Archive for the ‘Shirataki Miracle Noodles’ Category
Lets face it, during the holiday season the last thing we want to think about is losing weight because we don’t want to deprive ourselves of yummy foods. After all, we’re constantly surrounded by delicious foods at work and family Christmas parties and new years parties etc. All of use have looked at those foods and thought ‘I really shouldn’t have that’ only to decide seconds later, ‘Stuff it, it’s Christmas after all, just indulge!’
But once the year comes to a close, the parties end and we lose the excuse. The time arrives to face the consequences of our indulgence. Maybe you’ve already decided that your new years resolution is to lose weight!
But how do you motivate yourself to follow through on your resolution? For many people, their resolution is forgotten six or eight weeks into the new year because they simply couldn’t maintain focus and motivation.
One of the best ways I’ve found to motivate myself is using a weight loss goal setting worksheet. You can find instructions on how to do this and a free download link at Free Weight Loss Downloads
The basic concept here is to create a visual reminder of just what you want to achieve. There can be many reasons we want to lose weight including;
1) Wanting to look your best: Perhaps for a special occasion like a wedding.
2) Health reasons: Shortness of breath, high blood pressure or type II diabetes.
3) Physical discomfort: those awful skin folds on the side of your torso chafe, clothes are uncomfortably tight etc.
4) Physical fitness: You just want to play more actively with your children.
These are all excellent motivators. If you write them down and place them in a prominent position such as on the fridge it will help keep your mind on the task… especially when you go to get a snack from the fridge!
Of course, the main aspect to the weight loss issue is our food intake. It’s no fun being hungry all the time and having to deny ourselves. This is where most of us fall down with this resolution. We’re able to cut back our calorie intake for a while but we get hungry, then we experience cravings and eventually we give in and we binge. Then we feel guilty and feel like we failed and sometimes that is enough to make us give up totally.
Thankfully, there is a solution to this. A couple of years ago I came across an amazing Japanese noodle called Shirataki noodles. Shirataki noodles are made from 97% water. The other 3% consists of a 100% soluble fiber called glucomannan. So what I hear you say. Well, your body is unable to convert fiber to energy which makes these noodles effectively calorie free. Compare this to normal noodles which contain anything from 190-220 calories per cup. And fiber also makes you feel full and slows digestion so that you feel full for longer. These noodles reduce the calorie content of a meal by up to 500 calories. Imagine eating them once per day. This equates to weight loss of one pound per week since scientists have estimated that it requires 3500 calories to form one pound of fat.
If you have heard of them you are probably wondering are miracle noodles really calorie free?
The simple answer is, YES… miracle noodles are EFFECTIVELY calorie free! Because the calories they contain are unusable calories! You may never have heard of unusable calories. In this case the term refers to calories that can not be converted to energy.
Miracle noodles are Japanese shirataki noodles which are made from the root of the konjac plant. This substance is 100% soluble fiber and dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble) are unusable calories because the human body is incapable of converting them to energy and they simply pass through the digestive system without being absorbed.
That said, dietary fiber is classed as a carbohydrate and carbohydrates contain approximately four calories per gram so strictly speaking, fiber contains calories but they are calories that can’t be used.
Unfortunately, the nutritional data contained on food packaging may not always reflect this. Sometimes they count calories based on total carbohydrate content so a food that is high in fiber can indicate a higher calorie content than is strictly accurate.
In any case, when it comes to Japanese shirataki noodles you may see conflicting figures stating that a serve contains 10 calories. This is because a serve contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber which is multiplied by four calories per gram to give a figure of 10 calories. But, as mentioned previously, these are unusable calories because the body is incapable of converting them to energy.
So effectively, miracle noodles really ARE calorie free.
It should be noted that you can also purchase tofu shirataki which contains 20 calories per serve because the konjac fiber has been mixed with tofu to create a noodle with a less rubbery texture… obviously, with the addition of tofu they are no longer calorie free but they still provide an excellent alternative to regular pasta and noodles which contain an average of 210 calories per cup sized serving.
There’s a lot of hype going on about the weight loss effects the ‘Miracle Noodles’ can have, but do you know what they really are? Shirataki Konjac Noodles are Japanese noodles made from the root of the Konjac plant.
These noodles have zero calories and are also very low in carbohydrates, which make them the perfect way to fill up and ease those hunger pangs without adding calories to your diet. They’re gluten free, too, so this can be excellent for people on a gluten-free diet. They are also a great source of glucomannan, which is a dietary fiber that is beneficial for those trying to lose weight.
Keep in mind that there are two primary types of shirataki konjac noodles: one is made from just the konjac plant, while the other has tofu added to the konjac flour.
You should find that the regular shirataki konjac noodles are excellent to add into Asian-style soups and even salads, while the tofu shirataki noodles are more suited to stir-fry dishes.
