"It’s a comfort to always find pasta in the cupboard and garlic and parsley in the garden." - Alice Waters
Pasta dishes of all kinds have long been a favourite comfort food. Each of us has a cherished dish that reminds us of something special - a parent or relative from when we were young, a treasured holiday memory, or simply the feeling of nostalgia and warmth that a hearty bowl brings us. Quick and easy to prepare, and available in a variety of flavours, shapes, and grains, the options for a healthy meal to fit any diet (in any season) are virtually endless. It is no wonder that pasta is one of the world’s most popular and versatile foods!
Whole Grain Pasta is Part of a Healthy Diet
Grains are the edible seeds of cereal crops, such as wheat, barley, oats, and rice. The seed itself (or kernel) is made up of three parts (bran, endosperm, and germ), all of which contain essential nutrients for a healthy diet. Whole grains contain all three parts of the kernel, whereas refined grains have had the bran and germ removed, resulting in a loss of nutrients. In addition to being less processed, foods made from whole grains contain more nutrients (especially non-GMO, organically grown varieties) and may also have a more robust flavour profile.
As a staple food made from various types of grain, pasta is part of a healthy diet that also includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and water. When made from whole grains, pasta is a great source of fibre, which is filling and can help lower your risk of stroke, colon cancer, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes. Whole grain pasta has also been shown to be rich in thiamine (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. To ensure that you get the most from your pasta dishes, look for the words “whole grain” on the ingredient list when choosing pasta products.
Old World Tradition for Modern Families
Making pasta noodles by hand is an immersive experience, engaging all the senses and bringing us closer to our food, the people who grew it, and the earth it came from. Each step is integral to develop the best flavour, texture, and colour. The dough must be kneaded and left to rest, then rolled out and folded over itself again and again to fully develop. These sheets can then be cut into long ribbons to make spaghetti and other long noodles, or pressed to create tubes such as macaroni or penne. While this old world, artisanal process can be a delight, it is not always practical for modern families with busy lives.
In the 1970s, Eden Foods sought to bring a 100% whole grain pasta to market that was both satisfying and delicious. This attention to high quality led to the purchasing of a heritage noodle factory in Detroit that later became the Eden Organic Pasta Company. Here, pasta is still made in small batches using 100% organic flours, traditional knowledge, antique Italian equipment, brass macaroni dies, rolled laminated doughs, and slow inside-out drying techniques.
The Best Organic Whole Grain Pastas
Pasta is typically made from hard durum wheat, but other grains can add a different dimension to your favourite noodles in colour, texture, and flavour. Other varieties include golden amber durum wheat, khorasan wheat (Kamut®), rye, buckwheat, short grain brown rice, spelt, and quinoa. It is important to choose grains that are certified organic using sustainable farming practices, as this ensures that there are no residues from fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. We recommend Eden Foods’ line of organic whole grain pastas, available in a variety of shapes, colours, and grain types to suit your family’s diet and tastes.
“Eating the rainbow”, or incorporating a wide variety of vegetables into our diets, can be a challenge for most of us. Kids who are picky eaters can make this even harder. Encouraging them to try new vegetables is made easier by serving them a food they know and love - pasta! Vegetable pastas are sure to engage your child’s interest and are a great summer sensory table activity before trying them on their plate.
Eden Foods’ Vegetable Alphabets are 60% whole grain and get their bright colours from organic red beets, spinach, orange carrot, annatto, and golden grains. The colours make the pasta fun and engaging while adding flavour and phytonutrients. Discussing this process with your children will encourage them to try the whole vegetables themselves! Try them together in a vibrant summer pasta salad or a hearty bowl of alphabet soup.
Spelt is an ancient whole grain and a heartier, more nutritious option than more modern varieties of domesticated wheat. Compared with conventional wheat, spelt has a slightly higher protein content. While not gluten-free, spelt is more water-soluble than wheat, making it an easily digestible source of fibre. Flour made from spelt also tends to have a nutty and slightly acidic flavour profile.
Spaghetti is a go-to weeknight meal for so many reasons - it’s easy to make, endlessly versatile, and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Eden Foods’ Spelt Spaghetti is a wonderful way to incorporate 100% whole grains and a boost of flavour into your family’s favourite dishes, or experiment with a new recipe such as spaghetti with leeks and cannellini beans.
Khorasan wheat, known as Kamut®, is an ancient grain that has not been modified or hybridized like modern wheat. It is richer in taste than most grains, with a firm texture and nutty/buttery flavour. In addition to being a great source of fibre and vitamins, Kamut® is an excellent source of the essential minerals selenium and manganese.
Eden Foods’ Kamut® Spirals are a perfect base for any cold pasta salad in summer. Recent research has shown that cooking pasta and then cooling it changes its structure into a so-called “resilient starch.” This means additional health benefits, such as controlling blood sugar for longer and feeding good bacteria in your gut. Add in a variety of herbs, vegetables, and tofu feta for a new backyard party classic dish.
Good for You, Good for the Planet
Organic, whole grain pasta is not only a part of a healthy diet, but it is good for the planet too. Sustainable, ethical, and organic farming methods minimize environmental impact by reducing pollution, soil erosion, and energy use while protecting local biodiversity. Whole grain pastas are an easy way to add more plant-based meals to your weekly menu, significantly reducing your overall carbon footprint. You can feel good about Eden Foods’ packaging as well - their pasta boxes are made from 100% recycled paperboard and are recyclable and compostable. The perfect sustainable swap!
Founded in 1968, Eden Foods is the oldest principled independent organic food company in the United States. Its mission is Creation and Maintenance of Purity in Food. Eden brand is the authentic alternative to commercial food; the purest, best tasting grains, beans, and vegetables on the planet, from known trusted growers. Healthy soil, long-term organic, non-GMO.