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What am I eating? Hearts of Palm Pasta

By Dana Babeu, R.D. | January 15, 2021

I’m back to share my latest find with you and it’s a good one! I recently saw Trader Joe’s new Hearts of Palm Pasta on the shelf and just had to try it. Since then, it’s been in regular rotation at my house and I’ve used it a few different ways.

The PROS: It looks a lot like regular pasta and holds its shape during cooking, which is super quick. It has a neutral flavor that pairs well with many different preparations. The only ingredient is hearts of palm, which is a vegetable harvested from a palm tree, and it has a much longer shelf life than other veggie alternatives like zoodles or spaghetti squash. It’s nutrition stats are great, too. See the label below. It’s naturally low in calories and carbs and a good source of fiber.  

The CONS: This “pasta” is easy to overcook. Leftovers can be a bit watery, depending on how it’s prepared. As with many pasta alternatives, it doesn’t taste or feel the same as grain-based options. Protein content is low so it’s best to pair it with a good source of protein like seafood, poultry, meat, legumes or tofu. It can be more expensive than regular pasta. Servings per package are only 3 at ⅓ cup each, so if feeding a large group, 2 or more packages may be needed. 

Ways to use it:

The first time I made it I followed the suggestion on the back of the box with a couple of modifications. Instead of olive oil and garlic I added some pesto. I diced up cherry tomatoes, tossed in some defrosted cooked shrimp and topped with pine nuts and fresh parmesan. It was a nice light dinner with all the taste of pasta and almost none of the carbs.

I’ve also added it to my homemade chicken soup in place of regular noodles for a lightened up version. It didn’t exactly fool my family, but the neutral flavor didn’t affect the overall taste. I actually liked the additional texture of the Hearts of Palm Pasta and, my 8-year-old said it “actually wasn’t that bad”. 

Paired with a good source of protein, Hearts of Palm Pasta makes a tasty, low-carb and bariatric friendly meal.

Dana Babeu, RD, is a registered dietitian at New Jersey Bariatric Center, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerville, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey. She provides pre-operative and post-operative nutritional counseling to New Jersey Bariatric Center’s Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve, LAP-BAND (gastric band) and revision patients, in addition to dietary counseling for patients in our Medical Weight Loss program.
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