In recent decades, the average British consumer has become much savvier about food labelling.  At the same time, the government and the food industry have upped their game considerably, especially when it comes to nutrition guidance on food products.  Regulation (EU) No. 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (EU FIC) states that food manufacturers must present the nutritional information in the order: energy, fat, saturates, carbohydrate, sugars, protein and salt, and that this should be on the front and back of packaging.  For the consumer, this ensures that when you are quickly scanning the nutritional value of a product, while reading your shopping list, dealing with a screaming child, and talking on the mobile phone, you can find the information you need immediately.  It also defines how ‘nutrient reference values’, energy values, and amounts per 100g or 100ml should be shown in a consistent and easy to understand format.

Not all calories are created equal

Consumers are also becoming increasingly aware that all calories are not created equal, and that by focusing solely on the energy potential of a calorie as opposed to the nutritional content of that calorie, it is easy to make food decisions which are less beneficial to our health.  As such, it is essential to weigh up the whole picture when it comes to the food you eat.  For example, while the lunch option you choose may be low in fat, is it high in sugar?  And if it is low in calories, does that mean your dinner is healthy for you?

The same applies to pasta.  While most think of pasta as a source of carbohydrates, it also contains a range of B vitamins, essential minerals, fibre, fat and protein.  Whole wheat pasta contains higher levels of fibre and folate (vitamin B9) compared to white pasta.  Some pastas have even more nutritional value.  Our Pure Pasta is high in protein while being low in carbohydrates; for every 100g of Pure Pasta, it contains 40.7g of carbohydrates and 40.4g of protein compared to 75.6g of carbohydrates and 11.3g of protein for standard white pasta.  To put this into context, to consume as much protein as contained in 100g of Pure Pasta, you would need to eat almost 400g of white pasta, with a calorie value of around 1300 calories (vs 367 calories with Pure Pasta).  As Pure Pasta contains 46% fewer carbohydrates than conventional pasta, and surpasses the required level of 25% required by the food guidelines, it is a genuine ‘low carb’ option.

High protein equals high satiety

Foods containing higher levels of protein also make us feel full faster.  In addition, research has long established that dietary protein can play a key role in fat loss.  One article in the British Journal of Nutrition, entitled ‘Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health’, found that “protein contributes to the treatment of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, by acting on the relevant metabolic targets of satiety and energy expenditure in negative energy balance, thereby preventing a weight cycling effect”.

Final words

It is all too easy not to see the whole picture when looking at food labels – after all, who has the time to read every product label in-depth?  But by starting to look at food labels with a more critical eye and to understand the overall nutritional benefit of what you are buying and eating, you will be able to make more informed and choices for you and your family.  Remember, not all calories are created equal.

 

Have you assumed that your beloved cauliflower cheese and creamy pasta bakes would be totally off the menu if you’ve chosen the vegan lifestyle? Let us enlighten you as it’s certainly not the case with this simple and filling vegan cauliflower cheez pasta bake!

Here we’ve combined two of our favourite cheesy baked delights and made them into one great big comfort food hug, the Vegan Cauliflower Cheez Pasta Bake. Yum!

For the optimum cheesy flavour we use both nutritional yeast flakes in this sauce, though you may want to pick up some vegan cheese too to maximise on that cheesy flavour.

This is an ideal accompaniment to a fresh summer salad, or try adding chestnut mushrooms for an added veggie bonus.

Ingredients – 2 – 4 persons

Cheez sauce (makes one pint)

  • 260g of cashew nuts ( soak in cold water for at least 2 hours)
  • 500ml of cold water
  • 4 finely chopped spring onions
  • 4tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice

Vegan Parmesan

  • ¾ cup of dry whole cashews
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Method

Prepare the sauce

  1. Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth
  2. Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil stirring constantly until thickened
  3. Season to taste and put to one side.

Prepare the vegan parmesan

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse several times until a fine crumb is achieved.

Pasta and cauliflower

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water as per instructions and strain.
  2. Trim the green leaves from the cauliflower, and carefully break them into even sized florets.
  3. Place in pan of water, bring to the boil, and simmer for 5-6 mins until just cooked.
  4. Strain and put to one side.
  5. Place the pasta and cauliflower into a greased oven proof dish, and coat with the white sauce ensuring full coverage.
  6. Place into a hot oven 180c, and bake for 35-45 minutes until lightly browned.
  7. Serve with vegan Parmesan cheese, and fresh bread.

 

 

Help us celebrate the spring season with this fresh vegan pasta recipe that combines an array of spring vegetables and our high-protein vegan fusilli for a healthy and low calorie meal.

This recipe makes the most of all the fresh ingredients you have in your fridge; why not combine with other vegetables too to utilise what you have in the house or are growing in the allotment?

Ingredients – 2 persons

  • 200g of Wellside Pure Pasta
  • 7 – 8 heads of fine asparagus
  • 7 – 8 heads of baby broccoli spears
  • 5 – 6 trimmed spring onions
  • 5 – 6 radish
  • 5 – 6 mangetout pods
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 tbsp of green pesto
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 g of vegan butter
  • Seasoning to taste

Method

  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, as per instructions and strain.
  2. Poach the chopped mangetout, broccoli, and asparagus in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, strain and keep warm.
  3. In a shallow frying pan, gently heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and vegan butter and lightly fry the chopped radish, onions and chopped fresh chilli.
  4. Add the pasta, the green vegetables, and the pesto turning gently with a large spoon until the pasta is fully combined with all ingredients.
  5. Season to taste and serve onto warm plates.

 

Let us know your thoughts or how you’ve put a twist on things!

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