Noodles Day: Dietician offers tips to make your noodles healthy and nutritious
Tweaking the ingredients and adding loads of fibre and protein can made your noodles healthy and delicious. Dietician offers tips.
Noodles are the ultimate comfort food for the lazy weekends as well as the hectic work days when there’s not enough time to cook an elaborate meal. Popular in many regions of the world, noodles can be prepared with a variety of flours, but the version made with all-purpose flour or maida is one of the most popular fast foods in India. Some of the most common street food dishes made from noodle are veg or chicken chowmein, hakka noodles, butter chicken noodles, noodle rolls among many others. Besides, the 2-minute instant noodles that come in all kinds of flavours especially are life saviour when hunger pangs strike but slogging in kitchen is not an option. (Also read: 3 popular and delicious Korean recipes you must try)
However, eating noodles made of maida or all-purpose flour on a regular basis can be quite unhealthy considering they are high in sodium that may increase risk of stomach cancer, heart disease and stroke. Instant noodles can play havoc with your BP too. They are usually low in fibre and protein and can cause obesity and all the related diseases. However, one can always make the noodles healthy by using the right ingredients.
Dr Amreen Shaikh, Dietician, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central suggests ways to make your noodles healthy.
USE WHOLE WHEAT INSTEAD OF MAIDA
“There are various ways to make noodles healthy. One must use whole wheat noodles instead of maida. Maida is not good for overall health. It increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, heart issues etc,” says Dr Shaikh.
MAKE IT SOUPY, ADD LOADS OF VEGGIES
Dr Shaikh says one can have soupy noodles so that there is less maida and increase the veggies intake in the stock to make it fibre-rich.
ADD EGG TO YOUR NOODLE
“Add egg to the noodle soup or the noodle preparation to increase the protein content. Cut down on the seasoning given with the noodles to reduce the sodium intake. Add herbs and natural spices instead,” says the dietician.
ADD BEANS OR CHICKEN
Dr Shaikh says while vegetarians can add some beans to the noodles to increase the protein intake, non- vegetarians can add eggs or chicken to the noodles or noodles soup to make it healthier and tastier.
“Add seasonal and different coloured veggies to get better nutritional value as they have the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients,” says the expert.
HEALTHY NOODLE RECIPE
Zucchini noodles, also referred to as "zoodles," are the most inventive noodle basis for many healthful gluten-free meals. Palak Midha, Dietician and Founder of Palak Notes suggests a healthy 'zoodles' recipe on the occasion of Noodles Day 2022.
1 tbsp desi ghee
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchinis
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice the zucchini in half, then put it on your spiralizer. Spiralize zucchini and make noodles.
- On medium heat, warm the oil in a big pan. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds after adding it.
- After one minute of tossing and warming the zucchini noodles, remove from the burner.
- Give them one more toss in the pan, then season with salt & pepper and the grated parmesan.
- The zucchini shouldn't be overcooked.
- Never add salt while cooking. Just before serving, add any himalayan pink salt if necessary.
- Add healthy fats like desi ghee or olive oil as it helps prevent insulin spikes.
- Make it fibre rich, try to add more vegetables in your zoodles.
- Keep the pan from being too full.
- As soon as the zucchini noodles are finished cooking, remove them from the pan.
- It's ideal to get zucchini that have a smaller diameter (i.e., are thinner) while preparing zucchini noodles. Each zucchini won't provide as many noodles, but the skin yields more noodles. These "outside" noodles keep their shape better since they have far less water in them.
- Never cook or peel a zucchini before spiralizing it.
- Choose a less watery sauce if you intend to add one. A favourite with zucchini noodles is pesto.