Alternatives to Wheat Pasta / Wheat-Free Noodles

by AngelaJohnson

Do you love pasta but want to cut down on wheat? If so, you may want to try some wheat-free pastas.

When modern wheat is refined, most of the wheat's fiber, vitamins, and minerals are removed. Although some nutrients are added back during manufacturing so it can be called "enriched flour," it's still not a very healthy product.

I just read a fascinating book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis where the author explains that modern wheat is nothing like the wheat that was grown prior to 1950. He has me convinced to eliminate wheat, even though I have no problems with eating it.

Even if you never thought about the nutritional value of wheat, you may want to try other types of pasta noodles to reduce carbohydrates and calories.

Just remember, though, noodles made of other plants will not taste like wheat, but if you experiment, you may end up liking them as well or better than wheat.

Photo from flickr creative commons. https://www.flickr.com/photos/orsorama/344024244/

Noodles Made From Kelp (Seaweed)

kelp noodles and carrotsKelp is an edible seaweed that is high in nutrients, especially iodine. It also contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and amino acids.

Kelp noodles are made of only kelp, sodium alginate (a salt derived from seaweed), and water. They have no fat or gluten, and are low in carbohydrates and calories.

They don’t have their own distinct flavor, so they can be heated to use in stir-fries and soups, or in cold salads. They are packaged in water, so all you do is rinse and add the noodles to any dish.  The photo is of kelp noodles and shredded carrots.  The noodles are thin and you can see through them (not solid like a wheat noodle), and thy have a slightly crunchy taste.

You might be able to find them in Asian grocery stores, and you can also find kelp noodles online. When you buy online, though, the noodles will probably be packaged in quantity, so you may want to have a friend share your order if you don't think you'd use that much.  

Buy kelp noodles online. 

Photo from flickr creative commons

 

Have You Ever Tried Spaghetti Squash?

spaghetti squashSpaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is also called squaghetti, vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, and vegetable or spaghetti marrow.

You can bake, microwave, boil or steam it.  When you cut it open, there are large seeds in the middle that you can roast like pumpkin seeds. 

After you remove the seeds, use a fork to scrape out strings of "spaghetti. It's amazing!  Then put any sauce or flavoring on it you want. It tastes great! 

You can grow your own spaghetti squash, or buy it at farmers' markets or grocery stores when it's in season (autumn / early winter).  I've had it many times and so far, have only used it with a tomato based sauce.  When autumn rolls around again, I'm going to try other variations.

photo from flicker creative commons

Make Vegetable Noodles

Try making vegetable noodles from cucumber, zucchini or carrots; use the vegetables by themselves or add them to pasta.
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Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

Paderno World Cuisine Vegetable Slicer The Paderno World Cuisine vegetable slicer creates spiral cuts and vegetable or fruit noodles in seconds. The frame and blade plates are c...

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Inspiralized: Turn Vegetables into Healthy, Creative, Satisfying Meals

The definitive cookbook for using a spiralizer: the kitchen gadget that turns vegetables and fruits into imaginative, low-carb dishes. On her wildly popular blog, Inspiralized, ...

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Are You Trying to Eliminate Wheat?

Shirataki / Miracle Noodles

Shirataki noodles are made from konjak, a root from a Chinese tree. They’re often called Miracle Noodles because they ......

~~ Have no fat, sugar, starch or protein

~~ Have naturally water soluble fiber

~~ Are wheat and gluten free

~~ Needs no refrigeration if unopened

~~ Have no carbs and virtually calorie-free

~~ Have no flavor of their own, but will easily absorb flavors from ingredients you add

Use the noodles just like regular wheat pasta noodles – add Alfredo sauce, salsa, melted butter, heavy cream, grated Parmesan cheese, pesto, nutritional yeast, etc.

Shirataki / Miracle Noodles come in a pouch and are “wet.” When you open the package, you must soak them in water and drain, or rinse them under running water for a few minutes. This gets rid of the “fishy” smell and keeps them from cooking up like mush.

You can boil these noodles, but many people prefer to “dry-fry” them. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray or lightly coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Stir them around until they’re completely dry. Then add stir-fry vegetables, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, broth – just about anything.

If you don’t care for the taste of shirataki noodles (boiling or dry-frying), try them again, but this time buy “TOFU” shirataki noodles. You will be adding some calories and a few carbs from the tofu, but the look and texture are closer to wheat pasta.

