Shirataki – the food every diabetic should know about

For whatever reason consumption of shirataki hasn’t taken off in the US despite its being popular with diabetics and healthy eaters in asia. It’s a noodle made from the root of the Konjac plant. It’s super high fibre and super low carb, which is basically perfect for type 2 diabetics who miss the pasta in their diets. I’ve known about it for several years but only recently managed to find some locally when my grocery store started carrying some of the House Foods line of products. It’s expensive relative to regular pasta – a single serving costs about $1. It’s somewhat easier to prepare than traditional pasta. It comes packaged in water, and you rinse it and dunk it in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes then drain. It’s chewier than even the most al dente pasta, and is very bland, almost tasteless. It’s also very low calorie so it’s perfect if you’re on a diet. Like tofu it tends to absorb the flavor of whatever it’s prepared with. It’s become a staple of my diet and allows me to prepare a lot of my old favorites, things like spaghetti with meat sauce, tuna casserole, and stir fries served over noodles (I crisp the noodles slightly when I have this by frying them in olive oil for a couple of minutes). If you’re a diabetic and crave pasta this is the solution. If your local store doesn’t carry House Foods’ products consider filing a request card for it, or check local health food and specialty stores. You can also order online from places like Konjac Foods, though you have to order in relatively large quantities (~10 pounds for about $40 with shipping). Shelf life is about a year so it’s not really a problem so long as you have storage space. Konjac Foods also carries a broader variety of shapes, including lasagna noodles, so soon lasagna will be back on my menu. Check it out if you’re on a diet, or a diabetic who’s counting carbs but craves pasta.

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