Photography by Susan Ginsberg, Gayle Harris, Canva Pro
Many of us have a love for pasta- angel hair, penne, orecchiette- you name it. But while the delicious al dente noodles are flavorful and delicious, they are packed with calories, gluten, and carbohydrates. When craving the texture of a noodle in my dishes, I reach for these 3 super easy-to-prepare options. Also note the honorable mention nod at the end! Note: In addition to online, each of these pasta alternatives can be found at your local health food stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Natural Grocers.
Explore Cuisine Edamame and Spirulina Spaghetti is a plant-based pasta alternative made of edamame bean flour that is both high in protein and fiber. This gluten-free pasta boasts the texture of a traditional pasta noodle, as it has a more chewy texture than some of the other pasta alternatives. I whipped this side dish up in 5 minutes and added butter, ghee, and Parmesan cheese. While it went alongside our meal, it was delicious enough to be center stage and stand on its own! The Explore brand also has other alternatives like black bean, chickpea, and lentil pastas.
A 2 oz serving of the edamame spaghetti pasta (no toppings) has:
20g of carbs - 14g fiber = 6 total g carbs
24 g protein
Miracle Noodle Pasta
Miracle Noodle angel hair pasta is a fabulous keto friendly, gluten-fee, paleo alternative to pasta. Absent of any flour or grains, this Shirataki noodle is made from the Japanese konjac plant, which is 97% water and 3% fiber. In addition to angel hair, they also have spaghetti, fettuccine, ziti, and rice. I suggest accompanying these noodles with sauces or seasonings to add to the more bland, natural taste and texture these noodles have. The texture is not quite the same as a traditional pasta noodle, but given its low calorie/carb footprint, it is a great foundation for your traditional pasta dishes. My friend Gayle Harris made the above flavorful and fabulous dish on the right by adding chicken sausage from The Meat Market in Cave Creek, Arizona and no-sugar pasta sauce from her local farmer's market to the miracle noodles. Topped with fresh Parmesan, this was a delicious and low carbohydrate entrée. I have also placed these noodles in bone broth soups in my crock-pot for a noodle-feel without the guilt!
A 3 oz serving of miracle noodles contain:
0 g fiber
Another delicious and healthy contender to the faux- pasta lineup is Liviva Shirataki Spaghetti Pasta. One thing I enjoy about this spaghetti pasta is that it also also has some oat fiber alongside the konjac plant-based noodles. I find this small amount of oat fiber adds a bit more texture and flavor, while still being gluten-free, low carb, and keto friendly. In addition to the Shiritaki noodles, Liviva also offers bean-based pastas, which are high in protein and low in carbohydrate due to their high fiber content. Anything that you would add to a traditional pasta dish is a green light for cooking with these noodles, including the delicious pesto sauce in the above photo.
A 3.5 oz serving of Liviva Shirataki Pasta contains:
4g carbs - 3 g fiber + 1 g total carbs
*Honorable Mention: Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash 'Noodles'
A little more complicated to prepare as opposed to cutting open a bag and rinsing, these 2 healthy pasta alternatives will provide the same 'vehicle' for your heart's desire pasta recipe, while still being lower in carbohydrates and calories than traditional pasta noodles. Zucchini noodles can be made with a spiralizer, but most grocery stores also sell the spiraled versions for a shortcut. Spaghetti squash is best cooked until very tender. Though not the same consistency as some of the other pasta substitutes, these vegetable options are equally healthy and delicious.
A medium zucchini, spiraled A one cup serving of Spaghetti Squash
33 calories • 42 calories
.6g fat • .4g fat
6g carbs -2 g fiber = 4 total g carbs • 10g carbs- 2 g fiber = 8 total g carbs
2 g fiber • 3.9 g sugar
4.9g sugar • 1 protein
Eating healthy doesn't have to mean sacrificing the foods you love, but making a few healthier tweaks to your choices can support your wellness goals while satisfying your palate. Bon Appétit!
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Being a City Lifestyle ambassador allows me to join my passion for writing along with my passion for living a healthy & happy lifestyle. In addition to writing about wellness, I will share stories that will hopefully tug at your heartstrings or perhaps, make you smile.
A former educator and yoga/meditation instructor for many years, I provide wellness support via healthy...