If you’re like me, you value healthy eating. But when it comes to making good food choices, there are certain things that I’m not willing to give up — namely, pasta. Recently, I’ve been on the search for a healthier alternative to regular white pasta and discovered Banza, the gluten-free pasta swap we’ve all been looking for.
If the words “gluten-free pasta” scare you, or you’re plagued with memories of other alternatives like black bean pasta that made your whole house smell like feet, hold on just a minute. I’ve had my fair share of bad pasta-alternative experiences, but Banza was completely different.
“Our pasta is made from over 90 percent chickpeas," says the Banza website. "For the rest of our pasta, we use non-GMO tapioca, pea protein, and xanthan gum, which help bind the chickpea flour together as a vegan egg replacement of sorts.” Because Banza doesn’t contain any wheat flour, it’s naturally gluten-free.
Whether you’re looking to avoid gluten or not, Banza pasta boasts a dense nutrient profile when compared with regular white pasta. It contains a significantly lower amount of carbs than regular pasta, too! While one two-ounce serving of white rotini pasta contains about 42 grams of carbs, Banza rotini pasta contains only 32 grams.
Another great health factor is that it contains five grams of gut-boosting dietary fiber per serving, a nice bump compared with white pasta that only contains about two grams. Eating enough fiber is important for any weight loss endeavor, since it helps to improve the elimination of waste and helps digestion. What’s more (and possibly most impressive), Banza pasta is chock full of satiating protein. One serving of Banza rotini contains 13 grams of protein, compared with regular rotini that only has about seven grams. That means you'll be fuller for longer!
I know what you’re thinking: Does it taste like cardboard, though? And no, it doesn’t! The best thing about Banza pasta is that it tastes just like the real deal. Unlike other pasta alternatives I’ve tried that either have a grainy texture or strong veggie-like taste, Banza pasta isn’t so different from regular pasta. In fact, the texture is perfect for an al dente meal, and it’s got a slightly nutty taste that makes it an ideal pairing for cheese sauces and pesto. Yum!
Personally, I found the spaghetti Banza to break apart after boiling, so if you’re trying Banza for the first time, go with the smaller varieties like penne and rotini which hold up really nicely. You can find Banza pasta at health food stores, and you can also purchase it online! Check out this Banza variety pack we love ($25, Amazon)!