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Noodles are a staple food for many different cultures around the world. It has been popularized by many Asian countries in the form of udon or ramen noodles, and by European countries such as Italy, which is known for its spaghetti.

Noodles are an incredibly popular food, and for good reason. Their shape, texture, and their ability to be seamlessly mixed with other foods is the main reason for their widespread consumption. One thing noodles are not known for, however, is their health benefits. Although you can find somewhat healthy noodles that can provide you with sufficient, short-term energy, noodles are generally very starchy and tend to get stored in the body as fat without providing many vitamins or minerals.

Thankfully, there is still a way that you can enjoy noodles without having to worry about overloading on carbohydrates and fulfilling your nutritional requirements at the same time.

Vegetable Noodles

sprialveg

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It may seem odd at first, but there are many common vegetables that can be used to create delicious starch-free noodles.

Zucchinis have a great, savory flavor and their tender flesh provides probably the best texture for veggie noodles. Zucchini is a great source of many vitamins and other nutrients including vitamin C, A, as well as phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Zucchinis high dietary fiber content and the fact that it contains insignificant amounts of fat, starch and cholesterol makes it a great food for weight loss.

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Carrots are another vegetable commonly made into noodles, as their long, slender shape gives them the perfect predisposition for it. They are a great source of beta-carotene, soluble fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants. Pectin, the main form of soluble fiber in carrots, can help lower blood sugar by slowing down the digestion of sugar and starch. Consumption of carrots has also been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.

Winter squashes do have a small amount of starch in them. However, they makes up for this by being packed with nutrients such as Vitamin C, A, B2, B3, B6, K as well as potassium, fiber, manganese and omega-3 fatty acids. They have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to regulate blood sugar.

How To Make Vegetable Noodles

3-peel-zucchini

Making vegetable noodles is incredibly easy and requires only some sort of peeler. You can use a typical vegetable peeler, or you can use custom peelers made solely for the purpose dexterous vegetable peeling. For your long, cylindrical vegetables, all you have to do is peel it down the length of the vegetable like you would a carrot.

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You can determine the length and width of your “noodle” strands depending on your stroke and the size of your peeler. Once you have gotten as many strands possible out of your vegetable, you can either put them in a bowl and eat them raw or steam them over hot water to give them a nice soft, warm texture that is more similar to typical noodles.

Turning winter squashes into noodles is slightly more complicated, although still relatively easy. In order to prepare it, cut it in half and scoop out all of the seeds and stringy flesh from the inside, making sure not to disrupt the smooth, clean flesh. Then roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. If the squash is too firm to cut at first, roast it until it is tender and then cut it.

Once the squash is prepared and tender, use a fork to scoop out its insides into thin, noodle-like strands.

It’s that simple to make healthy, vitamin-packed vegetable noodles! For more healthy alternatives to classic meals, click here.

Sources:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/334127-the-health-benefits-of-zucchini/

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814603005314

https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/carrots/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

Image Sources:

http://babyboomerconcerns.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/sprialveg.png

http://janeshealthykitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/3-peel-zucchini.jpg

http://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Finding-the-Best-Spiralizer-For-Your-Kitchen.jpg

 

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