Recently the most delicious company, Banza, reached out to me and said, “Hey! We have some amazing new mac and cheese that we thought you’d want to try!” This has happened to me in the past, usually to good results, so I said, “Please tell me more!” And soon after, the most delicious parcel arrived in the mail.
Currently, Banza offers three versions of their chickpea mac and cheese. Chickpea? Why yes, and as soon as you wrap your head around that, let me tell you how delicious chickpea pasta tastes in mac and cheese (among other things). And even better, each of these versions is gluten free, high fiber, soy free, non GMO, low glycemic index and rBST free.
First up: Banza’s Elbows with White Cheddar. As with all the Banza mac and cheese offerings, this one weighed in with a bountiful 18 grams of protein and is gluten free. If you’re following a lower-carb regimen, this little box offers twice the protein, eight times the fiber and fewer net carbs than your average mac and cheese.
To make this mac and cheese, you’ll need the box, milk (I went with fat free), and butter. Simple!
Here are the contents of the box, and the white cheese powder packet:
The directions on the box say to add the pasta to boiling water and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. After the macaroni was cooked (I cooked it for six minutes), I popped it into a colander and once drained, added it back to the warm pan.
Then I added the fat-free milk, butter and cheese to the pan and stirred. The directions call for you to mix the milk, butter and cheese powder into a sauce and then add the pasta back to the pan, but apparently I can’t read, haha.
The sauce came together just fine, as you can see – creamy and delicious, and I was ready to dig in!
And how was it? Creamy, with a subtle white cheddar flavor and a perfect little zing of saltiness. Not overdone, just enough to make your tastebuds say, “More, please!”
I tasted the pasta by itself out of curiosity, and found it to have a very slightly nutty, earthy essence. This disappeared when I added the sauce, and I honestly couldn’t tell much difference between the chickpea pasta and a more traditional wheat pasta once the whole thing came together and the ingredients melded together.
If you want a creamier version (although this one was nice and creamy made as directed on the box), you can replace the milk and butter with 1/3 cup of heavy cream. That just takes it over the top into mac and cheese decadence. Three elbows up for Banza’s Elbows With White Cheddar!
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