God created the perfect noodles and they are called kelp noodles. I cannot tell you how excited I am to have discovered these! They are raw, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free… free of basically all allergens. They have 0 g fat, 0 g sugar and only 1 g of carbs per serving. And get this–they have a ridiculously low 6 cal per serving! What they do have is .15 g calcium (15% DV) and 0.72 mg iron (4% DV). I’ve also been told they have loads of iodine, which is good for all of us out there who have thyroid issues, although it doesn’t say exactly how much on the package. Wikipedia lists the nutrition values for raw kelp here but keep in mind they are different because the kelp noodles are not pure kelp, but contain water and sodium alginate as well. Sodium alginate is a sodium salt extracted from the walls of brown algae. Sea Tangle confirms here that kelp noodles are a raw food, but keep in mind that the sodium alginate goes through a significant extraction process. More on that after the recipe.
I adapted this recipe from Organic and Thrifty. I made mine cooked with a peanut sauce, but you could easily eat this recipe raw. Amounts are approximate because I made this last week and I’m having trouble remembering exactly what I did. 😉
– One package raw kelp noodles
– 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
– 2 cups broccoli
– 2 cups frozen pepper strips (red, yellow, green)
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 cup Peanut Sauce
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
– 2 garlic cloves, peeled
– juice of 1 lime
– 1/2 bunch cilantro
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
– 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock
– generous amount of powdered ginger
– cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients for peanut sauce in food processor. Set aside.
Heat oil in large pan, add broccoli and pepper strips. Saute until tender. Make a hole in the vegetables in the center of the pan, pour in eggs and scramble until cooked. Mix eggs and vegetables together. Drain and rinse kelp noodles and add to vegetables. Add sauce as needed to coat noodles/vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes until noodles are soft and heated through.
Raw Directions (I haven’t tried making them raw yet but this is how it’s supposed to work):
Drain and rinse the kelp noodles. Instead of putting the lime juice in the peanut sauce, squeeze it directly over the noodles. Set aside for 5 min while you make the sauce. This should help the noodles soften so they aren’t crunchy. Add vegetables (no eggs though). Make sauce and pour over.
Another recipe I’d like to try is Carmella’s at the Sunny Raw Kitchen.
I give both the kelp noodles and the peanut sauce 5/5 happy monkeys.
Here’s some more information on sodium alginate from wikipedia. According to Sea Tangle, it is the sodium alginate that gives the kelp noodles their crunchy texture. You can decide for yourself if it is something you mind eating. I myself am not totally pleased with it as an additive, but I think the benefits of the kelp noodles outweigh this downside.
Extraction of Alginate (from Wikipedia)
To extract the alginate, the seaweed is broken into pieces and stirred with a hot solution of an alkali, usually sodium carbonate. Over a period of about two hours, the alginate dissolves as sodium alginate to give a very thick slurry. This slurry also contains the part of the seaweed that does not dissolve, mainly cellulose. This insoluble residue must be removed from the solution. The solution is too thick (viscous) to be filtered and must be diluted with a very large quantity of water. After dilution, the solution is forced through a filter cloth in a filter press. However, the pieces of undissolved residue are very fine and can quickly clog the filter cloth. Therefore, before filtration is started, a filter aid, such as diatomaceous earth, must be added; this holds most of the fine particles away from the surface of the filter cloth and facilitates filtration. However, filter aid is expensive and can make a significant contribution to costs. To reduce the quantity of filter aid needed, some processors force air into the extract as it is being diluted with water (the extract and diluting water are mixed in an in-line mixer into which air is forced). Fine air bubbles attach themselves to the particles of residue. The diluted extract is left standing for several hours while the air rises to the top, taking the residue particles with it. This frothy mix of air and residue is removed from the top and the solution is withdrawn from the bottom and pumped to the filter.
The goal of the extraction process is to obtain dry, powdered, sodium alginate. The calcium and magnesium salts do not dissolve in water; the sodium salt does. The rationale behind the extraction of alginate from the seaweed is to convert all the alginate salts to the sodium salt, dissolve this in water, and remove the seaweed residue by filtration. The alginate must then be recovered from the aqueous solution.