I love pasta. I could eat bowls and bowls of it. But all that gluten doesn’t love me back. I don’t have Celiac disease, but since eating predominantly gluten-free I feel lighter after meals and my skin suffers from less breakouts. While my body is happier with the mostly GF way of eating, my taste buds have been less happy.
You’ve probably tried gluten-free pastas…and disliked a lot of them. They can be gummy, slimy…plain ol’ unappetizing. However, when I went to Natural Foods Expo East this past Fall I happened upon Banza pastas.
I was delighted with the sample I was given. It was just a small taste of pasta shells in a marinara but the texture was not at all off-putting the way some gluten-free pastas can be. The texture was hearty, chewy, and a bit nutty thanks to the predominant ingredient: chickpeas. (These truly are amazing, versatile beans!)
Because Banza pastas are made using chickpeas they are also plenty high in protein and fiber. Plus Banza pastas are soy-free, non-gmo, and, of course, vegan 🙂
If you look at how these particular pastas compare to regular pasta, you will see how much more protein and fiber each serving packs. Pretty impressive. And who says you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet?!
There’s a variety of pastas to choose from: shells, penne, rotini, and elbows. You can buy them online; they even offer a variety pack! You can use this chickpea pasta just as you would in any pasta recipe — in a lasagna, for macaroni and cheese, tossed with garlic and oil, etc. I made a simple dish of Banza penne tossed in a marinara sauce with onion, greens, and tofu crumbles. If you’re looking for recipes, be sure to check out the Banza recipes on their website. The recipes aren’t strictly vegan, but are easily veganized and show how these chickpea pastas swap seamlessly into any dish you might use traditional pasta in.
Check out the store locator feauture on Banza’s website — hopefully you can find a store near you!
What are your thoughts on gluten-free pastas? Any particular brands you like and would recommend I try?