Shirataki Noodles: The zero carb

shirataki no

What if I told you that you could eat a whole HEAP of delicious noodles with garlic and parmesan and basil and tomato sauce and alllll your favorite flavors, and it had ZERO carbs?! (well except for any additional ingredients you may put in, that is). OH and also super low in calories?! You’d probably throw yourself to the floor and ask Jesus to take you right there.

Same girl, same. That’s why when I found out about Shirataki noodles whilst grocery shopping, I had a mini foodgasm right there in the store aisle.

Like helloooo do you understand what this means for us pasta lovers? There is now a legitimate pasta substitution that when made *properly* tastes like you’re TRULY eating pasta. Does it come with a price? Obviously, as everything healthy sadly does these days. But to me, when I’m making a genuine attempt to forego the congenial experience of indulging in heaps of carb ridden goodness that comes in pasta, the price is worth it.

So, what are shirataki noodles?

These “noodles” are white and long and are popularly referred to as miracle noodles. They are composed of a type of fiber called glucomannan that hails from the konjac plant. This plant is grown in Southeast Asia, China and Japan and zero digestible carbohydrates. So they’re made by turning the konjac plant into a flour of glucomannan and then mixing it with water and lime water, shaping the mix into noodles, and voila!

OH and bonus?! Shirataki noodles are 97% water. Can’t say that about regular pasta now, can you? You know how looney I am about hydrating foods!

So if you’re keto, grain free, gluten-free, any type of diet that is free from pasta essentialy, shirataki noodles are here to save your carb craving day. The noodles are virtually flavorless (when again, prepared correctly) and are a wonderful low glycemic (meaning they don’t give you blood sugar spikes), non bloating and weight gain causing grain alternative.

I love that shirataki noodles are extremely easy to make and aren’t time consuming like other “grainless pasta”, I’m looking at you, spiralized veggie noodles.

The nutritional breakdown of shirataki noodles

Since shirataki noodles are primarily made of water, there are virtually zero calories in this noodle. This also means that there is  very little additional nutrients in shirataki as well. Even though it’s a great ingredient to have as a weight loss pasta, you’ll want to make sure that whatever you add as additional ingredients are packed with nutrients.

The fiber in shirataki noodles, glucomannan is a wonderful type of soluble fiber that helps with keeping your  digestion kicking and helping calm down hunger cues. This fiber is also formulated as a supplement and prebiotic that helps keep you “regular” hint hint, helps regulate blood sugar spikes and cholesterol (which also helps your cardiovascular health), and helps regulate hunger hormones. Another important thing to note is that the 2g of carbs in a serving of shirataki is actually from the indigestible fiber, so there are no carbs in this noodle! Here’s a few other neato things to point out about shirataki noodles:

— Shirataki noodles are digested very slowly which helps you feel full longer, which means this noodle is wonderful for weight loss.

— Shirataki is a prebiotic which helps provide nutrients for probiotics that you consume.

— The fiber in shirataki, glucomannan has been studied to show that it reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin when consumed *before* eating a high amount of carbs.

— Glucomannan has also been studied to help alleviate constipation.

How to cook shirataki noodles

OK so the *most* important thing you need to know about shirataki noodles – they are packaged in water and when opened, the smell is a bit…funky. This is how it’s supposed to be, and don’t worry, the noodles do not taste like this! Here’s a quick guide to prepare them:

  1. Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly in a colander with running water.
  2. Pat dry the noodles, then toss in a skillet with no oil, and stir fry to remove any remaining moisture which also takes away the odor. This also improves the consistency so that they taste like pasta.
  3. Add any additional toppings and ingredients of your choice. Just like tofu, shirataki noodles take on the flavor of what they’re made with. This will most likely be a 5-7 minute process and then you’re done!

Talk about an easy meal right?!

Shopping for shirataki

Now comes down to finding shirataki noodles. When I went to Wholefoods, of course they were pricey. Typically on amazon you can grocery items in bulk, and this includes shirataki!

BUT something important to note – make sure the noodles you source are only shirataki. Some brands are adding tofu to their blends to give it more of a grainy feel, so if you’re looking for the true product, don’t buy this type. If you want to skip on over to your local grocery store, they will most likely be in the produce area next to the tofu since they are packed in water. Here are three brands I love on Amazon: Miracle noodle, Skinny noodle, and organic well lean noodles.

Research sources: 

glucomannan studies:

  • https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2852001
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4401854/
  • https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/88/4/1167/4650004
  • https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01709955
  • http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/other-supplements/article/glucomannan-new-fiber-option

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.