I originally posted on this topic when we began carrying Banza and Explore pastas. Since then, I have sampled others and we have added even more products!
Each can be a valuable substitution for traditional pasta based on increased protein and fiber content.
Ancient Harvest Italiano and Cubanitos flavored pasta meals are made from lentil and qunioa flour, making these boxes a high-protein alternative to the mac&cheese on the shelf below. They are delicious!
I recommend adding some frozen peas and/or canned black beans for even more nutrition. All the seasoning you’ll need is included in the box (even if you add a few things, as I did!) These are located with the mac&cheese, in the pasta aisle.
New to our shelves are
RP’s Pasta’s fresh pasta varieties similar to those offered by Explore Cuisine (lentil, chick pea, and black bean based pastas). I used the black bean penne in my creamy salmon pasta recipe, preview at left.
RP’s pastas can be found near the prepared foods counter, near traditional fresh pastas and just above the pesto!
(Be on the lookout for this recipe in stores during one of my new 30-minute meal demos in our Lebanon store, Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 starting on June 7th!)
All of these gluten-free pastas made from legumes help to meet daily protein and fiber needs while also containing fewer carbohydrates than traditional pastas.
See nutritional comparison:
|Traditional pasta (2 oz.)||Banza chickpea shells (2 oz.)||Explore black bean spaghetti (2 oz.)|
|Total fat||1 g||3.5 g||2 g|
|Protein||7 g||14 g||25 g|
|Total carbohydrates||42 g||32 g||23 g|
|Dietary fiber||2 g||8 g||12 g|
|Sugar||2 g||5 g||4 g|
|Iron||10 %||30 %||32 %|
For comparison, I have used Barilla shells. This is in no way an insult to the pasta, which is made from non-GMO semolina flour.
All three (including RP’s pasta) are Non-GMO Project verified. Banza products are all nutritionally equivalent to what is shown in the chart above, however Explore Cuisine products will vary based on the ingredients (which include green lentils, chick peas, and black beans).
I have tried all of the varieties mentioned in this post. I have to tell you, I am normally a 2-3 servings pasta person (which is why I don’t cook it often), yet with each of these lentil and bean-based pastas, I was really full after my initial respectable-sized serving. I made this simple mac & cheese recipe from the Banza website, which was delicious and 8-year-old approved. I added Vegetaball’s Pesto (a local product from Claremont, NH) to the black bean spaghetti—also delicious!
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