Time magazine (vol.186, no. 22-23, 2015 p.68) introduces Banza Chickpea pasta as one the best inventions of 2015. Using garbanzo beans instead of wheat, a new healthy and delicious high protein and high fibre and low carbohydrate food has been invented.
For diabetics until now, pasta on the plate has been considered ” off the table”. Old Italian favourites like minestrone soup with banza pasta will now be healthy diabetic fare. Baked “lasagna style “meals using banza pasta in layers between meat and cheese sauce may be suitable.
Traditional Italian recipes will need to be tweaked to ensure that the fat and calorie content of the meals are not too high. In lasagna, usually a cheese sauce is layered in the baking dish along with the meat sauce and the sheets of pasta. Typically béchamel cheese sauce used in lasagna is made with cream, milk, butter and cheese. In order to make a lower calorie version of traditional béchamel sauce, oil may be substituted for butter, water for cream and milk. A healthier alternative to wheat flour like garbanzo bean flour or millet flour, may be used in the roux.
If the diabetic’s physician has strictly cautioned against the use of high fat and calorific items like cheese, there are flavour alternatives. Commencing with the roux, one may use oil and flour with salt and pepper to taste. It is possible to achieve a cheese -like taste by adding ground cumin powder and a pinch of turmeric with the water. Oats may be mixed into the sauce also to form a creamy consistency. Nutritional yeast flakes are available in some health food stores and they provide excellent texture and flavour akin to