Eating pasta comes with the price of guilt, but there is a new player in shops. Chickpea pasta, that promises more fiber and protein, fewer carbs and no gluten, I have been cooking with this for some time now and here is what I learned.
What is all the fuss about pasta?
Pasta is one of the most loved foods all around the world and by both children and adults, I'm pretty sure you are a crazy pasta lover just like me.
However, there just one issue with regular pasta, it may be bad for you. This is because regular wheat pasta contains very large amounts of refined carbohydrates which may not be so good especially if you consume these in large quantities.
Regular durum wheat pasta also contains gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in barley, rye, and wheat and it can result in various adverse effects especially for gluten-sensitive people.
However, there is an easy solution, and what's more, this solution doesn't involve not eating pasta. In actual fact, it is one that offers you an opportunity to eat as much of it as you want, curious yet? Then ride along.
What Exactly Is Chickpea Pasta All About?
Chickpea pasta is a plant-based product made out of chickpea flour. It is a new innovation that offers a great solution to the issue of refined carbohydrates in regular pasta. In addition, it is healthier as well as more nutrient-dense. It is a plant-based powerhouse high in protein, low in carbs and it is gluten-free.
Apart from being safe for consumption by gluten-sensitive individuals, it also provides a great alternative for vegetarians or veggie meal lovers. In addition to these, it also has a low glycemic index, four times the prebiotic fiber content and twice the protein that can be found in traditional versions.
One of the most popular choices, when it comes to chickpea pasta is Banza. I have been obsessed with this product for a few months now. They do rigatoni, spaghetti, penne, tortellini, shells, macaroni, elbows, you name it... They have an amazing selection here on Amazon that you can check out.
In this video below, the founder of Banza explains why it is gaining popularity so fast among many consumers.
When you are eating Chickpea pasta, you are not just eating healthy, you also enjoy a delicious meal. The taste is very similar to that of the traditional version and the cooked texture feels just the same. Just like your regular pasta, you can use any sauce or topping you want.
What Is The Nutritional Composition Of Chickpea Pasta?
Nutrient content of Chickpea pasta is a lot more healthy than regular durum wheat or even whole-grain versions.
Here is a detailed list of the nutrients in chickpea pasta and their respective composition:
For a Serving Size of 1 serving (100g)
- Calories - 190 (Calories from fat constitute 18 or 5.8% of total calories)
- Sodium - 0%
- Total Saturated Fat - 6g
- Carbohydrates - 61g
- Net Carbs - 34g
- Protein - 19g
- Fiber - 15g
- Fatty Acids
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Amino Acids
- Iron - 22% DV
- Potassium - 24% DV
These values are gotten from a serving size of 100g of Chickpea Barilla Casarecce. The percentage of daily values are calculated based on a 2,000 calorie diet, therefore, you might get a different result depending on the number of calories that you need.
How To Prepare It?
Preparing it is not a complicated process and is not much different from the way you prepare your regular pasta. Also, follow the directions on the bag or box.
How To Cook Banza Pasta Video And Steps:
- Get a relatively large pot and fill it with salted water
- Wait for the water to boil before you put in your pasta
- When the water begins to boil vigorously, reduce the heat to medium
- Check on it after 5-6 minutes, this could be longer depending on how you like the texture
- When the texture is to your taste, set the pot down and open the lid to let steam out
- After it has cooled slightly, pour out the pasta in a sieve to remove the water
- Serve with your favorite topping, sauce, cheese, pesto, herbs or whatever you love to eat your pasta with
It does not take much time to cook at all and you wouldn't want to eat soggy noodles, so keep an eye on it. Depending on the type of Chickpea pasta, some may take up to 7 or 10 minutes to cook.
Benefits Of Eating Chickpea Pasta
Eating legume pasta has some great benefits, most of which go beyond the short-term. It is about the healthiest type of pasta out there and is also compatible with different metabolic types. It is great for people who are sensitive to gluten which is found in regular durum wheat products but absent in ones made with chickpea flour.
It has a reduced amount of carbs which makes it great for people who are trying to lose weight or follow low carbohydrate diets. In addition to these, it is great for people with blood sugar issues because of its low glycemic index.
Chickpea pasta is also very filling, therefore, you would not have to consume too large a quantity. This is why it is appropriate for helping with weight loss and weight management in general. It has more protein and fiber, a lot more than your regular spaghetti or tortellini which makes it a lot healthier option.
Apart from the usual health benefits, using this healthy pasta also helps you save money. Since it has a very high protein content, you might not have to purchase beef or chicken for extra protein. It is an excellent source for complete plant-based protein and can cover your daily protein requirement depending on your weight, age, and height.
In addition, it contains higher proportions of iron and potassium, a lot more than a traditional version.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about chickpea pasta:
In essence, chickpea pasta just seems too good to be true and this is one of the reasons that so many questions follow it. Also, this section clarifies on certain deeper issues pertaining to chickpeas in general.
Is It As Good As They Make It Sound?
One thing I can assure you is that chickpea pasta is a lot better than it actually sounds. You might be envisioning some very "boring" meal, but I can confirm that in fact, it is not boring at all. It is a lot more delicious than your regular durum wheat version and looks just about the same, it is also more healthy.
How Low-Carb Is Chickpea Pasta?
A chickpea pasta serving has about 30-35 grams of the total amount of carbs and this constitutes up to 40% less than regular pasta. Therefore, if you are trying to avoid excess carbohydrates then this is just perfect for you. In addition, it has a reduced amount of calories compared to traditional versions.
Does Eating Chickpeas Actually Aid Weight Loss?
