Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Dreamfields Low-Carb Pasta (plus an important caution for Dreamfields fans)

There's definitely no doubt that I'm a big fan of Dreamfields pasta!

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I love Dreamfields low-carb pasta, made with a special process that makes the glycemic index and digestible carb count much lower than regular white flour pasta.  I even order it by the case from Amazon.com when I can't find certain shapes in my local stores!   I've been eating Dreamfields for so long that I can hardly believe I'm just now making it one of my Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, where I recommend products I've tried and loved so much that I would happily buy them over and over.  There's no doubt that Dreamfields deserves to be one of my picks, but even so this post has an important caution about Dreamfields (especially for people who need to monitor their blood sugar for health reasons) so if you're a Dreamfields fan, please read on.

I recently started following Dreamfields on Facebook, and on that page I discovered something I had never known about Dreamfields.  Apparently if the pasta is overcooked, re-cooked, or reheated it raises the glycemic index above the low levels that Dreamfields promises on the box.  When I heard this, I immediately went to the Dreamfields website, and read about it for myself.   (Look on the bottom of the page and read Can I Reheat Leftover Dreamfields Pasta and Does Overcooking Dreamfields Increase the Pasta's Digestible Carbs.)

I have been eating Dreamfields for about six years now, and have never had trouble with it causing me to gain weight, so this news doesn't worry me too much for myself.  But I'd never want to mislead anyone who reads this blog, especially if they're eating low-carb pasta for health reasons, so I've just spent a couple of hours adding that information to all the recipes and recipe index pages where I've mentioned Dreamfields.  

For South Beach Dieters, I'd now say if you're using Dreamfields in a recipe where the pasta is going to be cooked, combined with other ingredients, and then baked, those dishes are probably only for phase three.  (This doesn't apply to lasagna which is made differently so it doesn't break down as much during baking.)  For other pasta dishes, if the pasta is reheated it's also probably only for phase three.  (I hope I found all the mentions of Dreamfields on the blog where the dish might be baked or reheated, but if anyone finds a recipe where I didn't include that caution, please let me know so I can fix it.)

Luckily, there are still plenty of good options for using Dreamfields, even if you decide you need to avoid it for baked or reheated dishes.   I love using it for pasta salads, and for pasta-and-sauce dishes you can just cook the amount of pasta you're going to eat.  If you have extra sauce, reheat that separately and cook fresh pasta to go with it.

Pasta Salads with Dreamfields
Pasta Salad with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Grilled Zucchini, and Basil
Pasta Salad with Italian Sausage, Zucchini, Red Peppers, and Olives

Pasta and Sauce Dishes with Dreamfields:
Penne Pasta with Spicy Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, and Spinach
Penne Pasta with Tomato, Herb, and Feta No-Cook Pasta Sauce
Penne with Sausage, Beans, and Broccoli Rabe
Spagetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula
Penne Pasta with Wilted Arugula, Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce

Blogger Disclosure:
I purchased all the pasta in the photo myself and Dreamfields has no idea that I'm writing about their product.  (Everything featured for Kalyn's Kitchen Picks is a product I've tried myself and loved. Nearly all of my picks  are products I purchased myself, and if I ever feature a product I first tried as a sample, I will always disclose that information.  You can be sure I won't ever be writing about a product unless it's something I would have happily purchased myself.)

You can see the complete list of products I've chosen to feature under the tab Kalyn's Picks below the blog header.
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25 comments:

  1. A great example of why it's so important to read the small print!

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  2. I am a huge Dreamfield fan and mention it often on my blog...I had no idea about what reheating does to it. Very interesting.

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  3. Maris, so true.

    Melissa, glad I could help you learn about it.

    Since I am a fan of Dreamfields (that's the whole point of this post) I'm not going to publish links to other places on the web criticizing it. I know from eating it for years that it's a lower-carb pasta when it's not overcooked, re-cooked, or reheated.

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  4. It's good to hear your experience with it. Have you compared that with regular pasta?

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  5. The glycemic index of regular white flour pasta is much higher. There is a lot of info about this on the Dreamfield's site.

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  6. ValerieAnne, just added a link at the top of the post where you can find that info on the Dreamfields site.

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  7. Hi Kalyn,
    I appreciate your scrupulous ethical standards. A wonderful model for the rest of the world. Even if it's only pasta, too many people (politicians?) don't seem to have a clue. Thank you!

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  8. Wow .. didn't know that .. we enjoy Dreamfields pasta; such a treat! thanks for the information.

    Judy

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  9. I started using Dreamfields last year after I discovered that as a diabetic it does not cause spikes in my blood sugar. I love it!!! And it tastes like regular pasta instead of the sometimes heavy taste of whole wheat pasta (which my boyfriend does not like at all). I didn't know about the "reheating" issue but am thankful you shared it. Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes!

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  10. Kalyn,

    what if you like to make giant batches of pasta salad in the summer and eat off of them for days? Is there any danger of the salad dressing "overcooking" the pasta?

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  11. I'm glad the information is useful. Deborah, I don't think there's a problem with pasta salad even if it's in the fridge for a few days.

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  12. Even I have used their linguine pasta, liked it. Thanks for the caution though.

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  13. Kalyn - Great job doing your homework and sharing for all of us to benefit! I sure learned something!

    You're the best. :)

    Georgie

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  14. Priya, probably not as much of a concern for things like linguini and spaghetti; just cook as much as you're going to eat.

    Georgie, thanks! You're sweet.

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  15. I don't know about other diabetics, but I've found that I don't get as much spiking in my sugar when using quinoa pasta. The texture is slightly different, but the flavor is good.
    I'll have to try some of the Dreamfield pastas and see how they do.

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  16. Bob, I am not diabetic so I don't know about that but I do think that
    Dreamfields is recommended for diabetics. You could check for info on their website.

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  17. I knew about overcooking it, but I didn't know about re-heating. Thanks for posting this!

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  18. Izzy, you're welcome. And once we know it's easy to avoid using it the wrong way.

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  19. Would this information be applicable to any other low-carb pasta, or just for this specific brand?

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  20. I don't know about other types of low-carb pasta, but you might check the product website if you're concerned about it.

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  21. The latest issue of that illustrated cooking mag from the state of Vermont suggests that if one has no room on a busy stovetop to parboil pasta for a baked dish, soak the stuff in the proper amount of (salted-for seasoning) water for 90 minutes and 'the starches will be hydrated just enough'. What do my heroes (I'm not joking) at Dreamfields say to that, hey?

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  22. I don't know how that would work with Dreamfields pasta, but if anyone from the company responds I'll be happy to publish their response.

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  23. Anonymous, if you believe Dreamfields is really not lower in carbs than regular pasta, then you should definitely not use it. I think if you check on the internet more fully, you will find "experts" on both sides of the question. I judge by how it impacts my body, and I know I can eat Dreamfields in moderate amounts without gaining weight. I'm not diabetic, so I feel it's a good choice for me.

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  24. I'm just finding this out and perhaps this is a silly question but are you aware on if it would cause the calorie count of the pasta to change?

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  25. Kelly, I don't think so but I don't really know.

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible.

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