To preserve one’s health and wellbeing, balance is important across all areas of life – including nutrition. When creating a meal for both enjoyment and energy, the majority of us appreciate a healthy combination of carbohydrates, protein, essential fats and of course ‘veggies’. For some, pasta is the main carb staple of their plate but unfortunately, not everyone can happily digest all varieties. However, rather than ‘avoid pasta like the plague,’ Explore Cuisine has a delicious range of bean, pulse and lentil pasta that maintain the soft yet firm texture of traditional pasta, yet is loaded with fibre, vitamins, minerals and natural plant protein. The ingredients used are also organic, gluten free, non-GMO verified and last but certainly not least, 100% vegan. I tried out their Red Lentil Penne, Chickpea Fusilli and Edamame Spaghetti, read on below to find out whether their boxes ticked the boxes that matter most in our review…
Explore Cuisine’s mission is to provide innovative foods that use plant-based organic ingredients of the highest quality. Their selection of pasta from across the globe integrates beans, peas, lentils and rice to provide consumers with nourishing meals that are easy, quick, naturally colourful and most importantly, delicious. Explore Cuisine is also committed to trading fairly and supporting farmers and their communities, so everyone benefits along the way.
The range includes Red Lentil Spaghetti 250g, Red Lentil Penne 250g, Chickpea Spaghetti 250g, Chickpea Fusilli 250g, Green Lentil Lasagne 250g, Green Lentil Penne 250g, Black Bean Spaghetti 200g, Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine 200g, Soybean Spaghetti 200g and Edamame Spaghetti 200g.
Taste, texture, look and smell:
Red Lentil Penne & Chickpea Fusilli – Both of these pastas had a similar texture. Once cooked, I found that they were soft, durable with a good consistency while not overly chewy or tough on the teeth.
Edamame Spaghetti – The texture was even softer, yet maintained its strength, remaining in one piece after cooking. Each pasta easily complimented the vegetables and protein source I chose on the day!
The look of the pastas is exactly the same as their original counterpart versions with the green, red or yellow colours livening up each dish I was preparing. As for the packaging, a clear logo of ‘Explore Cuisine’ is seen at the top of each box to help consumers identify the brand and a see-through circle gets you enticed about what you’re about to buy, and explore something new.
Value: The boxes range from 200-250g in terms of weight and according to each selection of pasta, this is equivalent to roughly 4-5 servings in total. UK stockists and prices at the moment are as follows: £3.00 Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Ocado, £3.29 independents, £3.35 Holland & Barrett. Although white wheat pasta may be cheaper in comparison and more readily available, it certainly does not allow you to ‘reap the nutritional benefits’ unlike the Explore Cuisine range; which is loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre; lowering the GI (Glycemic Index) to ensure that your blood sugar levels remain balanced providing you with a consistent supply of long-lasting energy.
Summary: For the ‘carb conscious’ pasta lovers reading this, or those who suffer from digestive issues looking to increase the number of nutrients you eat on a daily basis, this is a simple way to still enjoy the texture of this Italian favourite without the guilt, dips in energy levels or after-meal bloat.