Even if you're following a low calorie or low carbohydrate diet, you don't have to give up your favorite pasta dishes thanks to shirataki noodles. These noodles are great because they're extremely low in calories, contain no fat or cholesterol and are easy to prepare.
Shirataki noodles come in two forms, tofu shirataki and regular shirataki. Both types contain a yam flour base. The difference with tofu shirataki is the addition of a small amount of tofu. Shirataki noodles contain 0 calories per serving because they are almost entirely made of fiber. Tofu shirataki noodles contain 20 calories per serving because of the addition of tofu. Many people prefer tofu shirataki noodles to regular shirataki noodles because the texture is more pasta-like. Regardless of which you choose, both types make great pasta substitutes. You can purchase shirataki noodles in a variety of pasta shapes, including angel hair, spaghetti and fettuccine.
A Healthy Alternative to Pasta
Pasta dishes are usually very high in calories. A 1 cup serving of cooked spaghetti contains a whopping 221 calories alone, and 1 cup of pasta probably won't fill you or keep your stomach feeling satisfied. When you add in additional high calorie ingredients, like heavy sauces, the calories quickly add up. Tofu shirataki noodles contain a mere 20 calories and 3 g of carbohydrates per serving. With nutrition statistics this great, you can eat shirataki noodles every day without gaining weight.
Preparing Shirataki Noodles
The trick to enjoying shirataki noodles is to take the time to thoroughly rinse and dry them. Right out of the package, shirataki noodles have a strong, unpleasant odor and a slimy texture. You might enjoy shirataki noodles fresh out of the package, but there are a few steps you can take to greatly improve the taste, smell and texture of the noodles. Thoroughly rinse the noodles in cold running water. It's best to do this with a strainer or a colander. Dry the noodles with a few paper towels or a clean dish towel. Finally, cook the noodles for a minute in the microwave and then dry the noodles once more. You'll notice the noodles no longer smell and their texture is much firmer than before.
Shirataki Noodle Recipes
You can substitute shirataki noodles in all your favorite recipes that call for pasta. Shirataki noodles come packed in water, however, so there is no need to boil them before eating. Shirataki noodles work particularly well in cheesy, creamy dishes. Because the noodles are so low in calories and fat, a little bit of cheese or cream in the sauce improves the overall taste and texture of the dish.
If you love eating pasta but avoid eating calorie-rich foods, you should try shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles might take a little getting used to because the taste and texture is different from pasta, but remember, you'll be saving tons of calories by making the switch to shirataki noodles.