Regardless of the type you choose, always keep in mind that shirataki noodles have very little taste of their own. These miracle noodles also have a quite gelatinous texture, almost like a very over-cooked piece of spaghetti. For this reason, they’re not really the ideal choice for a low-carb pasta replacement, and you may be disappointed by the difference in taste and texture.
Instead, work on finding recipes that incorporate Asian flavors along with your favorite foods and you’ll soon find that these noodles can taste delicious when they’re used how they were intended.
How to Prepare Shirataki Konjac Noodles
You can’t just use these noodles straight out of the packet. Besides, when you first open them, you’ll notice an odor that comes from the konjac, and some can find that odor unpleasant. Don’t worry though, this is just the normal odor of the noodles and will go once you have thoroughly rinsed them.
Drain the packet well and rinse the noodles in water. Then put the noodles into a bowl and microwave them on high for about a minute. This will reduce the light aroma and make them easier to cook with.
Pat them dry with a kitchen towel before adding them into your favorite Shirataki Konjac Noodles recipe.
Tasty Prawn Wonton Shirataki Noodle Soup
It might only look like soup, but shirataki noodle soup is surprisingly filling and extremely healthy for you. Keep in mind that it’s always fine to substitute different vegetables in this recipe to suit the availability of produce in your area, or to suit your own tastes.
You may also decide to replace the wontons with chicken or turkey meatballs, to suit your own preferences. The important thing here is to work with ingredients you enjoy, but that also help to give your shirataki noodles a lovely flavor of their own.
6 cups chicken stock
1 packet of shirataki noodles
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (or two real chilies, chopped very finely if you like it HOT)
Light soy sauce to taste
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1 small bunch bok choy, cut into 2 inch lengths (can be substituted for chopped spinach, or shredded cabbage)
1/2 cup soy beans (or edamame beans, or broad beans or any green beans you like)
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Lightly cook the garlic and onion in sesame oil. When the onion has softened, add stock. Add the noodles to the soup and add your choice of vegetables. Simmer with the lid off for around 15 minutes, or until all the vegetables have softened. Add soy sauce to taste.
1 lb (450g) shrimp peeled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon very finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 spring onion, minced
2 tablespoons drained, minced bamboo shoots
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Big pinch of white pepper
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
30 wonton wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Rinse the shrimp with cold water and drain them well. Place in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the salt and toss well. Set aside for 10 minutes. Rinse the shrimp in cold water again. Drain them thoroughly, pat dry and chop them roughly. Mix the shrimp together in a bowl with the remaining ingredients. If you prefer, you could add the ingredients to a blender for a second or two to blend and mash together more finely.
To wrap the dumplings, work with 1 wrapper at a time. Keep unused wrappers covered with a kitchen towel. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Moisten the wrapper edges with water and fold in half to form a triangle, enclosing the filling. Bring the two long ends up and over to meet and slightly overlap over the top of the filling. Moisten where the edges overlap with egg white and press together to seal. Set on a baking sheet and cover with another kitchen towel.
Continue to form dumplings until all the filling has been used. Set aside 10 or 12 dumplings for this dish; wrap the remainder and any unused wrappers in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months.
You can steam the dumplings in an Asian steamer and serve in the soup when you’re ready. Or you can just put the freshly-made dumplings into the soup and boil them with the noodles.
This recipe may look like a lot of work, but it doesn’t take long at all to create a really tasty meal. The prawn wontons are quick and easy, and taste great. But it’s the Shirataki Konjac noodle soup that really brings out the flavor of this healthy, low calorie Asian style meal.
Need more shirataki noodles? Visit Miracle Noodles or click the banner below
There are plenty of diet pills on the market containing glucomannan for weight loss, but it’s possible that you can find a source of this fiber in some foods. Specifically, glucomannan fiber can be found in shirataki noodles, which are made from the root of the konjac plant.
While the addition of glucomannan for weight loss seems to be a relatively new concept in America, the actual ingredient is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for a very long time and been used in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine for many, many years. Shirataki noodles are the most common type of food containing this particular ingredient, although it’s often found as a gelling agent in tofu.
Benefits of Glucomannan
Aside from just the benefit of using glucomannan for weight loss, there are other significant health benefits that can be derived as well. For example, research has shown that glucomannan is a helpful aid in treating obesity and reducing cholesterol. It’s also been found to effectively treat constipation and is proven to be beneficial in maintaining stable blood glucose levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble fiber that is capable of absorbing up to 50 times its own weight in liquid. This means for a person trying to lose weight, eating noodles containing glucomannan, such as shirataki noodles, can help reduce hunger, decrease food cravings and make you feel more full, which stops you eating as much as you may normally do.
