Not all gluten-free pasta is equal…

Gluten free pasta is not “news” anymore, and most restaurants and take out spots offer some version. Thank goodness for all of us linguini lovers! But when you are shopping, be choosy with your selection—they are NOT all the same nutritionally. Bean pastas, like lentil and chickpea, rack up 13g of fiber and 23g of protein per serving. Wow! Almond flour and brown rice pasta are not bad choices either with 3g of fiber and 8g of protein. Though consistency and flavor-wise, the chickpea pasta is the most like the “real thing”. The brown rice pastas tend to be “sticky” and could be a tough sell for pickier pasta eaters!

But beware of corn, potato and rice “blends” as they have less than 1g of fiber and 3g of protein. Like many gluten-free products, it is not guaranteed to be the “healthier” choice. Gluten free is not synonymous with being a health food–just look at Cheez Balls! Vegetable versions, like Hearts of Palm pasta also only have 1g of protein, so be sure to pair it with a plant based protein like tofu, or an animal protein, like chicken or fish. Ditto is you are using Zucchini or Butternut Squash noodles–be sure to add some protein to the dish to keep you satiated.

More good news is that Banza now makes a Chickpea Mac ’n Cheese with 5g of fiber and 15g of protein. Better buy two boxes! This will surely be a hit with younger audiences who miss this childhood favorite! Who says there is no life without gluten?

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