Is Pasta Vegan? Breaking the Myth

Is Pasta Vegan? Breaking the Myth

By avatarSakshiSuryanarayan23 |

  

Pasta is a go-to comfort food all around the world. Everyone likes it - everyone makes it. The only problem is for vegans - who are not really sure about pasta and it's ingredients. So - I'm here to answer the question of - Is pasta vegan?

Much like various types of bread, naans, and tortillas - pasta is also a grain-based food - and it is a staple for Italians the world over.

What Is Veganism?

Veganism is basically a lifestyle that abstains from using animal products and by-products - particularly in regards to diets. A vegan is a person that follows this diet. 

The Vegans Diet

The diet of a vegan can look very restrictive. But in effect - there are a lot of things that vegans can eat. 

What Vegans Do Eat

1. Fruits

2. Vegetables

3. Grains

4. Nuts and Seeds

What Vegans Do Not Eat

1. Dairy Products

2. Meat

3. Seafood

4. Eggs

5. Poultry

Why Do People Go Vegan?

There are many benefits to the vegan diet. A few of the main reasons to go vegan are:

1. To Help Animals

By not consuming any animal-based products - it prevents the exploitation of animals 

2. Dietary Requirements

Since the vegan diet is lactose-free - it is a good option for people who are lactose intolerant.

Also - due to the use of alternative flours - the vegan diet is very suitable for people who are allergic to gluten and gluten-based products!

3. For Your Health

The vegan lifestyle typically encourages healthy eating - since usually - fast-food options become quite limited. So this diet - and recipes of this diet - focus on using fresh produce.

This diet has also been known to improve our digestion and boost our immunities.

4. For Your Lifestyle

Since this diet limits the consumption of fast-food - it encourages people to look beyond everyday food - and focus on trying new foods. 

You will probably learn how to cook new things - and in general - widen your gastronomical horizons

5. For the Environment

Avoiding animal products and by-products helps reduce your carbon footprint - which in turn helps out the environment!

Why Can't People Turn Vegan?

For a lot of reasons, people find it difficult to become vegans. 

These reasons may be because:

1. They find it hard to stop eating meats and dairy products - like cheese

2. They are worried that they will never enjoy food again

3. They live in places where it will be difficult to get vegan foods 

4. They do not believe that it has any benefits at all

5. They worry that they will not be able to sustain that kind of lifestyle

6. They do not want to - plain and simple

Is It Easy to Become a Vegan?

This is not a question I can answer easily - mainly because I have not become a vegan yet - though I have been trying to. 

But - from my research - it should not be so difficult - or as difficult as it may seem. 

True - you will miss certain foods - but you will be doing a lot of good when you become a vegan. 

It really will be a case of mind over matter - if you truly want to do it - you can.

But you can do a few things before you make that decision and become a vegan - to make your journey easier:

1. Do your research

2. Plan your meals ahead of time

3. Start cooking - or start learning how to cook!

4. Slowly start removing non-vegan foods from your diet - instead of quitting those foods cold turkey

5. Find alternatives to your favourite foods or ingredients

6. Check with your doctor if this diet is going to work for you

7. Find out if you are allergic to any kinds of nuts, seeds etc

8. Find a buddy - get friends to make the change with you

9. Throw out any non-vegan foods from your home - and stop buying them!

10. If all else fails - jump head first into this diet!

What About Pasta

So - coming to the main question - is pasta vegan? 

Well, pasta - being a grain-based food - is basically vegan. However, there are certain types of pasta which are not vegan-friendly. 

1. Ingredients

Pasta comes in two forms: fresh and dried. The ingredients of these two are different. 

Fresh

Fresh pasta usually contains eggs. Eggs are mixed into the dough to create the different shapes. 

These types of pasta would be problematic for a vegan to eat - because you will not be sure if it does contain eggs or is using some sort of egg substitute. 

Dried

Dried pasta is what is available in grocery and department stores. 

This kind of pasta does not contain eggs at all - and is a mixture of flour and semolina. 

So in all likelihood - the pasta that you bought at the store is vegan-friendly. 

Precautions

Irrespective of whether it is dried or fresh - read through the label and make sure that all the ingredients mentioned are vegan-friendly. 

2. Dining Out

When you are at home - yes it is possible to check food labels - but when you are out at a restaurant - it is difficult. 

The easiest thing to do is to ask the waiter about their food - is pasta vegan? - because this will save you a lot of time. 

Otherwise, you could check on their menu if they specify whether their pasta is fresh and homemade or not.

Or - you could avoid eating pasta out altogether!

If you would like to make a fresh pasta at home - but have it be vegan-friendly - then read on!

Recipe: Fresh Vegan Pasta

What You Need:

3 cups - Semolina 

1/2 cup - Warm Water

1 tsp - Salt

1/4 cup - Olive or Canola Oil

Herbs to taste

What You Need to Do:

1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl - preferably one made of glass or steel 

2. Add in the oil and herbs into this mixture

3. Slowly stir in the warm water to make a smooth dough

4. Knead the dough until it is well combined and allow it to rest for 20 minutes to half an hour

5. Roll out or cut the dough into desired shapes and sizes - do not allow this dough to dry out

6. Put the pasta into boiling water and cook for 5 minutes

7. Remove from the water and add to a sauce of your choice

So there you have it. Is pasta vegan? Yes and No. Pasta is such a versatile food that you will be able to have it - vegan or not. 

If you choose to go vegan - or already are a vegan - then do not worry - you can still enjoy this delicious treat. However - if you have a gluten intolerance - then in most aspects - any kind of pasta would be difficult for you to come by. 

And it is even possible that in the near future - you would not have to do it yourself at home! A lot of companies these days are trying to figure out ways to make fresh pasta - without the reliance on eggs. 

I too will be trying to make this change - and so I will definitely be trying out new recipes to find alternatives or new ways to make foods that you commonly cannot consume on a vegan diet. 

So stay tuned - and I will be back for more fun, easy and delicious recipes to share with you!

#ispastavegan #vegan #italian #pasta #food #health #nutrition #cooking #howto 

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