Low Carb Noodles

We have searched for low carb noodles that satisfy our desire for something delicious and twirl-able on our forks. We think we have found the best solutions to this trying problem that surely everyone who has given up on wheat - be it as part of a paleo or gluten free diet - has struggled with. 

Here, in order,  are our family's top 3 favourite gluten free recipes for noodles...

1. Kelp Noodles - low carb noodles 4/5

Kelp is a rich source of over 70 minerals as well as containing enzymes, vitamins, trace elements and more than 21 amino acids.

Just a wee bit healthier than your standard wheat noodles then...

These were the closest, in terms of texture, to real noodles as far as we were concerned. They also had great fork twirl-ability. They were slightly salty, as to be expected from seaweed, but this wasn't overpowering at all. The only downside is cost - a bowl of noodles would be prohibitively expensive - you could not make up most of your meal with them in the way you would with standard noodles. Definitely a treat, but one that is sure to satisfy everyone.

2. Courgette Spaghetti (Zucchini Noodles) low carb noodles - 4/5

Or Courgettie Spaghetti as we call it, is rich in vitamins A & C plus calcium, potassium and folic acid along with the amino acids phenylalanine and cystine. 

To make courgette or zucchini noodles you have two options - you can use a kitchen gadget known as a spiraliser, which will give you nice long curly noodles, or failing that, you can use a simple peeler or knife to give you chunkier, shorter noodles.

Many people like to eat these raw, I found that they gave me terrible stomach pains if I ate them this way. Lightly cooking them in a splash of olive oil doesn't detract terribly from their goodness anyway, so it's just a matter of personal preference.

Twirl-ability of these is excellent, the texture is pretty good too and the flavour is subtle so doesn't push past the taste of the spaghetti sauce.

A much cheaper option than the kelp noodles, so a bigger bowl of noodles on a more regular basis would be possible for us with these.

This is the spiralizer in action, with the courgette low carb noodles coming through the cutters.

Spiralizers generally come with 3 blades for a bit of flexibility in your vegetable cutting.

3. Spaghetti Squash low carb noodles 2/5

Spaghetti squash contains vitamins A & C along with calcium, iron and B6.

Lots of Paleo recipe books use spaghetti squash, but here in the UK we had never seen it in the shops. However, a google search resulted in finding an organic supplier who could deliver country wide. We were all very excited that we were finally going to be able to try out this incredible vegetable that would stop us yearning for that big old bowl of noodles. 

10 kg of goodness arrived - 9 squashes.

I set to work getting some cooked up to go with my best spaghetti sauce recipe. (I'll write a page about how to cook them in the next couple of days).

We all sat down to eat in anticipation...  

We have to say we were disappointed as the texture was nothing like any kind of pasta we'd had. The twirl-ability was ok, not great because the strings are quite small, but it was still possible. Flavour was again subtle so the sauce really is the main interest. Price wise, not as cheap as courgette and we had to buy in bulk so it was a bit of a gamble. Overall it paid off as the family like it, but we definitely couldn't say in all honesty that it was a genuine replacement for spaghetti.


The Cautionary Tale....

Whilst trying to find a low carb noodle I remembered eating some tasty black seaweed noodles many years ago. A google hunt informed me that these must have been something called Hijiki. I was very excited to discover that I could buy a carton of 5 from Amazon. They arrived the next day, I prepared a bowl of noodles and added them to my liver soup ....

I have to say that they were delicious. They had a great texture - definitely al dente. I enthused about them to a friend who asked what they were. This sent me back to google where this time I found a warning from the Food Standards Agency advising people not to eat this particular type of seaweed as all samples had been found to contain inorganic arsenic! Ah... Thankfully amazon gave me a full refund and advised me to put them in the bin. The Spaghetti Squash was suddenly a whole lot more appetising!

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