Let’s admit – everybody loves pasta and noodles. They are popular because of their versatility – for kids, Mac and cheese can rock without a doubt, and for meat lovers, simply throw in some barbecue chicken with white sauce and you are done for the dinner. However, have you ever stopped and wondered what all the different types of noodles and pasta stuff your body with?
Well, they are packed with carbs – loads of them. Also, no matter how filling and delicious spaghetti noodles and pasta might be, they are unable to provide the required proteins and other essential minerals or vitamins to our body.
So what is the Deal?
The deal is clear – we can do very well without these traditional pasta and noodles. There is no harm in stopping yourself from stuffing your body with a high-carb diet. Nevertheless, if the thought of leaving out on your favorite pasta or spaghetti dish is making you gloomy, then we have good news.
Thinking healthy does not mean you have to live without your favorite dish forever. There are tons of healthier options for you to choose from – such as Edamame Spaghetti that is made of organic edamame, also known as green soybeans.
Let’s not talk about some of the healthier versions of pasta and spaghetti noodles so that you can continue dreaming about that meatball pasta!
Believe it or not, you can easily skip on the traditional high-carb pasta and replace it with spaghetti squash. It is a vegetable, originally harvested in North and Central America. Spaghetti squash is yellow from the inside.
The idea is to cook it thoroughly and then pull its flesh apart, which comes out as strings. This is why it is named spaghetti squash – the yellow strings look the same as your traditional noodles. It is extremely healthy as compared to the pasta and noodles we are accustomed to. A 100g serving of spaghetti squash has only about 6.5g of carbs – which is only 20% of the carbs in the same quantity of normal pasta.
This alternative is rich in numerous essential vitamins such A, B, C, E, and K. Also, it does not take long to cook. You can boil it for 20 minutes, bake it at 350 F or just toss it in the microwave for about 8 minutes and a healthy and delectable alternative to pasta or noodles is ready!
Spiralized Vegetables for The Win
Besides desperately wanting to add some vegetables in your personal or family’s diet, spiralized vegetables are a great alternative to traditional spaghetti noodles. You can use various vegetables such as cucumbers, beets, turnips, or even zucchini and carrots. Just cut them out in long strips using a spiralizer and boom! You have got a nice and tasty bowl of pasta packed with health and low in carbs.
Mostly, people love to have zucchini and cucumbers as their choice of spiralized vegetables, but you can use other options as well. Not only these options are low in carbs, but they are also laden with healthy fiber, vitamins, and essential minerals.
Bonus tip: to get the most out of your spiralized vegetables, do not peel them. The peel is like the huge reservoir for most of the nutrition present in the vegetables. To make this healthy bowl of pasta, just spiralize your vegetables and toss them in boiling water for about 3 minutes. They taste the best when cooked but still have crunch in them when boiled.
Eggplant to the Rescue
Originally from India, eggplant is also called aubergine and is categorized as a berry. However, it is commonly used as a vegetable and can make a perfect healthy bowl of pasta for your low-carb and gluten-free diet.
This alternative to traditional spaghetti noodles offers 9g of carbs per 100g – which is significantly less than what the same quantity of pasta would offer you. It is full of vitamin K, and some essential minerals such as thiamine and manganese.
You can easily make lasagna out of eggplant by cutting very thin sheets out of this vegetable and roasting them till they turn soft and change color to golden.
Offering about 6g of carbs per a 100g serving, cabbage is simply the most easily deceiving alternative to spaghetti noodles. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and K. Preparing cabbage for a noodles dish is the easiest – simply grate the whole cabbage into long thin strips and boil them for a while till they are tender.
Also, you can use thinly sliced cabbage sheets to replace the traditional lasagna sheets. For that, cut thin sheets out of the whole cabbage and boil them for about a minute or two. Just keep in mind that the cabbage leaves are ready for lasagna when they can be bent without breaking into pieces. Toss them onto your dish and bake.
Sprouts can be an excellent alternative to traditional pasta and spaghetti noodles. There are no specific sprouts that can replace noodles and pasta – you can use any of them, such as lentil or alfalfa sprouts. These are seeds that have become young plants. The seeds can be of peas, grains, nuts, or any vegetables.
Sprouts vary in their exact nutritional value as there can be numerous of them. Generally, sprouts are a great source of protein, magnesium, vitamins C and K, and folate. Cooking sprouts for fixing you a healthy bowl of pasta or noodles is easy. Blanche the sprouts first and then run under cold water. Dip in your sauce and top with your favorite garnish and you are done!
Made from the konjac plant, shirataki noodles are a great replacement for people who are looking for skipping on the traditional noodles laden with carbs. Glucomannan is the main ingredient in these noodles that offers few calories.
These noodles are quite filling as glucomannan is considered a type of dietary fiber. It turns into a thick gel after combining with water in your stomach and slows down the process of digestion. Shirataki noodles have numerous health benefits and can be prepared the same way as traditional noodles.
Similar to shirataki ones, tofu noodles are prepared by mixing tofu and glucomannan. They are easily available in stores and can be prepared in the same way as shirataki noodles. Tofu noodles offer numerous health benefits as tofu is rich in protein. Tofu is also composed of different plant compounds that keep your heart healthy.
If you belong to the group of those few people who are unaware of how much carbs the traditional pasta and noodles feed you, then you need to give this article a thorough read. It is high time that we know how various foods impact our bodies adversely.
Opting for healthy eating habits is a necessity during current times as our lifestyle has become so hectic that we hardly get any time to focus on ourselves and be physically fit. You can try out some of these healthy alternatives to carbs-laden traditional pasta and noodles and make your life great!