When we think of cutting carbs, thoughts of a big bowl of delicious, comforting pasta seem to linger in our minds. A staple at our house is the weekly spag-bol and garlic bread, with the left overs lasting for several lunches. However, as a society we have become very carb focussed, worried that carbohydrates are solely responsible for weight gain.
Whilst there is some truth to our over-consumption of carbohydrates as a society, they are still an important part of your diet and should not be ignored.
However, if you are someone who over-indulges on the carbs, but loves their pasta, luckily pasta substitutes are springing up all over the grocery aisles. Here are a few alternatives:
Pulses are a part of the legume family and are basically a dried seed. Not only are they low in fat, but they are high in protein, fibre and antioxidants. The have a low GI, can help reduce the risk of diabetes, are good for heart health and are a great alternative protein source to meat.
Pulse pasta is cooked the same as regular pasta and generally takes about 12 mins to cook. Some of the different pulse pastas include, red lentils, green peas penne, chickpea spirals, or combinations as per below.
Zucchini pasta or ‘zoodles’ as its known, is basically zucchini shredded on a mandolin. As easy as that might sound, of course the supermarkets have swooped in and made it even easier for us by pre-shredding the zucchini. To cook the zoodles you simply add them to a hot pan with olive oil and toss for about 5 mins. Its really important you don’t over cook them, otherwise they can become mushy and unpleasant. Ideally you want them to still have a bit of crunch to them. Being a vegetable, zoodles are a great alternate to pasta, especially if you are restricting carbs, gluten intolerant or simply want to increase your veggie intake.
Konjac isn’t quite as well known as the other pasta alternatives, however it has many health benefits. Its an Asian root vegetable, which has been consumed throughout Asia for centuries. It is jam packed with fibre, has no sugar, is gluten free, has low GI and very few calories. Konjac is very easy to prepare as you buy it pre-cooked, so all you do is add boiling water and drain. The taste however can be questionable. Konjac has quite a slimy consistency and not much taste, so you do need to pack the sauce full of flavour.
If you are a pasta lover, but looking to reduce your carbohydrate intake, one of these tasty alternatives might be just what you are looking for.