Product Talk: Get a Leg Up on Legumes

June 2016 - Nutrition

Watch out run-of-the-mill pastas…there’s a new noodle in town. Versatile, tasty and oh so good for you, legume pastas are here.

Yup, pasta made with red lentils, black beans, mung and soy are quickly becoming the go-to option for people with digestive issues – and those who simply love how they taste.

We asked our Director of Purchasing & Vendor Relations Roland Siegmund why they are becoming such a hit.

“There’s been a drift away from traditional pasta because of its high gluten content. And while rice pastas address people’s gluten issues, texture can be an issue because they can go gluey during cooking. But these new legume pastas are fantastic. They have great texture without falling apart, are very high in fibre and protein, and lower in carbs. And red lentil pastas are particularly easy to digest.”

That high fibre-high protein combination balances blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and keeps you satisfied longer.

And, says Roland, their mildly distinctive taste works well in western and Asian recipes.

Legume pastas take a little longer to cook because they are so high in fibre, and made from unrefined, whole foods. That also means they’re packed with vitamins and minerals.

Try tossing hot, drained legume pasta with…

  • Your favourite mild, medium or hot curry paste, coconut cream, and steamed wild seafood. Top with freshly chopped cilantro.
  • Stir-fried organic veggies and a drizzle of sesame oil. Garnish with finely chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Peppers, onions and garlic roasted with whole fennel seed. At the last minute, add a big handful of finely chopped chard, kale or spinach, your favourite fresh herb and a glug of good olive oil.
  • Shredded, fragrant basil leaves, spicy dried chili flakes and minced garlic. Add extra virgin olive oil and a fistful of pine nuts, a few good grinds of black pepper and a sprinkle of sharp cheese.

Roland makes his quick-and-easy favourite dinner by tossing cooked ‘al dente’ black bean pasta with a Simply Naturals sauce, and a sprinkle of cheese.

Delicious! We’d love to hear about your favourite combinations featuring these pastas.

  • Tolerant’s Mini-Fettuccine, Penne and Rotini made with organic, nonGMO Red Lentil and Black Beans, in 8oz and 12oz boxes.
  • Traditional shirataki-style noodles – made from nonGMO tofu (soy beans) – from Miracle Foods and House Foods. Not high in fibre as other legume pastas, they are low in carbs and calories, and rich in calcium and iron. You’ll find these in our refrigerated section.

And, while you are in an adventurous mood, try these other varieties…

  • Konjac pasta (a type of yam) in rice, noodle and spaghetti shapes from Skinny Pasta
  • Kanten “dry” pasta made from the fiber of a sea vegetable called tengusa, from Miracle Noodles
  • Quinoa and amaranth pasta from GoGo Quinoa.

About Legumes

In North America our go-to starches tend to be potatoes, rice and pasta. But In many countries – like India and Mexico – their carb staples are nutrient-rich legumes like lentils and beans.

  • Legumes include all varieties of beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils
  • Just one cup of beans delivers 14 to 20 grams of fiber – more fiber than the average North American eats in an entire day
  • Bean pastas can deliver 22 plus grams of protein per 3-oz serving
  • One serving (3/4 cup) of legumes can reduce LDL, or “bad”, cholesterol levels by five percent. (Canadian Medical Association)
  • Legumes are good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc, B vitamins, and other nutrients that may prevent cancer and heart disease.


Sources – Canadian Medical Association

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