5 Options for Healthy Noodles So Tasty You’ll Want SecondsBlogger
Who said you couldn’t love pasta and still eat well? These 5 types of healthy noodles are delicious alternatives guaranteed to satiate your appetite.
Why does everything that is good for you have to be so much less tasty than thi9ngs that are bad for you? This not so thought-provoking, more groan-inducing question has plagued people for years.
When it comes to the concept of comfort foods, we have to look at the neuroscience to see all of the effects. A comfort food does best when the balance of nutritional element and warm feelings (from endorphins) hit a healthy medium.
Noodles already fill a category in many comfort foods across many cultures. The endorphins released by engaging in a time-honored crafting of a traditional dish happen no matter the ingredients. Assuming the ingredients are similar.
So let’s look at the best noodles you can substitute in your next dish. Healthy noodles that provide a taste that will reinforce, and not detract, from the dishes you create.
Tasty and Healthy Noodles
The first line of defense in keeping a healthy noodle healthy is to know how to cook it. Even the healthiest noodles won’t do anyone any good if they aren’t consumed.
For children being introduced to the world of the noodle, a substitute of a more traditional ingredient won’t come across as a substitute. There is simply no basis for comparison. For everyone else, this barrier can seem insurmountable.
So, start off by understanding what cooking methods work for the ingredient you choose to use. We’ll give some tips on each of the following to provide a more effective flavor that keeps your eaters returning for more of the good stuff.
1. Brown Rice Noodles
Brown rice makes a good transitional healthy noodle choice. It packs a bit more protein and fiber than traditional noodles but less than the whole grain. The biggest health bonus comes from its wheat, gluten, and FODMAP free nature.
Brown rice noodles have more bite and a more traditional grain flavor than other rice noodles and they stand up better in dishes as a substitute.
Rice noodles offer a light flavor and can become slimy when cooked at lower heats or not stirred well. To make effective and delicious brown rice noodles you need to keep in mind that they are pliable. They absorb liquid for a few minutes after leaving the pot.
Stirring, cold rinsing, and removing from heat a minute early can all keep the structure from coming apart. This also helps the noodles absorb sauce when used for stir-fry or soup dishes.
Like pasta made from lentils and other bean pasta, chickpea noodles provide more protein and fiber. The use of agents like xanthan gum and tapioca give structure without adding salt.
Chickpea noodles contain fewer oligosaccharides than other bean products and the grinding process reduces those further. The end result is the health benefits of beans without the intestinal issues. Bean pasta is also low carb, we’ve covered more about why low carb matters here.
Flavor profiles on chickpea noodles can be described as lemony or sometimes a bit sweet in comparison to wheat pasta. Cooking goes well with fewer of the spongy or gummy problems of other alternative pasta.
Consider lowering heat at the end of cooking time before removing. This gives the noodles time to absorb cooked out proteins. Flavored oils such as sesame or rice wine vinegar can change the taste significantly so be mindful of your end product.
3. Kelp Noodles
A low-calorie noodle which also comes in low in carbs, kelp noodles also contain high calcium and magnesium. Kelp noodles are a combination of ground seaweed, salt, and water. They make for heath-healthy dishes and add extra vegetables to a serving.
The visuals are appealing and the clear, glossy look can bring some sauces and soups alive. The delicate flavor can be overpowered in many places. This makes it excellent for adding bulk to a soup while not changing the flavor.
Because kelp noodles are both one of the most delicate, they take extra care to not ruin. To make the healthiest pasta that someone will eat, you need to salt (kosher preferred) the noodles and heat them through in small batches. A spider or skillet boil will let you keep them from being drenched and becoming gummy.
4. Soba (Buckwheat)
Soba noodles come from a seed and don’t contain wheat. The name is something of a misnomer. The health benefits include high fiber and magnesium.
They also have half the calories of traditional wheat noodles.
Soba noodles benefit from a hearty construction and cook times close to traditional pasta. this makes it easy to work with and to make basic substations.
That said, they usually can only be found in round shapes. The structure of the proteins doesn’t make for flat or ridged noodles easily. Soba noodles are best chilled before use to retain their proteins
They still work for hot dishes as ‘chilled’ doesn’t mean icy, just below room temperature will do.
5. Spinach Noodles
Not all vegetable based pasta is the same. Some use a whole ground product and mix them with thickeners. Others use one part vegetable product and the other part is wheat pasta.
Either way, there is a health benefit but check the package when looking for gluten and wheat-free alternatives. Spinach provides plenty of folates, vitamin A and E and more fiber.
Spinach noodles often change nothing in the flavor of a dish but do add a certain visual appeal or detriment. For picky eaters that don’t like the sight of something green, it could spell a problem.
Depending on the level of wheat pasta in the mix, these noodles can act identically to traditional past. for those with a higher to pure spinach puree form, you need to watch your moisture absorption.
Pure spinach noodles can count as zoodles, although in a shaped form, and need to be cooked to keep the water content in control.
Come Back for More Healthy Noodles
Now that you are armed with a veritable arsenal of healthy noodle alternatives you can start experimenting with recipes. Try out different cooking techniques and find what makes your old time favorites as good as ever with more healthy content.
Visit our blog for delicious recipe ideas and more health tips on all things noodle.