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.

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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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Butternut Soup, Three Seed Bread, and Cranberry Apple Walnut Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing | Vegan

Mmmm ❤ Warming from the inside out. Home for Thanksgiving, and I am beyond grateful for the homemade vegan comfort food that my incredible mother makes.  She likes to follow recipes 100% first, and then tweak them here and there.
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Butternut Squash Soup

This Creamy Cashew Butternut Squash Soup recipe requires zero tweaking. Absolutely perfect. The only complaint is that it doesn’t make enough! It is SO good. Click here for recipe by Dawn Lerman.

Three Seed Bread

Bob’s Red Mill Three Seed Bread for your bread machine is SO good! You know what Dr. Fuhrman says? The whiter the bread, the closer to dead. The recipe calls for more white flour than whole wheat, but my mom switched it.  Here is the recipe she makes:

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup Unbleached White Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup flaxseeds
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower kernels
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 Tsp active dry yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order recommended by the bread machine manufacturer and select basic bread cycle. Let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Makes 1 loaf.

Maple Balsamic Dressing

This is a Jack Tar steal ❤ If you’re ever around the Boston area, I highly recommend checking it out.  Their black bean burger with no cheese and sweet potato fries is my favorite thing ever, and I literally always have that for dinner the first night back from school.  They have amazing salads and vegan thai lettuce wraps too! Soo good.

My mom uses this dressing recipe as like pizza sauce to make her gourmet vegan flatbread.  It is incredible.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
  • 2 cups vegetable & olive oil blend
  1. Blend first six ingredients in blender
  2. Drizzle oil slowly while blender is on
  3. Stop and blend
  4. Add salt and pepper
  5. Blend and test with lettuce or spinach

Apple Cinnamon 1 Ingredient Waffles: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Scrumptious Style

Just because I’m Jewish doesn’t mean my family doesn’t do something special Christmas morning ;-).  These babies are light and fluffy, with the perfect chewy to crispy-ness ratio.  So warm and satisfying.  Crowd-pleaser approved.
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The one essential ingredient for this recipe? MOCHI!

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Mochi is traditionally seen in japanese cuisine, and this Grainaissance brand is literally just brown rice!  But it puffs up like an incredible puffed pastry!  You can buy it unflavored, or savory, I like the cinnamon raisin one for waffles. 🙂

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Apple Cinnamon Topping:

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  • a grated apple
  • grated ginger (to taste- start small! this stuff is powerful 🙂
  • a drop of vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • mix well!

Serve with fresh berries, cinnamon, and real maple syrup :-*

* Magic! *

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