Healthy Pasta TASTE TEST + 4 Reasons Why I STILL Avoid Gluten

 

Pasta. What a delectable vehicle for vegetables!  Add your favorite beans, steamed veggies, and tomato sauce and BOOM! An impressive gourmet dinner.  While intact grains are the gold standard (grains in their whole form), whole grains, yes including their bran, germ, and endosperm, are milled into a fine flour to make whole grain pastas, breakfast cereals, and other “whole grain” products.  A few examples of legit whole intact grains would be steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa, and millet.

wholegrains

How to tell if the product is WHOLE GRAIN?

  1. Whole grain stamp is on the package
  2. “100%” or “Whole” are used to describe it
  3. The first ingredient listed is a whole grain

refinedgrains

Refined grains are not only grains milled into a flour, but their grain was stripped of the nutrient and fiber containing bran and germ! Murder! Refined grains are white / light in color and examples include white bread, cookies, cakes, pretzels, white rice, regular pasta, and anything made with white flour. Darn!

Don’t fret too much! The recommendation is:

Make at least 1/2 of your grains whole grains.

Grains are an important part of a healthy balanced diet for fiber, iron,powerplategraphichirez magnesium, selenium, b vitamins, and lasting energy! Be sure to include them on your plate.

The Taste Test

Well before #1, my personal favorite is ZUCCHINILINI OF COURSE! Which is simply zucchini or summer squash, spirilized to look and feel like spaghetti. I like to mix it with pasta dishes to add bulk, flavor, color, and more veg of course!

#1 Nature’s Promise Whole Wheat Spaghetti: #1 in taste, texture, and nutritional profile. Contains gluten.

#2. Bionaturae Gluten Free Corn and Soy Spaghetti: Fabulous texture and taste and with 5g protein and 6% iron, this product is ok. Low in fiber :-/

#3. Jovial Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti: Quite sticky texture, but great flavor and elasticity.  Would go great with a sauce. However, low in fiber although whole grain. Brown rice is naturally low in fiber.

 

#4. Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Corn and Quinoa Spaghetti: Texture dry and kinda crunchy, but a good source of fiber at 16% daily value and 10% iron!

#5. Andean Dream Quinoa Gluten Free Spaghetti: Texture was definitely a little sandy.  But I must say with 6% calcium, 12% iron, and just barely a good source of fiber at 10% daily value, not bad.

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The Consensus:

The quinoa based gluten free products have a better nutritional profile, but are not as delicious as the lower fiber rice based ones.

Why I personally still avoid Gluten?

Do I go out of my way to avoid gluten?

No.  I still enjoy it in moderation. My mom makes homemade bread and pizza with gluten which I eat occasionally.  My diet is whole foods based, so I rarely purchase packaged products that might contain gluten.

Do I eat gluten every day?

No.  Maybe I eat a gluten containing meal or snack 3-4 times a week.  I am generally healthy and do not currently feel any reason to put more effort into seriously avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and foods containing gluten 100% of the time.

Why I make this personal choice:

  1. My sister has ulcerative colitis, which is similar to celiacs in that they are both autoimmune inflammatory intestinal disorders. With a genetic risk factor in my family, I try to not over load the gluten as a personal preventative measure.
  2. Studies linking gluten and autism spectrum disorders autism-and-nutrition-1. The GFCF (gluten free casein free) diet has been shown to help people with ADHD and autism, what else could it be linked to? I am ever curious and after reading such articles have trouble stomaching gluten (and of course would never recommend drinking milk).
  3. Naturopaths recommend avoiding gluten initially when trying to avoid inflammation with an “elimination diet,” along with dairy and other common inflammatory trigger foods. With this in mind, many people have success reversing adverse symptoms like rashes, IBS, fatigue, etc (SO MANY), once they remove gluten from their diet.  I grew up with canker sores, weird rashes, and eczema so, avoiding inflammation (and gluten) is in my best interest.
  4. Close friends with celiac disease so it is easier for everybody to find a gluten free delicious option!

While as you could see from the video, a gluten free diet is not recommended for the general public because it tends to have less nutrients. Be a savvy shopper and let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy those intact whole grains and plant yums! xx

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My 2 Favorite Salad Dressings, Made in 5-10 Minutes

In no particular order AT ALL! They are both redonkkk

1. Marinarapastasal9

This marinara is beyond any tomato sauce I’ve ever had.  And I LOVE tomato sauce.  Mama knows, I could go through a jar a spaghetti sauce in less than a week- easily!  Here’s why it beats the rest:

  • no sodium
  • no fat
  • no weird additives
  • it takes literally 5 minutes to make
  • lycopene (antioxidant in tomatoes) decreases risk of skin cancer and sunburn and decreases risk of prostate cancer
  • full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, all fruits and veggies here ladies and gentlemen

Tear up some leaves and spiralize a couple of cuces or zucchinis/ summer squashes and:

Blended in my tiny $10 blender:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon or more of Italian Seasoning (to taste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 2-4 dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • 2 oz (apx 1/3 cup) sun dried tomato

I make lots of variations to this! This time I made it, I used fresh oregano, thyme, and rosemary that Janice gave me, THANK YOU JANICE!!! I also didn’t have sundried tomato or onion, and I still loveeedd itt!  Sometimes I just blend tomatoes, dates, and basil.  Sometimes no onion, sometimes extra garlic!  Have fun with it and see how you like it!  And I don’t usually top with walnuts, but those looked good to me today 🙂 Some mushrooms and/ or artichokes would have been nice, or some broccoli!! Mmmm

2. Sweet Citrus Ginger Mint

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Moan moan moan moan moan moan.  Oh KALE  ya!  This + kale = OMFG HOW IS THIS SO GOOD!? I actually had 2 huge bowls of this salad for breakfast this morning.  It is that goood!!!!  And you thought eating 2 heads of kale was difficult, ha ha HA!! Just you wait, you’ll be dreaming of it, just like me 🙂

  • easily absorbed calcium
  • easily absorbed iron (mixed with vitamin C!!)
  • protein packed, sweet satisfaction
  • indigestion aid (ginger)
  • it’s so good, so easy, so refreshing and satisfyingly filling ❤
  • so low fat
  • so high fantastic
  • so addicted to the way I skipped down the street singing after I ate this

Kale is this one’s soul mate.  I suggest tearing some up like I did, or if you have a knife, chiffonaded dinosaur kale is how the chef Sam Romano made it for me.  I’ve never been so impressed in my life.

Blended in the little blendah:

  • 3 oranges
  • around 15-20 fresh mint leaves (depends on size and variety, I’d load it in, looovee orange and mint)
  • 3 dates
  • 1.5 tsp maca (optional, what do you have on hand? 🙂
  • 1 Tbs hemp (I’ve used sesame seeds and flax seeds before too, both phenomenal)
  • 2 thimble sized pieces of ginger, ( I’ve been adding more lately, the warming ginger is aweesomee)
  • lemon juice

I actually didn’t have lemon juice, but have made it before with lemon and it’s really nice, the sour with the sweet date is just, ! .  Impeccable.  I really want to try it with pomegranate seeds on top!  You have fun with it!  Too easy, too many health benefits! Stuff your excuses in the trash, suck it up, and make this.  If you don’t like it, I’m convinced you are an alien.