A low-carb pasta guide
I believe there are 2 things people miss the most when going on a low-carb / keto diet: bread and pasta. Today I'll be covering the latter!
While non-traditional pasta won't be exactly as the wheat original, I think a lot of them can be pleasing and take care of you pasta-craving. I've been on this journey for 5 years now, and I remember I went the first 12 months without regular pasta, and the only reason I finally ate it was because I was on vacation on Europe and the pasta looked like the best choice at the restaurant (and no guilt for that!).
The one thing though about those different noodles is that you will need to try to see what pleases you the most. Texture and flavour are slightly different, and everyone's tastebuds are unique. Even Rob and I debate on that, as some of the noodles I love are his least favourites...
Without further ado, let's get to it!
Spiralized vegetable noodles:
You can spiralize different vegetables (most popular being zucchini), sautée them until soft and add your preferred pasta sauce. Zucchini can get soggy if left too long on the sauce or even if sauteed for too long. The texture will be different than wheat pasta, but having a similar shape helps satisfy your mind's pasta desire. Carb count will vary with the chosen vegetable, zucchini has about 2 net carbs per 100g.
I really like zoodles and I think it goes well with a lot of different sauces, my favourite being home-made pesto!
Pre-cooked vegetable noodles:
Hearts of palm: I used to buy it frozen and absolutely loved it. I have to say, however, that this was MY experience since Rob really hated this noodles. Only 2.7g of net carbs per 100g.
Shirataki / konjac: super popular on keto dieters as it has zero net carbs. That's because 95% of those noodles are water, the rest comes from a Japanese root (konjac). I've tried it twice and didn't like it. It tastes funny and has a weird texture. You need a really strong-tasting sauce to mask those things, so for me personally, it's a pass.
Dry vegetable noodles:
Black beans: a really great option with a pleasant texture and only 14 net carbs in 100g.
The next suggestions are lower in carbs than traditional carb, but wouldn't fit a straight keto diet.
Kale and Peas: those are incredible noodles, that taste and behave just like regular pasta! We always have plenty of packages at home, but mostly for our kids (we don't buy wheat pasta at all). And even better, it's a Canadian company based here in Ontario! We buy directly from their website Maria Noodles (not an affiliated link ;)). With 41 net carbs per 100g, it's higher than I personally would like for my dietary needs, but it's way better than wheat and my kids love it!
Chickpeas: Probably the non-traditional pasta that best resembles regular wheat pasta - but that comes with a cost of more carbs as well (48g net carbs per 100g). I used to buy it for my kids before meeting Maria Noodles.
Just for comparison sake, wheat pasta has about 70g of net carbs per 100g.
Also, remember to ALWAYS read the labels to check ingredients and nutritional info, as carb count can vary from a brand to another.