Incorporating beans into your diet can be a very good way to increase your protein and fiber intake without weighing yourself down with other high protein items such as meat, especially in the hot summer months.
But many people avoid beans for a variety of reasons. Some don’t like how the high fiber in beans makes them “gassy.” Others may be unfamiliar with recipes including beans and how to incorporate them into meals. Some may steer clear of beans because “the kids won’t eat them!” While others simply may not like how they taste…or their texture.
If you fall into any of these categories, or even all of them, I have a great way for you to glean all the protein from beans without any of the characteristics you may find unappealing. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is true! But my answer may catch you a bit by surprise. Black Bean Spaghetti! Yes, you heard me right…spaghetti noodles.
Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine Gluten Free Organic Black Bean Spaghetti is a mouthful of a name, and a delicious mouthful of nutrition. This black bean spaghetti is a perfect way to satisfy a large portion of your day’s protein requirements while being easy to serve to even the most finicky eater. While the flavor is not quite as subtle and nondescript as some gluten-free pastas, there is definitely no overwhelming “bean” flavor. It is flavorful in its own right, but won’t overpower other sauces or added flavors when combined with other ingredients.
Each 1.75 oz serving of black bean pasta packs a powerful 20.5 g protein, which is important for sustained energy. However, while fiber is also an important element in our diets, you won’t find much fiber here, only 0.5 g per serving, but you won’t be plagued with the “gassiness” either. Black bean pasta is naturally low fat, containing only 4.5 g fat per serving, and is the good type of fat from a natural plant source. Oh, and I cannot forget to point out that this bean pasta is organic and vegan also. The only ingredient is organic black beans. Pure goodness.
To learn if this pasta could really deliver delicious results, we began by cooking the black bean pasta in a large pot of boiling water, with just a splash of olive oil added, as we normally do, to keep the pasta from sticking. The package directions state to cook for 6-8 minutes, or until tender. We found the perfect al dente texture to occur at just past 7 minutes. We immediately drained the pasta, then gave it a quick rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, but not long enough to cool down the pasta too much. Rinsing also aids in keeping the pasta from sticking together. The texture remained al dente and did not become mushy, even after the pasta completely cooled. This black bean pasta has a more irregular texture to it, less smooth than typical spaghetti noodles, providing the perfect surface to which sauces can cling and infuse their full flavors completely. We found this black bean pasta to perform as well as any quinoa or corn-based pasta, and much better than most brown rice pastas.
Because this bean protein comes in the form of spaghetti, and cooks up just like regular spaghetti, it is easy to sneak in extra protein whenever you need it. I like to mix it with quinoa spaghetti noodles to create a very balanced protein and nutritious combination of the essential amino acids. The color combination of the light quinoa pasta mixed with the dark, rich black bean pasta makes for a very appealing and colorful plate. Add some brick red spaghetti sauce, or some yellow and red diced peppers with a chiffonade of kelly green basil, and you’ve just served up a delicious, nutritious, and very inviting dish.
Trust me … if you aren’t a fan of beans normally … give Explore Asian Authentic Cuisine Gluten Free Organic Black Bean Spaghetti a try. You won’t be disappointed.
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