Kelp noodles are taking the country by the storm, after proving its benefits in the Asian cuisine of Japan and China for ages.
They are fast gaining popularity among raw foodies, weight watchers, individuals seeking a gluten free diet, or those just interested in healthy trendy foods.
Unlike other sea foods, they don’t have a fishy or briny taste and need absolutely no cooking. These iodine rich noodles are touted for their health benefits and are an excellent way of getting the essential micro nutrients and minerals into your diet without any additional sugar or fat. They are gluten-free, raw, dairy and fat free.
What are Kelp Noodles?
Kelp noodles are a sea weed found in the form of a convenient to eat raw noodle. They are prepared using three ingredients, kelp (a sea weed), sodium alginate (natural salt derived from brown seaweed), and water, with no additional fillers.
These versatile and healthy, super thin kelp noodles have a unique, crunchy texture that makes them a fun alternative to wheat pasta and rice noodles. If you don’t like them crunchy, you can soak them in lemon water overnight and they soften up easily.
Kelp noodles contain absolutely no fat, cholesterol, protein or sugar. They are packed with a number of nutrients, namely calcium, iron, iodine and vitamin K. A 1/2 cup serving of kelp noodles has around one gram of carbohydrates, 35 milligrams of sodium and 52.8 micrograms of vitamin K.
In addition, they typically contain 11 to 13 percent of the recommended dietary intake of your daily calcium needs and 4 percent of your iron needs per serving.
High in iodine, they play a vital role in metabolism and thyroid function.
Kelp noodles are packed with fiber which reduces your chances of heart disease and can help relieve symptoms of constipation. Dietary fiber also adds bulk to your diet, making you feel fuller on fewer calories.
Are they raw or pre-cooked?
Not all kelp is raw so you want to make sure that either the package is labeled raw or check with the manufacturer. Keep noodles are generally considered a raw food as they do not undergo heating over 100 degrees Fahrenheit during preparation and processing.
Kelp noodles are considered to –
- Improve thyroid health
- Promote weight loss
- Protect against osteoporosis
- Improve heart health by reducing cholesterol
- Eliminating metallic and radioactive elements from the body
- Aids in digestion
- Promotes healthy skin and lustrous hair
Also read about the benefits of Sea Kelp here.
Kelp noodles are ready to serve right out of bag! Just rinse, pat dry and add to your favorite recipe. The colorless kelp noodles have a neutral taste and they easily pick up the taste of whatever they are added to. The texture is slightly crunchy but pleasant like an al dente pasta.
They are excellent raw in Pad Thai, any nut-based creamy sauce, pesto or any raw marinara served with veggies. These versatile noodles can really be added to any sauce or salad would taste good! You can also make some delicious salads, broths and salads with them.
These versatile noodles have a surprisingly long shelf life of up to 6 months. Once you open the bag, make sure you store them in water, to prevent dehydration. Unless opened, they can stay fresh at room temperature without loss in taste or texture.
Supports Weight loss
Most kelp noodles contain close to 6 calories per serving. Yes, that’s right, only 6 calories and no fat. You can substitute spaghetti or rice noodles with kelp noodles to drastically reduce your calorie intake and see some exciting weight loss.
(It is not recommended you live off of these alone, as they don’t provide a balanced and healthy diet just by themselves. Think of them as a mineral resource to perk up your dishes). The fiber in kelp noodles also keeps you feeling longer.
Check out of some delicious recipes here-
- Raw Kelp Noodle Pad Thai – http://www.choosingraw.com/raw-kelp-noodle-pad-thai-with-or-without-seared-tempeh/
- California Roll Kelp Noodles – http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/10/california-roll-kelp-noodles/
- Vegetable Stir Fry with Kelp Noodles – http://tasty-yummies.com/2012/10/18/vegetable-stir-fry-with-kelp-noodles-gluten-free-and-vegan/
- Raw Kelp Noodle Alfredo with Mushrooms – https://www.downtoearth.org/recipes/entrees/raw-kelp-noodle-alfredo-mushrooms
Kelp noodles have very few side effects but can be brought on by excessive intake.
- Excess iodine: Causes hypothyroidism, weight loss and failed menstrual periods.
- Laxative: Excess intake can trigger diahhrea and dehydration.
- Anti-coagulant: Kelp can slow clotting of blood and can cause excess bleeding during a surgery or after.
They are usually considered safe if consumed in limited quantities.
Where will I find them?
You can find them at Asian grocery stores, Whole Foods or other health food stores. Some popular brands are Sea Tangle, Gold Mine and Sun Foods. You can also order them online.