Getting Enough Glucomannan Into Your Diet
Rather than opting for synthetic dietary supplements or pills, it’s easy enough to simply add some recipes for shirataki noodles into your diet. Not only are these miracle noodles very easy to make, but they taste great when they’re prepared properly.
Don’t fall for the hype that these miracle weight loss noodles are a ‘zero calorie, low carb pasta alternative’. These noodles taste nothing like pasta and they have a completely different texture and consistency. They’re Asian noodles and they taste lovely when prepared in Asian-style dishes, though they can be substituted for pasta, it’s simply a matter of personal taste.
Chinese Chicken and Cashew Shirataki Noodles
This delicious recipe is very quick and easy to make and it’s very health for you. It’s low in carbs, low in calories and very filling, but it also tastes great.
1 packet shirataki noodles, drained, rinsed well and microwaved on high for 1 minute
500g chicken breast fillet, thinly sliced
1 medium/large carrot, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cabbage, shredded
1 red pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
2 small red chilies, thinly sliced (optional)
½ cup cashews
¼ cup chopped Thai basil leaves
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup fish sauce
½ cup lime juice
Mix together the lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Leave to one side.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and cook shallots, garlic and chilies until the shallots soften (approximately 2 minutes). Remove ingredients into a bowl and heat another 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the cashews and cook until they turn a slightly golden color. Remove these from the pan and place in the bowl with the shallots and garlic.
Add the chicken to the pan and cook until it just begins to turn brown. Add the remaining vegetables and return the cooked shallots, garlic, chilies and cashews to the pan. Pour in the lime juice mixture you made earlier and add the shirataki noodles to the pan.
Make sure the noodles begin to soak up the sauce mixture, as they will take on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with. When the cabbage has wilted down, serve dish immediately.
You should find that when you prepare and cook shirataki noodles the right way, using the ingredients they were intended to be combined with, they taste absolutely wonderful.
Need more shirataki noodles? Visit Miracle Noodles or click the banner below
What are Tofu Shirataki Noodles
Tofu shirataki noodles are being hailed as the low-carb, low-calorie version of pasta. But are they really?
Tofu shirataki noodles differ from regular shirataki noodles. The original Japanese noodles were made from the konjac plant, by cutting some of the jelly from the plant root into thin threads. These days, konjac root flour is poured through tiny holes into a bowl of hot water with lime juice added to make them set into noodle form.
However, while tofu shirataki noodles are made using the same method, they also contain tofu (soy bean curd) as well as konjac and lime juice and are higher in calories than normal shirataki noodles. They also have a less chewy texture than normal shirataki. Of course, they also contain a small amount of protein from the soy bean curd.
While these miracle noodles are very healthy, low in calories and carbs, they are best used in Asian style noodle dishes. Unlike normal pasta they have no taste, rather they absorb flavor from the foods they accompany, and they have a chewy texture similar to rice noodles that is very unlike pasta. In short, don’t expect them to taste like pasta. They can be used as a pasta substitute when you want a pasta dish minus all the calories and carbohydrates but be prepared for the different taste and texture.
Try preparing them as they were intended to be prepared and you’ll find them absolutely delicious!
How to Prepare Tofu Shirataki Noodles
When you first open a packet of Tofu Shirataki Noodles, you’ll immediately notice an faint odd aroma. This is the aroma of the Konjac plant. Once the packet is opened, you will need to drain the excess liquid and rinse them thoroughly in water.
Put the noodles in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high heat for 1 minute. This will help to reduce much of the smell you might have noticed when opening the packet. Pat the noodles dry with a kitchen towel. They’re now ready to use in your Tofu shirataki noodle recipes.
Quick Sukiyaki Shirataki Noodle Stirfry
This quick and easy recipe tastes just like Asian take-out. It only takes a few minutes, but it really makes the noodles taste great.
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice wine
½ cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 packet tofu shirataki noodles
2 green shallots, chopped
¼ cabbage, shredded
½ cup bean sprouts, chopped
½ cup mushroom, thinly sliced
400g thinly sliced beef (this can be substituted for a block of sliced firm tofu, if desired)
Heat sesame oil in a large pan or wok and lightly cook the beef strips. Add soy sauce, rice wine and sugar.
Shift the beef to one side and add the vegetables to the pan. Don’t worry if there looks to be too many ingredients at this point, as the vegetables will cook right down and shrink.
Add the tofu shirataki noodles to the pan and allow some of the sauce to soak into the noodles. As these noodles will take on much of the flavor of anything they’re cooked with, they will have a lovely sukiyaki flavor to them.
Taste a little of the sauce and add more soy sauce if you prefer, or more rice wine if needed to suit your own preferences.
Serve immediately. You’ll find that tofu shirataki noodles eaten this way are absolutely delicious.
Need more shirataki noodles? Visit Miracle Noodles or click the banner below.