Kelp is an edible seaweed that grows in the nutrient-rich water of shallow oceans. It is also referred to as a sea vegetable and can be found in a number of varieties. Kelp has been used for centuries due to its vast array of nutritional benefits.
Kelp noodles are soft-textured, watery noodles that are made from the three basic ingredients including water, kelp and sodium alginate, a form of salt derived from the seaweeds. In fact, it is this ingredient in the kelp noodles that make them a rich source of iodine and therefore a healthy alternative to the conventional noodles.
Before we go any further and look into kelp noodles’ nutritional benefits, let’s take a quick look at regular noodles and how they affect our body.
The Noodle Habit
So, what is a plate of typical noodles made of? Well, the conventional noodles are basically made from white flour or similar ingredients. The high carbohydrate content in these noodles is converted into sugar by our body, which eventually gets deposited as fat, if not burnt properly.
In cultures where noodles are almost a staple diet for most of the population, this can prove to be a disastrous mechanism for your metabolism, digestive system and overall health.
It is at this juncture that a healthier and an equally delicious option such as the kelp noodles ought to foray into your dietary regimen.
Kelp noodles – Make the right choice
Kelp noodles offers many health benefits, so let’s look at some of the key highlights.
1. Healthy ingredients
Kelp noodles are free from excessive, unhealthy carbohydrates that eventually make you sluggish and might even damage your metabolism. Besides, being gluten-free, the kelp noodles come as a special treat for the gluten intolerant population. In fact, kelp noodles come without all the undesirable ingredients which are usually a mainstay of the regular noodles.
2. Rich in nutrients
Rich in iodine and other minerals, kelp noodles fulfill your major nutrient requirements for a meal. Statistics reveal that a single, standard serving of kelp noodles can meet up to 15 percent of your calcium and 4 percent of your iron needs per day.
Moreover, seaweeds like kelp are also rich in the vital nutrient vanadium which gives your body a natural antioxidant cover. Kelp is also rich in a typical form of polysaccharides, known as fucoidans which work well to reduce the level of inflammation in the human body.
3. Helpful for weight loss
Kelp noodles have only 6 calories per serving which makes them ideal for those following a weight loss program. They are also low in carbohydrates which helps to keep your blood sugar levels in control.
4. Great to taste
The fact the kelp noodles do not have to be cooked make it the first choice for those on a raw food diet. Not starchy or gummy like the usual wheat noodles, kelp noodles still remain crunchy even after being boiled and cooked in soups, salads, stir-fries, casseroles and curries.
For an added advantage, you can team them up with healthier choices like steamed cauliflower or broccoli and other vegetables to make it a wholesome meal. In fact, kelp noodles go especially well with Asian sauces to come up with delectable flavors. Below are few delicious recipes with kelp noodles for you to enjoy.
The Thai Coconut Recipe
This Thai Coconut Recipe has been adapted from the original recipe posted at www.thespunkycoconut.com.
You can bring about a variation in the ingredients and the methods used as per your taste and convenience.
To prepare the kelp noodles
Take 2 packets of kelp noodles and simmer then in water for around 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and let them soak for another 10 minutes or so.
- 2 packet kelp noodles (prepared as per the method above)
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 3 tbsp coconut butter
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tbsp ume plum vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp onion and garlic powder each
- 1/4 tsp coriander and ginger, each
- 1/8 cumin and chili powder, each
Prepare the sauce as per the standard procedure. Now place the strained kelp noodles in a hot pot and pour the sauce over them. Let them blend for a few minutes and serve.
Kelp Noodle Heaven
Found at http://vt-fiddle.com/blog/?p=107
For the noodle heaven:
- 1 package sea tangle kelp noodles
- purple cabbage (optional)
Really rinse the kelp noodles and drain in a mesh colander. Transfer to a bowl. Thinly chop about 3/4 cup worth of purple cabbage and put in the bowl with the noodles. Mix and set aside.
For the sauce:
- 4-5 Tbsp almond butter
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1-2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded (depending on how much spice you like – start with one and add another if you want to make it SPICY)
- 1 Tbsp agave
- 1 Tbsp nama shoyu (can be substituted with 1 tsp of miso)
- 1/2 – 1 Tbsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp hot pepper sesame oil (or regular sesame oil)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Put all sauce ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy, then pour over the noodle and cabbage mixture and let sit for about 5-10 minutes so that the noodles get softer.
Serving suggestions: Make a salad consisting of baby greens, baby spinach and sliced up or grated carrots. Then add some kim chi and kelp noodles on top. If you would like to spice it up, add some ginger and more jalapeños.