You can find shirataki noodles at Asian grocery stores, usually in the refrigerator section although they don’t need to be refrigerated until opened. You can also order shirataki /miracle noodles online.

Shirataki Pasta Image From Amazon

 

The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen

Approximately three million Americans suffer from Celiac disease, wheat allergies, and severe gluten sensitivities.  They normally can't eat Asian food because noodles, soy sauce, and oyster sauce usually contain wheat. In the The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, food writer Laura B. Russell shows home cooks how to convert the vibrant cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam into gluten-free favorites.  
 
She includes authentically flavored dishes such as Crispy Spring RollsGingery Pork Pot StickersKorean Green Onion PancakesSoba Noodles with Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms, and Pork Tonkatsu

buckwheat noodlesBuckwheat is not related to wheat; it's not even a grass.  It's actually a fruit seed, related to rhubarb and sorrel.

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat, so many buckwheat noodles are labeled "soba." 

Read the ingredients - some buckwheat named products also contain regular wheat or other grains. 

photo from flickr creative commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/rubber_slippers_in_italy/156255440/ 

Rice Vermicelli and Cellophane Noodles

Cellophane noodles (also known as Chinese vermicelli, bean threads, bean thread noodles, crystal noodles, or glass noodles) are made from starch, such as mung bean, yam, potato, cassava or canna. They are clear when cooked; a translucent light gray or brownish gray. 

Rice noodles (also known as rice vermicelli) are mainly made from rice although sometimes tapioca or corn starch might be added to increase the chewy texture of the noodles.  They are white after cooking rather than clear.  

Annie Chun's MAIFUN Rice Noodles, 8-Ounce Package (Pack of 6)

Our delicate, appealingly tender Mai Fun (angel hair) rice noodles are fantastic any way you serve them -in soups, stir-fries or cold salads. You can toss them with any of our A...

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Tinkyada Brown Rice Spirals with Rice Bran, Gluten Free, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 12)

Pasta Joy Ready. A classic in texture and taste. Wheat free. Gluten-free. Good consistent texture. Not mushy. Al Dente. We specialize - Our entire factory premise and all machin...

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Explore Asian Fettuccini, Organic Edamame & Mung Bean, 7.05 Oz (Pack Of 6)

This blend of organic edamame and mung beans has created an unbelievable fettuccine for your family to enjoy. This delicious fettuccini has 24 grams of protein and 11 grams of f...

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Dynasty SaiFun Bean Threads Noodles, 5.29-Ounce Bags (Pack of 12)

Saifun noodles are an Asian noodle made from mung beans

View on Amazon

Updated: 07/14/2016, AngelaJohnson
 
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Have You Tried Any Wheat-Free Pasta?


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AngelaJohnson on 08/03/2016

Sylvester - you're right that pasta (or bread) should be made from wheat rather than refined flour. Many people, though, can't eat or don't want to eat wheat for health reasons, but would still like to have a pasta dish. Fortunately, there are alternatives. Thanks for providing the website where you found good recipes. I'll check it out.

Sylvester on 08/03/2016

Nutrition point of view , pasta should be made of wheat rather than refined flour , btw I also found nice recipes on freearticlessource website

AngelaJohnson on 07/14/2016

maxmajestic@gmail.co - There are several wheat-free pastas to choose from. I hope you get a chance to try one of them.

maxmajestic@gmail.com on 07/13/2016

Looks very tasty. Thanks.

M. A. on 10/05/2015

Didn't try rice noodles before . I think i should do. Thanks for this nice post.

CruiseReady on 07/30/2015

The only one of these that I have actually eaten is spaghetti squash, and I did enjoy it.

WriterArtist on 07/12/2015

There is so much food waiting to be explored, I am hearing about wheat free noodles for the first time.

blackspanielgallery on 06/15/2015

About the only one of these I had heard of is speghetti squash, and I have never tried it.

Veronica on 06/14/2015

There is a distinction of course between wheat intolerance which is milder and wheat allergy which can indeed make people very poorly. Happily there are several wheat free foods available now. These recipes above look delicious and well worth a try . Thank you so much for posting.

AngelaJohnson on 04/12/2015

frankbeswick - I've been doing a lot of reading on bread and wheat. Based on what I've read so far, I think they're both equally bad for people with gluten problems because all wheat contains gluten. But because white bread isn't as dense as whole wheat bread, people don't need to chew it as long and tend to eat more of it.


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