Sat Oct 15 2022
GLUTEN-FREE PASTA COMBINES GOOD HEALTH & GREAT TASTE
Pasta? On a gluten-free diet? The thought once might have been tough to swallow, but now there are an increasing number of gluten-free pasta options readily available. And while the health benefits are obvious, the big surprise is that they can taste great, too.
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein found in most grains, like wheats, ryes and barleys. These grains are frequently basic ingredients in a wide range of other foods, used for flavoring and coloring, or added as a thickening agent.
Gluten is commonly found in popular foodstuffs ranging from beer to bread, cakes and pies, cereals, crackers and cookies, dressings and sauces, snacks like potato chips and French fries, and, of course, pasta. Pasta is most often made from water, eggs, and ground durum wheat, a flour which happens to be chock full of gluten.
Other wheat flours to watch out for — which are given different names depending on how the flour is processed or the wheat is milled — include farina, which is usually used in hot cereals; enriched flour, which is a baking ingredient with additional vitamins and minerals; phosphate flour, which is also called self-rising flour; Graham flour, a coarsely grained whole-wheat flour; and semolina, the milled durum wheat used in most pasta.
Why go Gluten-Free
Eliminating gluten from the diet is most important for people with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can harm the lining of the small intestine. Over time, the damage from gluten-triggered immune system activity prevents Celiacs from properly absorbing the nutrients in their food.
Non-Celiacs with gluten sensitivity find consumption of gluten can cause abdominal pains, constipation, headaches and rashes, and what the Mayo Clinic calls “foggy brain.” Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disorder that affects muscle control and certain nerve tissues. And basic wheat allergies can cause the body to create an antibody to combat the perceived threat of gluten, mistaking it for bacteria or a virus, causing congestion and breathing difficulties.
Foods like gluten-free pasta, cereals and snacks can restore some normalcy to the diet of those affected by any of these conditions. Gluten-free diets are also frequently cited for health benefits such as weight loss and improved energy levels.
There are several “good grains” that can be used to create gluten-free pastas and other similar foods suitable for a gluten-free diet. These include ancient grains like amaranth and quinoa, as well as buckwheat, some corn and hominy, flax, rice, soy and cassava root.
Other healthy non-gluten options include unprocessed beans, seeds such as chia, chickpeas, nuts, fruits and vegetables, eggs, and unprocessed lean meats and fish.
Types of pasta
On first reference, many people tend to associate pasta with Italian cooking. Spaghetti linguine, fusilli, macaroni, rotini — the list goes on and on. But pasta is a part of healthy diets around the world. Udon, rice vermicelli, soba and other pastas are a big part of the Asian diet. Other Mediterranean diets have long included pastas, and pasta is increasingly popular in modern Indian and Latin American cultures as well.
Gluten-free pastas can be used in just about any recipe that calls for traditional pasta. The LiveKuna cookbook (download it for free here) contains lots of great recipes that cross a number of cultural tastes. Try gluten-free pastas in your favorite dish tonight!
LiveKuna gluten-free pastas come in several styles, all made with simple, natural ingredients. We offer fusilli pastas which have a traditional corkscrew shape, and cornetti pasta, which is a narrow elbow-shaped pasta tube. Both are fantastic vehicles for holding delicious creams and sauces and delivering great taste.
Our White Beans + Quinoa gluten-free pasta is a fusilli made with white bean flour, quinoa flour and rice flour. White Beans + Quinoa gluten-free pasta is a great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Our Chickpeas + Chia gluten-free pasta is a cornetti style pasta. It is made from chickpea flour, buckwheat flour and chia flour. Chickpeas + Chia gluten-free pasta is high in protein and fiber. Chickpeas have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, and protein and fiber tend to have a filling effect that can lower your calorie intake and help aid weight control.
We also offer three multigrain fusilli gluten-free pastas. Multigrain gluten-free pastas tend to taste most similar to regular pastas.
Our Kale gluten-free pasta is made with kale flour, rice flour and corn flour. Kale is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, healthy minerals like potassium and calcium, and nutrients that help protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.
Our Quinoa gluten-free pasta is made with quinoa flour, rice flour and corn flour. Quinoa is rare in that it is a plant-based protein that delivers nutrients like essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It can help with weight control, blood sugar level maintenance and overall digestive health.
And our Amaranth gluten-free pasta is made with amaranth flour, rice flour and corn flour. Amaranth, an ancient grain that was once actually banned by Spain, is filled with healthy protein, fiber, vitamins A and B6, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.
Always consume pasta in some moderation, and pair your gluten-free pasta with other nutritious ingredients necessary to create a well-rounded diet. Maximize the potential health benefits of gluten-free pasta by carefully reading labels. Steer clear of gluten-free pastas that are filled with additives and fillers.