October 28, 2015
Four Gluten-Free Noodle Options
Noodles are a staple in many of the comfort foods we crave during the colder months of the year. What's better on a cool November evening that a steaming bowl of soup, or spaghetti simmering on the stove? This year, though, consider exploring some gluten-free noodle options. Gluten is the protein found in traditional, wheat-based pasta. Many of us are sensitive to high doses of it. Even if you aren't, it's always beneficial to try new foods and add variety to your diet! Here are some novel noodles to add to your repertoire:
Soba is a Japanese noodle with unique health properties. The main ingredient in soba is buckwheat. The name 'buckwheat' brings grains to mind, but it's actually a fruit seed from the same family as rhubarb - soba noodles are gluten-free. This noodle offers high-energy fuel, among other benefits. Look for it in the foreign foods aisle at your supermarket, or check a grocer that specializes in Asian ingredients.
Spaghetti Squash Noodles
Spaghetti Squash are packed with essential fatty acids and antioxidents, including some linked to healthy vision and eyes. They're also fun to cook! Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and bake or steam it until tender. Remove it from the heat (protect your hands!) and use a fork to seperate the fibers into 'noodles'. These strands have a mildly sweet taste and are strong enough to substitute for noodles in any recipe. They're also delicious on their own with olive oil, salt, and herbs.
Sweet Potato Noodles
It may have 'sweet' in its name, but the Sweet Potato is one of the most nutritious vegetables out there. In fact, it's considered a low-glycemic index food because it helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Sweet Potatoes are in season in November and December, so right now their concentration of nutrients and flavour is at its peak! But how do you enjoy one as a noodle subsitute? A vegetable peeler or Spiralizer will achieve the desired shape, and then your 'noodles' can be steamed, sauteed, or enjoyed raw.
Zucchini noodles are a refreshing additional to any noodle-based meal. A zucchini's many nutrients are soothing to the intestinal tract and easy to digest. It's a prime candidate for the Spiralizer, or it can be cut into long, flat pieces to substitute for the noodle layers in your favourite lasagna recipe. The zucchini is neutral enough to carry a variety of flavours (like rich pesto or garlicky tomato sauce).
**If you don't like raw zucchini noodles, you can achieve a 'cooked noodle' consistency by lightly salting the zucchini noodles and letting them sit for 30 minutes. This will draw out excess water. Rinse with water to remove the salt and blot with a cloth or paper towel.**
(Adapted from Chopra.com.)
Claire Casher at 7:46 AM