Consumption of this pasta is great for weight loss. Simple carbs in regular refined durum wheat products are digested very quickly and that leads to increased hunger and also a higher risk of overeating. However, chickpea pasta, on the other hand, is very filling and slowly digested. You would not require large portion before you get filled up.
Is It Low-Glycemic?
Chickpea pasta is a great lower-glycemic choice that effectively helps to manage blood sugar. It has a combination of fibers and protein that helps to reduce digestion rate thereby keeping your glucose and insulin levels low.
Which Pasta Type Is The Healthiest?
Pasta that is made with legumes is considered the healthiest type of pasta that there is. When you are about to select a pasta, you should always go for one that has chickpeas as part of the ingredients. Also, the ones made from beans or peas are likely to have more protein and fiber and should, therefore, be top of your list.
Best Healthy Pasta Brands
Here are 3 of my favorite legume pasta brand. But don't take my word for it. Also, check out some of the great reviews here on Amazon.
Banza Chickpea Elbows – High Protein, Gluten Free
Banza products have been recommended by numerous celebrities and media publications, including Robin Roberts, Kristen Bell, Time Magazine, Food & Wine Magazine, the New York Times, the Today Show, Good Morning America, Generation Startup, and the Huffington Post.
Vegans and vegetarians like to cook alternative forms of pasta, such as whole wheat, brown rice, edamame, black bean, quinoa, and lentil pasta. But wouldn’t it be better if you could prepare a healthy dish which cooked, tasted and looked like regular white pasta? If so, then you’ll want to try my favorite Banza elbows.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian who wants to prepare a tasty meal, then consider using chickpeas as the main ingredient of your pasta. Banza is rich in fiber and has a low glycemic value. It is also easy to prepare for an entire family.
Barilla Chickpea Casarecce - Gluten Free
Barilla Legume Casarecce is made of chickpeas. It is a tasty vegetable-based pasta which contains lots of protein (plant-based), minerals, and fiber. Meanwhile, it has no gluten, cholesterol, or sodium. It is even certified as non-GMO food.
It is fast and simple to prepare. You just boil the Casarecce in a pot of water for between 7 and 9 minutes. When it’s done, you’ll have a healthy and delicious meal to enjoy.
Olo Organic Chickpea Penne - Bronze-Cut Pasta, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, High Protein
The two main ingredients of Olo Organic Chickpea Penne are water and organic chickpea flour. There are no preservatives, thickeners, or binding agents added to this food product. The stone-milled organic chickpea flour is produced by using classic bronze die plates to cut the flour when it’s raw. This is how the pasta can retain its attractive texture and freshness.
In addition, the healthy nutrients and high protein content are preserved by slow drying the pasta at cooler temperatures.
It only takes 5 minutes to cook the Olo Organic Penne. While other gluten-free pasta may become mushy once they’re cooked, this particular one will retain its texture and stay fresh the entire time.
It is made in Italy. This is the country where fresh legumes are grown before they’re crafted into this chickpea pasta. When you consume organic legumes that come directly from Italy, you can have peace of mind to know that no chemicals or additives were used to grow them.
Only a small amount of processing takes place too. Therefore, any die-hard vegan will appreciate the organic plant-based attributes of this delicious meal.
3 Delicious And Easy Chickpea Pasta Recipes
Keep it easy with these three healthy, simple but delicious recipes. Perfect for lunch, dinner, or any family-friendly meal.
1. Vegan Mac And Cheese With Chickpea Macaroni
- 1 medium potato chopped
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1/3 cup of cashews
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 1/3 cup water
- Banza elbow macaroni
- 1 tbsp miso
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Instructions For Cooking:
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, season with salt, and add your potato and carrot and cook for 7 minutes or until fully cooked.
- Next, add your cashew nuts and boil for a further 2 minutes.
- Drain the mixture and pour into a blender.
- Add the nutritional yeast, the mustard, the miso, the paprika, and the 1/3 cup of water and blend to a smooth sauce.
- Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to a boil and cook your Banza elbow macaroni.
- Drain, add back to the pan, stir in the lemon juice and your ‘cheese’ sauce and give everything a good mix.
- Season to taste, and enjoy.
2. Creamy Lemon And Roasted Asparagus Shells
- Parmesan cheese
- Chopped Asparagus
- Fresh peas
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Mozzarella cheese
- Banza chickpea shell
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and lemon zest and stir for 30 seconds.
- Next, add the lemon juice, the chopped asparagus, and the fresh peas and give the mixture a good mix.
- Add a little more lemon zest, add the mozzarella cheese and stir until melted.
- Add the parmesan cheese and mix.
- Meanwhile, boil up a pack of Banza shells, cook until soft, and then drain.
- Add the pasta shells to your cheesy mixture, season, and enjoy.
3. Vegan Chickpea Penne With Cauliflower Alfredo
- 1 cup of peas
- 4 cups of cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup of nut milk
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- Penne pasta
- Take a large pan, add a little boiling water, add a little salt and steam the cauliflower florets until slightly soft.
- Now, take a blender and add the cauliflower, the nut milk, the yeast, the lemon juice, the onion powder, the garlic, and the olive oil and blend to a fine puree.
- Boil up a pan of penne pasta.
- When cooked, drain the pasta, return to the pan, and stir in your puree.
- Add the cup of peas and give the mixture a good stir.
Chickpea pasta has been quite a topic of discussion among a lot of people this year which is why I decided to write this post. This article aims at helping you discover the health benefits that are inherent in the consumption of chickpeas.
In addition to this, I have included some recipes, popular brands and cooking instruction and which I'm certain is essential to helping you understand just how great chickpea pasta really is.
I am looking forward to reading all your comments and questions. If you haven't tried it yet, Go ahead and do so, I'll be waiting for your stories, questions, and comments below.