Did you know that July 7th was National Macaroni Day? In recent years macaroni, as well as pasta in general, has gotten a bad rap. The “low carb” craze has many people cutting back on their intake of this tasty wheat product, but is this really necessary?
No, it’s not!
Why? Because pasta provides much needed carbohydrates, the main energy source for your body.
Why are carbs important?
Carbs certainly don’t deserve the negative press they’ve gotten over the recent years. Carbs are actually one of the body’s primary sources of energy. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple (such as fruit and anything that mainly consists of sugar) and complex (such as vegetables, whole grains, and legumes). Complex carbohydrates are high in fiber and starch, which can improve digestive health and help stabilize blood sugar levels. While whole wheat pasta contains more fiber and nutrients than regular pasta, it’s important to remember both kinds can be healthy in moderation.
Macaroni vs Pasta
Macaroni or pasta…which is which? Quora.com defines the difference:
“Pasta is actually the dough that is made with wheat flour and water, sometimes mixed with eggs, but it is just the starting point as many different shapes are made after drying this dough. Macaroni is one shape that looks like an elbow, is 3-5 inches in length and is a hollow cylindrical tube.”
Whether you call it macaroni or pasta, it’s a versatile ingredient and can be the base of a variety of inexpensive meals.
Hot and Cold
One of the great things about pasta is that it’s tasty either hot or cold, so it makes a great hot meal while leaving easy-to-transport leftovers that can be eaten cold on the go, allowing you to stay cool in the summer heat.
Try some of these tips the next time you are cooking with pasta:
- Bulk up the volume and nutrient profile of pasta meals by adding steamed or roasted vegetables, such as broccoli and fresh tomatoes
- Keep sauces light by making them either broth or tomato based
- Add high-quality olive oil and some chopped fresh herbs for freshness
- Stir your favorite cooked pasta shape into soup for a hearty meal
- Create a new pasta dish by picking at least three vegetables of different colors. Add them to a new pasta shape you haven’t tried before and surprise your family with your new creation.
You can start with my Roasted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe, and add your own spin!
Your turn to take action: What’s your favorite way to cook and eat pasta? Share below!