Be honest: do you know someone who doesn't like pasta? Probably not. In fact, pasta (alongside pizza) is one of the most popular dishes in Germany: Current statistics show that over 14 million people aged 14 and over eat pasta several times a week and over 23 million people several times a month (as of 2020). And this despite the fact that it is generally known that pasta made from durum wheat semolina or white flour is rich in unhealthy carbohydrates. In addition, more and more people cannot tolerate gluten, which is contained in wheat flour, or are vegan - and therefore do not want to eat pasta made from eggs. The question arises: Are there classic pasta without carbohydrates, gluten and animal proteins? The answer is yes. But the good news is: they are definitely healthier than regular pasta.
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), lentils, chickpeas and beans are particularly nutritious. They contain a lot of proteins, minerals (iron, magnesium and zinc), vitamins (B1, B6, folate) and dietary fiber - this makes legumes one thing above all: filling. And what about the calories? After all, in the depths of the internet one keeps stumbling over the question of whether pasta without carbohydrates exists. Here, too, the DGE has a clear opinion: "Dried lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas are low in fat and have a low energy density, i.e. they only provide a few calories in relation to the quantity". In plain language, this means: pasta made from legumes also contains carbohydrates, but significantly fewer and - what is even more important - more complex carbohydrates. "Due to their content of indigestible carbohydrates, they only allow the blood sugar concentration to rise slowly," is the verdict of the German Society for Nutrition. They are also gluten-free and vegan.
As with ordinary types of pasta made from wheat flour, there is now a large selection of pasta made from legumes in German supermarkets: whether spaghetti or fusilli, penne or spirelli – there are no limits to the possibilities to try them. Which type you choose at the end of the day usually depends on personal preferences, because everyone who loves pasta has their personal favorite type. However, before you decide on a legume, you should know how pasta made from lentils, peas and the like differs. Especially if you are looking for pasta without carbohydrates (unless you want to try all the varieties first, then you will find a selection here):
Most alternative pastas are made from red lentils that are first ground up and then made into pasta. They are said to have a mild but nutty aroma - just like lentils taste. And the consistency of the noodles is similar to that of the legumes. It is therefore also advisable not to cook the pasta for too long (which real pasta fans know, of course). And what about the ingredients? In addition to twice the protein content (26 grams per 100 grams) compared to "normal pasta", the noodles made from red lentils still have 50 grams of carbohydrates - for comparison: normal pasta contains 70 grams.
Tip: Use pasta made from yellow lentils, i.e. peeled ones, which contain less protein (approx. 21 grams) but taste like normal pasta. At the moment you can only get the noodles online in multiple packs, but you can also get individual packs in the supermarket.
Noodles are also made from chickpeas. Although they contain less protein (approx. 20 grams per 100 grams) than lentil pasta, they are rich in vitamins A, C, D and E, iron and calcium. Here, too, it quickly becomes clear from the taste that these are chickpeas - they are more al dente than lentil noodles, but just as floury. If you love eating hummus, you'll be fine with this pasta. And even if you're not a big fan of chickpeas, you can tweak the flavor in your favor with a matching pasta sauce.
Tip: If you prefer green peas, you will also find the corresponding noodles here. However, this variant contains significantly more carbohydrates (61 grams per 100 grams). The taste should also be reminiscent of the green legume, i.e. the slightly sweet note prevails.
In terms of protein content, beans take first place among legumes: up to 45 grams (per 100 grams) of protein contain well-known varieties such as edamame, mung beans, black beans and soybeans. They all have a strong taste of their own – also in the form of noodles. Accordingly, you should choose a bean that you enjoy eating anyway. Then you can prepare a gluten-free, lactose-free, vegan and kosher meal without hesitation. And if you are worried about your stomach (keyword: "Every little bean makes a sound"), you will quickly notice that your gastrointestinal tract will get used to the new types of pasta after a short time.
As already explained in detail in this article, there are no classic pasta without carbohydrates. However, if you look into Asian cuisine, there certainly is pasta that is completely carbohydrate-free. What is meant are so-called konjac noodles, which are not made from grain or legumes, but from the konjac root - a tuber of the devil's tongue. This is a plant species from Asia. The noodles are made with water, flour from the konjac root and a stabilizer (e.g. calcium hydroxide).
Not only do they do without carbohydrates, they are also low in fat and calories, but rich in fiber and of course vegan. If you want to do a taste test, you will find it on the Internet. If you want to learn more about the topic or want to lose weight with konjac noodles, we recommend purchasing a suitable guide. In it you will learn how and why you can get slimmer with the noodles without carbohydrates, and you will also find a large number of delicious recipe ideas in the book to cook at home. Or you can try the following recipe.
To prepare it, you will need 400 grams of konjac noodles, 220 grams of shrimp (with shell), 50 grams each of red and yellow peppers, one spring onion, four mushrooms, one chili pepper, two cloves of garlic, one tablespoon of sesame oil, one teaspoon of sesame seeds, one teaspoon of harissa , half a teaspoon of cumin, a pinch of five spice powder, salt and pepper. Then proceed as follows:
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