In the search for pasta alternatives you may look to the obvious; however, take a look outside the box (pun definitely intended!). Including fresh vegetables in your meals is always an excellent nutritional choice, but these choices can also be turned into pasta alternatives. Carrots, sweet potatoes, eggplants and superfood quinoa are all great options with tastebud-popping pasta potential.
Superfood quinoa pasta
Quinoa has been hailed as one of nature’s superfoods and has been used since the times of our ancient ancestors. The Incas cultivated quinoa — and for good reason. Well before Google existed, they knew the health benefits of quinoa. Per one cup of this superfood you will get eight grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and various vitamins and minerals to optimize your health and wellness.
A 2013 study published in Nutrients examined different alternative cereals with gluten-free properties. The study found quinoa to be more than suitable. It stated, “Due to its excellent nutritional value and a potential for production in various climates, quinoa has been classified as one of the humanity’s most promising crops.” You may be searching for pasta alternatives due to celiac disease, and quinoa could prove to be an excellent source of nutrition and a gluten-free pasta alternative.
“Sweet” sweet potato pasta
Subbing in sweet potato pasta is a game changer for your health, with nutritional benefits for long-term wellness. Sweet potatoes are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals to keep your energy levels high. Sweet potato pasta is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, copper, potassium, and loads more essential vitamins and minerals. Adding sweet potato pasta to your diet is also a delicious and sweet way to fight colon cancer.
Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers and sweet potatoes have been suggested as a key preventive ingredient. A 2013 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology discusses sweet potato’s exceptional colon cancer preventive qualities. The fiber and free-radical-fighting antioxidants in sweet potatoes can kick colon cancer in the back side.
Savory carrot pasta
Carrots are often subjected to the time-honored, slow-cook stew or cut fresh and dipped in a creamy cold sauce — but not anymore! They are perfect as a processed pasta alternative, which you will long forget after using carrots. Carrots are an exceptional source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron. Remarkably, one cup of carrots delivers 428 percent of your recommended Daily Value of vitamin A, which has been well researched for its benefits to eye health.
A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research analyzed vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in India. The study states, “The era of gross and rampant vitamin A deficiency leading to blindness is past in India. At this stage, we should focus our efforts on sustainable food based approaches to combat vitamin A deficiency.”
Protect your eyes with a boost in vitamin A, and why not do it while enjoying a savory carrot pasta in exchange for conventional pasta, which will weigh you down.
Exiling pasta from your diet can be a fun way to take your dinners to the next level and bring out the gourmet chef within you. Finding new and delicious pasta alternatives may be a must for the gluten-free diets, but it is also a surefire way to mix up the boring processed pasta and sauce meal you’ve been preparing for years. Pondering the nutritional value and long-term effects of what goes into your body — your temple — is an essential step in balancing your health and wellness. Try a few recipes and spend some more time in the produce aisle or wandering your local farmers’ market to conjure up your own recipes for pasta alternatives.
—The Alternative Daily