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On the list of Reasons We’re Really Really Ready For Fall, the promise of endless bowls of rich, comforting ramen is currently vying for top spot (right alongside breaking out our chunky knits and being 150% over the concept of sweating). Nothing pairs with crisp autumn air quite like chewy noodles swimming in velvety broth…but what if you’re committed to cutting carbs?
Low-carb, high-fat diets have been all the rage in recent years as a way to treat certain conditions and accelerate weight loss. But just because you’re keeping Keto doesn’t mean you have to ditch your favorite cold weather comfort foods. We firmly subscribe to the idea that no one – and we mean no one – should have to suffer a future without noodles. Fortunately, there is a wide world of low-carb noodles that will keep you in ketosis. Couple them up with your favorite keto-friendly broth and few flavorful garnishes for an irresistible at-home meal. Here are all the low-carb noods that hold the keto our hearts (and our bellies).
If you’re craving a slurpable noodle with texture to echo O.G. ramen, shirataki should be in your starting line-up. These Japanese yam starch noodles are high in fiber, low in calories, and have a crave-able chewy springiness. Shirataki is often sold soft and packaged in water, so be sure to rinse them off thoroughly before cooking to get rid of the fishy, off-putting odor that can sometimes occur. The organic ramen-style shirataki from Skinny Noodles is an excellent guilt-free option to satisfy your cravings.
Spiralized veggies are a trusty way to sneak nutrients into any number our favorite comfort foods (ramen included), but not all curly-cues are created equal for those following a Keto regimen. While sweet potatoes, carrots, and butternut squash all pack a starchy punch of carbohydrates, zucchini offers a diet-friendly alternative to grain-based noodles. For the freshest flavor, we’d recommend snagging a spiralizer and making your own zoodles at home. If you’re short on time, Cece’s Veggie Co has a reliably fresh selection of organic vegetable noodle options.
Kelp is a natural first choice for those on the hunt for a nutrient-dense noodle stand-in. Kelp noodles (like these from Sea Tangle) are not only Keto-friendly – they’re also packed with calcium, iron, dietary iodine, and vitamin K. The cherry on top? You can enjoy these crunchy noods raw or cooked.
As zucchini’s slightly higher-carb cousin, spaghetti squash is a wonderful option if you’re looking for a thinner noodle than spiralized veggies can offer. To prepare, simply slice the squash in half, and drizzle the cut sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the cut sides face down into a baking tray, and bake at 350 degrees for ~30 minutes. Use a fork to separate into slurpable, keto-friendly strands.
Fans of this clever impasta claim it tastes just like the real deal. But while the texture and flavor have many noodle lovers convinced, the carb content can scare off some of the more stringent dieters. A single serving of organic edamame noodles from Explore Cuisine has 11 grams of net carbs, which can certainly be a challenge for those looking to adhere to the suggested 20 grams of carbohydrates per day on a Keto diet. Depending on the magnitude of your nood cravings, it can be worth cutting back on carbs for the rest of the day to cash in on the flavorful benefits.
When it comes to ramen, a noodle is only as good as the broth it’s swimming in. If you’re looking to buy a flavorful, nourishing broth from the store, just be sure to check the label to determine if the macro ratios fit in your diet plan (both of our organic bone broths contain fewer than 3 net carbs per serving). For those of you with a little extra time to spare, try your hand at making your own to control for ingredients that you’d rather skip.
If you’re new to the Keto gig, the list of dietary no-no’s may be a bit daunting. Happily, some of our favorite ramen toppings–including soft-boiled eggs, scallions, mushrooms, baby bok choy, and shredded chicken–all get the low-carb green light.
Looking for other ramen noodle alternatives? Read up on our list of gluten-free go-to’s.