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February 28, 2021

chickpea pasta

Image credit: Pexels

When you’re stressed out or needing extra energy, there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of spaghetti or creamy macaroni and cheese. However, being on a low-carbohydrate diet means you can’t have them. 

Traditional pasta is made of refined flour (wheat flour) which causes a rise in blood glucose. If you’re trying to keep your blood glucose under control whether to lose weight or for a medical condition, there are other ways to satisfy your pasta cravings.

Luckily, there are low-carb alternatives to pasta and noodles that taste delicious and are even healthier. Explore the options below and try them for your next meal. Bon appetit!

1. Chickpea Pasta

As the term implies, chickpea pasta is made from chickpeas or garbanzo beans. These legumes are a chock-full of nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and iron. 

Research suggests that chickpeas aid in weight management and benefit heart health (1). Because of its dietary fiber content, chickpea pasta contributes to good digestion. 

So, chickpea pasta makes an excellent choice for your health! Cook it like regular pasta. Just make sure to use the right combination of sauce and ingredients to enhance its flavor. 

2. Hearts of Palm Noodles

A lot of low carb noodles nowadays use hearts of palm as an ingredient. Hearts of palm are harvested from the inner core of palm trees. Coconut is one example. 

As one of the foods for keto diet, a serving provides you with 4 grams of carbs. In addition, these noodles are low in calories and contain zero fat. 

Try these yummy recipe ideas: Shrimp stir fry, spaghetti bolognese, or cheesy tuna casserole! 

3. Cauliflower Rice

You’ve probably seen vegetarian recipes featuring cauliflower as the main ingredient. This cruciferous vegetable is amazingly versatile and healthy ― it’s a good source of disease-fighting antioxidants (2). 

To make cauliflower rice or cauliflower couscous, all you need to do is cut cauliflower into chunks and grind them up in a food processor. Steam it, roast it, microwave it, or pan-fry it according to your preference! 

If you like, you can season cauliflower rice with salt and pepper, olive oil, and chopped scallions for extra goodness.  

4. Shirataki Noodles

Shirataki noodles, also called konjac noodles, are gelatinous noodles that are made of glucomannan fiber. Studies show that this soluble fiber positively impacts total cholesterol, body weight, and fasting blood glucose (3). 

The best part about these noodles? They can be enjoyed on any diet, especially keto. Since shirataki contains zero net carbs, fat, and protein, you can meet these macros through your choice of sauces, meat/seafood, and herbs.

Using our shirataki noodle products, you can cook any recipe you like. Try delicious recipes such as traditional Pad Thai or spaghetti with shrimp and tomatoes! 

5. Kelp Noodles

These semi-transparent noodles are also a good traditional pasta alternative. Kelp noodles are gluten-free and contain high concentrations of calciumabout ten times more calcium than milk. 

You can choose between green kelp noodles, which taste like seaweed, or clear kelp noodles that taste bland and absorb the flavors of sauces. 

Since kelp noodles have a crunchy texture, those who’ve tried them recommend soaking them in hot water and adding a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Leave them for about 10 minutes. This method should soften the noodles. 

6. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is not just low-carb, it’s also low-calorie. It goes well with almost any ingredient which is why there are so many recipes to try using this pasta alternative!

Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash: Cut it in half (lengthwise), scoop out the seeds, drizzle the cut surfaces with olive oil, and bake it in the oven for 40 minutes. Once it cools down, scrape the surfaces using a fork to form thin noodles.

For a hearty family meal, try this: Top spaghetti squash with meatballs, tomato sauce, and parmesan cheese. Serve with red wine! 

7. Cabbage Noodles

If you’re looking for a low carb pasta recipe that’s affordable and easy to make, don’t forget cabbage noodles. Simply cut cabbage into strips to look like noodles and fry with your desired ingredients. 

Cabbage is packed with vitamin C which is essential to immune function and collagen formation (4). 

Short on time? You might like this easy recipe: Fry cabbage noodles in salted butter with bacon bits, onion, and garlic. Cook until the bacon bits become crispy and the cabbage noodles turn soft. 

8. Egg Noodles

Egg noodles are another must-try keto pasta alternative. Take note that these aren’t the typical egg noodles on grocery shelves. 

Instead, you make them from scratch, at home, by blending eggs with cream cheese and xanthan gum. Bake the mixture until it has set, let it cool, and cut it into strips.

It’s no secret that eggs are among the best ketogenic diet foods to eat. They contain beneficial fats and protein, and best of all ― they’re super versatile. 

9. Eggplant Pasta

If you’re not allergic to eggplant, then definitely include eggplant pasta on your low-carb noodle list. 

Eggplant is a nightshade vegetable that provides a wide range of benefits, from better digestion to a reduced risk of obesity. Thanks to its high fiber and low calorie content. 

Make eggplant pasta by slicing it lengthwise into thin strips, brushing the slices with olive oil, and roasting them. Combine your eggplant pasta with marinara sauce for an easy Mediterranean lunch or dinner. 

10. Zucchini Noodles

Made from spiralized zucchini, these noodles (also called “zoodles”) are low in carbs, fat, calories and they’re gluten-free as well. 

Zoodles can be bought at the store if you find it intimidating to make them from scratch. Since these noodles are flavorless, like cucumbers, they pair well with any sauce and topping. From meatballs to eggs to bone broth, zoodles are perfect for every low-carb dieter. 

Conclusion

Treat yourself to any of these noodle options and experience the deliciousness and benefits of going low-carb. These noodles are packed to the brim with nutrients, which is why they’re perfect for health-conscious peeps. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188421/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793502/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/88/4/1167/4650004
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/cabbage



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