Pasta has become a family tradition for many generations now. Whether it’s a simple weekend family dinner to special occasions among family and friends, its presence can never be ignored. Lots of pasta recipes have been invented, introduced and tested, making them versatile enough to use. Though basically made from flour and water, healthy pasta is the main concern here. It’s the kind of flour that is used that makes the big difference. There are healthy pasta that can be incorporated in our diet if we want to go healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle without giving up on it. They contain lots of fiber and are delectable too.
Types of healthy pasta:
Whole wheat pasta – made from whole wheat flour, high in fiber with different texture and flavor than the conventional white pasta. Contains more fiber and proteins than semolina (white pasta). The bleaching process on white pasta takes away most of the nutrients and vitamins and since whole wheat pasta doesn’t undergo this process, nutrients and vitamins are retained. A real healthy option that is readily available in the supermarkets. They come in different shapes and sizes. The most common of which is the whole wheat spaghetti. Products from Japan like the Udon noodles and Ramen noodles, are all made from wheat. They are heavier so they can make one easily full for longer time.
Buckwheat Pasta – this comes from a fruit called achene and looks like a sunflower seed. The white, starchy endosperm is what is turned into buckwheat flour. The green or tan coating of the seed makes it dark in color. They are very good for soups, as in Soba noodles and very popular in Japan and Korea and northern part of Italy. They are great for creamy pasta, very tasty, high in fiber and rich in protein. People with coeliac disease can be safe with buckwheat pasta because it is gluten-free.
Spelt Pasta – a distant relative o wheat it contains carbohydrates, fiber, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals and has nutty flavor. Unlike buckwheat pasta, it contains gluten so it is not recommended for people with coeliac disease. It is readily available in health food stores and specialty shops but can be home-made too with the use of spelt flour. A very healthy alternative to white pasta.
Brown Rice Pasta – may have an unusual texture but tastes so much like rice. This is free of cholesterol, gluten and wheat. It is rich in fiber, high in protein, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidant. It also can go very well with some vegetables like beans and tomatoes and it is very filling and tastes real good.
There are still several grains that can be turned into a healthy pasta just like quinoa, couscous, and other vegetables like moringa, spinach, squash, carrot, soy beans and zucchini that can be mixed with them to have the healthiest pasta product, the vegetable noodles. It’s just a matter of experimenting and being creative so one can satisfy his health requirements to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of his life.