A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Konjac Noodles
This week I want to talk to you about Konjac Noodles or Rice. I am absolutely in love with these noodles and use them all the time. If you have not tried them yet then I want to highly recommend them! If you have tried them and not loved them then I want to encourage you to try a different application than you have used before.
Konjac noodles are made from konjac fiber (glucomannan). They are free of calories, carbs and fat and because they are made of just fiber they are filling! Konjac noodles come in a plastic pouch and they are packed in a brine solution. This liquid is honestly what keeps most people from wanting to try Konjac noodles. It has a slightly fishy smell, but it is not fish, you are going to rinse it off and it does not transfer any taste to the noodles, so if you are put off by the smell then open and rinse quickly. I promise that brine water does not make the dish taste like fish!
A second mistake people make when preparing these noodles is to expect them to have the texture of “regular” pasta. They have their own texture and you need to go into your meal not expecting a bowl of spaghetti. These noodles have more of a “chew” than your regular flour pasta does. That is why it is best to try them first in an oriental type dish where the texture difference will not be as dramatic as it would if you just tried them with meat sauce poured over them.
If you have never tried these noodles or rice before I highly suggest trying them first in a “stir-fry” type application, preferably in an S setting. Drain and rinse the noodles. Rinsing in hot water helps to completely remove the smell of the brine if it bothers you. Add a tablespoon of coconut or palm oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the drained noodles to the pan. I always add the noodles first because you absolutely cannot burn them, so letting them cook and get the full flavor of everything you add to the pan is my preferred method. Now you can add any type of vegetable you’d like and a protein source (chicken, beef, fish, sausage, egg, whatever you’d like). Season it with your favorite seasonings and if you really want an Asian flavor, hit it with just a 1/2 tsp of sesame oil right at the end. This is by far one of my favorite ways to eat these noodles.
Once you have learned to love this product you can branch out in the ways you use them. If you are making a crockpot meal you can really utilize these noodles well. When used in a recipe where they will cook low and slow all day in a crockpot they will soften up nicely so that the “chew” is not as predominant. I have fed my very picky family members these noodles cooked in soups and even in spaghetti sauce when they have been cooked all day in a sauce or broth.
If I have convinced you that you need to try these noodles then your next question is: “Where can I find these glorious noodles?” Well, I have the answer for you! Trim Healthy Mama has their own brand called “Trim Healthy Noodles” and “Trim Healthy Rice“. These are konjac noodles with a bit of oat flour added for a less “chewy” noodle. Both of these can be used in any meal type.
If you know you love these noodles and want to eat them all the time then you probably want to stock up. In that case I have a suggestion for you. I use these noodles a lot, so I purchase from a company called Konjac Foods. They sell their noodles by the case (24 bags) and even with shipping it works out to $1.67 a bag. That is the best price I have found! If you have an Asian market near you you might be able to find a similar or better price, but I don’t have one near me so this is my go to. Konjac foods has both straight konjac noodles (these are white in color) and oat konjac noodles which are a mixture of konjac fiber and oat fiber (these are tan in color). Konjac foods sells all different shapes as well. If you are new to konjac noodles I suggest sticking to the shapes between rice sized and fettuccine size. Any bigger than that and you may not enjoy the chewiness. I personally recommend the Oat Konjac noodles.
You can also find this type of pasta in the produce section of most grocery stores. Often times they will have extra fillers like this pasta zero. It contains chickpea flour and potato starch in addition to the konjac fiber. I prefer the kind without the extra ingredients, but these will still work if you want to use them. It may be a good way to buy just a bag or two to try before you go and stock up.
I really hope that you will give these noodles a place in your menu. They are a filling addition to your meals and because they are made of glucomannan, they are great for regulating your blood sugar!
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