Total Fat: 3.5g / Total Carbs: 32g / Protein: 14g
Good with: A plant-based pasta sauce.
Other Flavors: Rotini, Shells, Elbows
Why We Love It: This is one hearty pasta. That’s why we recommend pairing it with a plant-based sauce – because if you pair it with a meat sauce (if you eat meat) you might just overstuff yourself. This pasta is made from chickpeas, and you can definitely tell by its texture and nutritional profile. Let’s start with texture. Unlike many pastas that act simply as a forgettable instrument for getting sauce into your mouth, this pasta has some weight to it on its own. If you imagine the consistency of mashed up chickpeas – a bit chalky but not in an unpleasant way – then this is what Banza feels like in your mouth. For a 2oz serving, it’s got 8g of fiber and 14g of protein, so in itself has enough nutritional value to stand as a meal on its own. But of course, it doesn’t have much flavor on its own, so pair it with a lighter sauce and you’ve got yourself a filling, satisfying meal. We also love that it’s made in a dedicated facility that’s free of gluten, nuts, soy and eggs, so it ticks the food allergy boxes, and it’s non-GMO!
Meet the Makers: Based in Detroit, MI, Banza was founded in 2013 by then-23-year-old Brian Rudolph, who was looking for a healthier version of one of his favorite foods: pasta. He decided to use chickpeas because of the awesome nutritional profile of chickpeas and the low net carb count (net carbs = total carbs – fiber). He then teamed up with his brother Scott to launch Banza and within a year, they were in 2000 stores! www.eatbanza.com
Fun Fact: Brian first started testing out recipes for his chickpea pasta in the kitchen of his Detroit house, which he shared with 8 roommates!