Hello everyone! Welcome to this new section of my blog.
I have realized that motivation is not all we need to get through life yea? We need practical ideas and choices about our lifestyle. Sometimes, we need a little help with making the right food choices, visiting the perfect restaurant, doing the right kind of exercise… you know, everyday choices that help us live the motivated and fulfilling lives we desire. So, I have decided to blog about my choices, places I visit and things I eat to stay healthy, and hopefully the exercises I do (filming them still presents a challenge). I hope you find these posts helpful and I hope they push you to make good or better choices. Many of these posts are will be in the form of reviews so, let’s get started with the first one – gluten-free pasta!
Recently, I started to notice something weird about my body. My stomach was distended for hours after eating, my body felt blocked up and all I wanted to do was crawl into bed after eating like an overfed python, hoping for digestion to happen fast. But it didn’t. It was so bad that I felt slow, and my body felt like an extra weight I had to carry around with me. This happened every time I had carbohydrates – especially refined carbs. I could have a basket of fruits and vegetables and not have the same reaction. But one serving of pasta and I felt like I had to drag myself everywhere. I started to keep a food diary and voila! the common factor jumped out at me – gluten was killing me slowly!
So I decided to start trying gluten-free options. I live in South Africa where gluten-free options are more expensive than regular options and can sometimes cost five times more. Yep. You read right. Five times more. Thankfully, my gluten-free spaghetti did not cost that much. The regular option I used to buy cost R16.99 while the gluten-free option (image below) cost me R31.99 – twice as much. The option I found was made of corn and rice flour. My buddy in the USA told me she had gluten free option with corn flour only.
I got home and got to work. Sorry guys. I forgot to film the cooking but this is really what I did:
- I let some water boil in a pot, added a sprinkle of salt and a teaspoon of grapeseed oil.
- I added about 100g of spaghetti. I didn’t break them and left to boil. First thing I noticed was that the pasta dis not cook as quickly as the regular option. After boiling for about 8 minutes, I noticed it the pasta was getting sticky. I took it off the stove and poured it in a colander. I rinsed it with cold water to get rid of what I call the ‘starchiness’. The spaghetti was still tough as though it had not been exposed to any heat!
- I put it back in the pot and poured some water over it. I put it on the stove for another three minutes and took it off when it had softened a bit. I had to do this because I had prepared meatballs and pasta sauce and planned to complete the cooking in the sauce.
- I drained the spaghetti in the colander and added it to the sauce I already prepared. I lowered the heat and left it to simmer for an additional two minutes. I was scared of overcooking it.
Then I served myself a pretty portion (image below) and this is what I discovered. I will do the cons first.
- the spaghetti was grainy to taste. It did not have the smoothness of normal semolina-derived pasta and that grainy-ness was annoying to me. It felt like I was eating bits of rice really.
- It still didn’t feel like it had cooked through even though the packet said it cooks in ten minutes. From the way it felt though, one extra minute on the stove and it would have been overcooked.
- It had an after-taste that came across as egg-ish. But hey, I don’t have a professional palette but that what it felt like.
- No distended tummy after eating. I could still feel my abs – all one and a half of them.
- My body did not feel clogged or slow. My energy level was boosted instead. I didn’t have an overwhelming urge to lie down like an overfed python.
- A very good pasta sauce can cover up most of the after-taste. Mine was a thick sauce made with fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, red pepper and onions but I could still catch a bit of that egg in the middle of my tongue.
So there you have it. You know what to expect if you decide to go for gluten-free spaghetti. But if you’ve tried a different kind of gluten-free pasta and gotten different results, please share in the comments. XOXO