Alternatives to pasta: low-carb and gluten-free noodles for a healthy diet!
Beautifully creamy, incredibly tasty and quick to prepare – noodles are the ultimate “comfort food” of all time. Do you even know anyone who doesn’t like pasta? Probably not. Whether carbonara, lasagne or spaghetti Bolognese – pasta recipes in all imaginable variations are among the most popular dishes in the world. It is common knowledge that pasta is made from white flour or durum wheat semolina, is high in unhealthy carbohydrates, and has low nutritional value. Are you on a low-carb diet or cannot tolerate gluten, but do not want to do without your favorite dish completely? From zoodles to rice noodles to soba noodles – luckily there are now tons of alternatives to pasta that taste just as good and are much healthier and more nutritious! Try some of the options below to find the pasta substitute that you like best!
According to a survey, pasta is on the menu of over 23 million people in Germany several times a month. While there are certainly pasta lovers who would love a bowl of plain noodles, for most of us, the sauces and toppings are what really make a pasta dish. The following pasta alternatives are perfect for anyone on a low carb diet or suffering from celiac disease. Plus, they’re much more nutritious and have fewer calories than traditional pasta, which makes them the perfect slimming products!
Alternatives to pasta: Zoodles are the ultimate low-carb pasta substitute
Zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, have taken the culinary world by storm in recent years and rightly so. They contain up to 10 times less carbohydrates from normal pasta and are also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Zucchini noodles are an easy and delicious way to add more vegetables to your diet, and we all know that doing so is always beneficial. Sufficient consumption of vegetables lowers the risk of many diseases and can also help with weight loss. To make zucchini noodles, you will need a spiral cutter – this is how the delicious vegetables get the spaghetti-like shape. The preparation is also really child’s play – simply slicer zucchini with the spiral cutter, cook in a little olive oil or water for 2-3 minutes, add the sauce and you’re done! Whether cold, warm, with tomato or cream sauce – Zoodle’s recipes are more versatile than you think!
Spaghetti squash and other vegetable noodles recipes
While zucchini noodles are one of the most common alternatives to pasta, many other vegetables are also great for it. These include, for example, carrots, sweet potatoes and even beetroot. And since autumn is known as pumpkin season, spaghetti squash shouldn’t be missing on our list. The inherently thread-like meat resembles spaghetti and is a filling and healthy option for low carb pasta. At 7 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, spaghetti squash contains only about 20% of the carbohydrates that you would consume in the same amount of wheat noodles. At the same time, it is very rich in vitamins A, C, E, K and most of the B vitamins. For the preparation, the pumpkin is pierced in several places with a fork and then baked for 30-45 minutes at 200 degrees. Then all you have to do is remove the flesh from the skin with a fork, choose a delicious spaghetti squash recipe and you’re done!
Seaweed noodles are the perfect low-carb pasta substitute
Yes you read it right! Sea spaghetti, still known as seaweed noodles, is one of the latest food trends and one of the healthiest alternatives to pasta! As the name suggests, they are made from naturally grown algae and are full of vitamins and nutrients. They are an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, folic acid, iron, vitamin K, and iodine. There are two types of seaweed noodles – kelp noodles and seaweed noodles. In addition, they naturally contain neither sugar nor fat and are vegan and gluten-free – a real dream for everyone who takes care of their figure and still doesn’t want to go without delicious pasta dishes. To prepare seaweed noodles, you should soak them for 10 minutes before cooking and then rinse them thoroughly with lukewarm water. Depending on how firm the noodles should be, they are then boiled in water for 20-30 minutes. They are characterized by a light sea taste and taste best with pesto or lighter cheese sauces.
Pasta alternatives: Shirataki noodles are practically calorie-free
Never heard of shirataki noodles or konjac noodles? Then it’s time to change that, because the pasta alternative is a real all-rounder in the kitchen! Almost free of calories and carbohydrates – it is not for nothing that they are also referred to as “miracle noodles”. Shirataki noodles are originally from Asia and are made from glucomannan flour and water. The fiber glucomannan is obtained from the tuber of the devil’s tongue and contains only a few usable carbohydrates. With only 8 calories and 0.4 carbohydrates per 100 grams, Shirataki noodles are ideal for enjoying pasta without a guilty conscience. Unlike the other types of noodles on the market, konjac noodles are sold pre-cooked and packaged in water. At the beginning they have a slightly unpleasant fishy odor that takes getting used to and must therefore be rinsed thoroughly with water and dried before preparation. Whether for spaghetti carbonara or Bolognese – the noodles are largely tasteless and can be prepared in a variety of ways. Just add it to the sauce, stir briefly and serve!
Black bean noodles are a popular alternative to pasta
Looking for delicious, healthy, gluten-free alternatives to pasta? Then we would like to introduce you to noodles made from black beans that not only taste wonderful, but also look great thanks to their black color? Black bean pasta still contains carbohydrates, but at 45 grams of protein per 100 grams, it’s a great vegan source of protein! In addition, the carbohydrates it contains are processed more slowly by the body than normal wheat noodles and keep us full longer. Black bean pasta has a dominant, slightly sweet taste and goes best with a homemade pesto.
Pasta enjoyment without regrets – pasta made from chickpeas
The German Nutrition Society has been advising consumers to consume pulses more often for years. So it’s no wonder that they can now also be found in pasta form. Legumes as alternatives to pasta are one of the latest food trends in Germany. Usually used as hummus or in curries, chickpeas have made their way onto pasta shelves too. Chickpea pasta is an ideal source of energy and provides our body with a range of fiber and nutrients, including magnesium and iron. So that it doesn’t get mushy and tastes floury, you should cook the chickpea pasta for a maximum of 5 minutes! To avoid sticking together after cooking, add a little olive oil.
Red lentil pasta
Noodles made from red lentils were one of the first gluten-free alternatives to pasta in Germany and you can find them most often in supermarkets. The noodles are made from 100% ground red lentils and contain a lot of fiber and vegetable protein. However, it should be mentioned that pasta made from legumes tastes more like the basic ingredient and not the conventional wheat pasta. The same applies here – so that the pasta does not disintegrate and become mushy, it must not be cooked for more than 5 minutes. Red lentil pasta has a nutty, floury taste and therefore tastes best with stronger sauces. Just as healthy and nutritious, but still not that well-known, alternatives made from legumes include pasta made from green peas, green lentils, mongoose and soybeans.
Make mozzarella pasta yourself
Just because you are on a low carb diet or even on the keto diet doesn’t mean you have to go without a bowl of delicious spaghetti. Regardless of the reason – it is extremely important to eat a healthy and varied diet. Yes, zucchini or vegetable noodles are great and delicious, but how about a homemade low carb pasta? For all hobby cooks who like to experiment in the kitchen, we have an incredibly easy recipe for low carb mozzarella pasta, which is also gluten-free!
- 200 grams of mozzarella, grated
- 2 Eggs
- a pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Mozzarella pasta preparation:
- Place the mozzarella in a large, microwave-safe bowl and heat it in the microwave for about 1 minute.
- Stir briefly and heat for another 30 seconds or until the cheese is completely melted.
- To prevent the eggs from boiling, let the mozzarella cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Add eggs and stir until you get a uniform mass.
- Place the dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll it out thinly with a rolling pin.
- Remove the top sheet of baking paper and cut the dough into strips about 2 centimeters wide.
- Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add mozzarella noodles and cook for 40 seconds to 1 minute.
- Take the pasta out of the pot, rinse with cold water and serve with your favorite sauce. Enjoy!
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