Shirataki Noodles – aka Miracle Noodle
Deep down inside I think that everyone would like to be healthy. It could be accomplished with exercise, eating right, positive attitudes and various other tasks. My family decided to jump on that bandwagon too, although we chose not to belly flop onto the thing, but to be dragged along behind it knowing we will be pulled up by our mentors, hopefully sooner rather than later.
I certainly understand nutrition and health; being a teacher causes me to look at the science behind most everything. So when we decided to live more healthfully, we decided that our diet was the thing that was most lacking in health. We are not junk food addicts by any means, but desserts and great tasting food are our passions! We are restaurant critics for sure and believe it or not we dissect any new recipe we try too.
Knowing that sugar was going to be the hardest thing for us to change, we decided to work on the main course of dinners first. We determined from research that if our main meals could be improved upon thus balancing the blood sugars in the body, we would not crave such massive amounts of sweets at the end of those meals, and it turn we would reap the added benefits of weight loss and good health. [This is why such diets as NutriSystems®, Weight Watchers®, Ediets® and the diabetic diet (it’s not just for diabetics!) work so well – they also follow this concept.
But where to start…pasta! We love pasta. According to any diet, pasta should be a side dish and not a main course. Who was brought up that way? Pasta is filling and relatively inexpensive, so it makes the perfect go-to meal.
Again, I did some research, got some advice from a well-known health food guru and was highly recommended to try Shirataki noodles as a pasta substitute. I was told that one could eat as much as one wanted of the noodles because they are made from plants so they do not contain the carbs that elevate blood sugar; they have zero calories, no gluten and are high in fiber. Immediately the thought was that I could keep the pasta dish as a main course and I would keep an open mind when trying this new food.
I went to the health food store, found a small package of “wet” angel hair noodles and had a nice chat with the clerk. The first thing she asked me when she saw the noodles in hand was, “Have you ever tried this before?” When I replied with a very hesitant “no”, she very nicely offered me some important pre-experience advice.
1. Since the noodles come in a water solution, they need to be rinsed well. (You will notice a fishy smell while rinsing that will linger in the sink if you don’t rinse everything very well.)
2. The noodles have a totally different texture, reminiscent of Jell-o®, and they tend to stick together.
3. Blanching the noodles in boiling water for 1 minute will prepare them for cooking in your favorite sauce.
4. After blanching, pat the noodles dry on paper towels. You want the noodles to absorb your sauce and not become water-logged.
5. Make sure you have a very flavorful sauce because these noodles have no real flavor of their own. They will take on the flavor of whatever they absorb.
I couldn’t have asked for better directions. Her advice very closely mimicked the health food guru and the directions on the package. So “spaghetti” was planned for supper.
I followed all the directions I was given and sure enough the smell was not desirable when I opened the package. I rinsed the daylights out of the noodles, the bowl, and the sink, ran the garbage disposal and followed that with washing my hands in fruit flavored soap to get rid of the smell. I was not deterred, however, from anticipating a great and healthy supper. And yes, the noodles were very gelatinous. (I really wanted to play with them for a while. I thought it would make a great tactile learning activity for students with autism or sensory issues to make letters and shapes out of the noodles – that’s the teacher in me again! And they would most definitely stick to the ceiling, (if you are into that sort of fun)! Very quickly, supper came together and we sat down to eat. Because the sauce had lots of flavor, the noodles did their job of absorbing that. The taste was great. It was a little odd getting used to the different texture of the noodles. I don’t think I could have handled the fettuccini noodles as a first time experience as they are wider and have more surface area, but the angel hair noodles worked well. I wasn’t thoroughly impressed with this pasta substitute, but I would try it again in a different recipe. I am pretty sure it was the texture that threw me off a bit so I will try again. I would also like to try the Shiratiaki rice in a soup. I imagine that would seem more like orzo when eating it, but I wouldn’t mind that. I found out from someone else, after I already used my package that the noodles can be dry roasted in a pan before cooking which will, apparently, change the texture of the noodles. So I will have to try that next time too. That might take care of the texture hang up of mine.
Before investing in a 12 pack box of noodles, I suggest going to a local health food store and purchasing just one. Then you can order them online in bulk. There are different brands and different styles. They cost about $3.00 per package.
Needless to say, we had turtle pie after supper to celebrate the fact that we took the first step in becoming healthy and we talked about what our next meal change would be. Somebody pull us up quick before we hit a pot hole!
photo by www.miraclenoodle.com
I am not being compensated by this company for the review of this product, or any of the products mentioned. This review is my personal opinion ~ Correen Coultas