinach pasta as these are usually just regular pasta made with a tiny bit of dried spinach (or whatever vegetable they claim is used).
Fresh vegetable “noodles” like zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash noodles are a great choice! You can buy these already in the noodle form (in the produce section) or you can make them at home by “spiralizing” the zucchini into noodles or baking spaghetti squash and then shredding it with a fork. You then cook these by boiling or sautéing them. You get lots of nutrients and fiber from these “noodles” and very little carbohydrate. The drawback is that they won’t provide the same texture as regular pasta, but once you combine them with your favorite sauce or olive oil and herbs/spices, you may not mind! You can also mix these “noodles” with a smaller portion of your favorite pasta if you want a more authentic pasta texture.