These tasty, nutritious ramen bowls are the ideal comfort food when you’re feeling under the weather.
No meal should be difficult while you’re sick, so I chose simple dry boxed ramen noodles that are packed with veggies to help you become stronger.
For incredible taste in this simple ramen recipe, just be sure to replace the sodium-rich flavorings found in Top Ramen.
Healthy ramen: Nutrients and information
The affordability and flavor of ramen noodles are well known. Good for you, though? Depends, really. You may have gorged on salty, slurpy quick noodle cups and packages in college, but they don’t have much to offer in terms of nutrition. Nonetheless, it is still feasible to make ramen noodles into a balanced and satisfying dinner.
According to Jinan Banna, PhD, RD, associate professor of nutrition at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, “Ramen noodles can vary in terms of nutritional value.” The nutritional profile of fresh or dry ramen that is served plain, without spice packets, is comparable to that of other pastas manufactured with refined white flour. Although they don’t contain a lot of fiber, Dr. Banna notes that they do “supply certain vitamins and minerals, such iron and B vitamins.”
Nevertheless, it’s a different matter when it comes to quick noodle bricks or cups with flavor packs. According to information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, stabilizers and chemicals like Yellow No. 6 are mostly to blame for the astonishing length of the ingredients list for a cup of noodles. The spice packages also include a lot of salt, according to Seattle-based nutritionist Liz Wyosnick, RDN. 1,100 milligrams (mg) in one cup is over half the daily recommended value. In addition, the deep-fried noodles provide more than a third of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the majority of instant ramens no longer have added monosodium glutamate, or MSG, the processed flavor enhancer that has been shown to occasionally cause headaches, flushing, or sweating. Instead, the umami-rich flavor of the spice packets comes from naturally occurring glutamates, amino acids found in meals high in protein, such as cheese, meat, fish, and mushrooms. According to the International Food Information Council, naturally occurring glutamates are combined with additional salt and water to create MSG.
Nevertheless, Wyosnick points out that the quick noodles still include additional highly processed components that you would not want to consume often, such palm oil and artificial preservatives like tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). According to a study reported in a research paper published in November 2021 in Nature, preliminary research in mice suggests that a fatty acid present in palm oil may aid in the growth of cancer. Also research has been done on TBHQ, a preservative found in many packaged goods, to see whether it may play a part in food allergies.
Even without considering the sodium and additives, a single packet of ramen, whether instant or not, won’t likely satisfy you for very long. They have extremely little fiber and just a little quantity of protein for a meal, claims Wysonick.
Yet with a few clever adjustments, you can make these straightforward noodles into a satisfying and healthy dish. These may be incorporated into a balanced diet, according to Banna. It makes sense to pair ramen with a source of protein and some veggies since they are primarily a source of carbs.
Better yet? Wyosnick advises cutting the spice package in half to reduce salt intake. Or just use the noodles as the foundation for soup bowls or other meals that call for fresh ingredients instead of the spice package. While you’re at it, swap out the instant ramen’s deep-fried noodles for fresh or dry ramen to reduce saturated fat.
Is ramen healthy?
When you think about ramen, the first thing that usually comes to mind are the highly processed packets that are popular with college students all around the world. These flavored containers include a lot of salt and a long list of unpronounceable substances.
Yet, ramen noodles itself just require the use of four basic ingredients: wheat, water, salt, and kansui. In conclusion, plain ramen noodles are undoubtedly a dish that belongs in a balanced diet. Also, we’re serving these noodles with vibrant, fiber-rich veggies in these prepare-ahead jars to boost the nutrients even further.
How to make healthy ramen?
Making healthy ramen is easier than you think! Whether you’re following a vegan, vegetarian, or meat-based diet, there are plenty of tasty and nutritious ways to enjoy your favorite noodle dish. Here are some tips for making healthier ramen:
1. Start with high-quality noodles. Look for whole grain noodles such as buckwheat, brown rice, or quinoa ramen noodles which provide good fiber content and have fewer calories than regular white flour varieties.
2. Use fresh vegetables instead of freeze-dried packets. Add ingredients like mushrooms, bok choy, carrots, broccoli, kale or spinach for added nutrition and flavor.
3. Replace or reduce the amount of sodium-rich condiments in your ramen. Try reducing or eliminating the amount of soy sauce, miso paste, or other flavors packed with sodium and replace them with low-sodium seasonings like garlic powder, ginger, turmeric, cumin, or chili flakes.
4. If using meat as a base for your ramen broth, opt for lean proteins such as chicken breast or extra lean ground beef instead of fatty cuts.
5. Choose low-fat dairy options like nonfat Greek yogurt instead of full fat when topping off your dish with an egg or other dairy product.
DIY Ramen Noodle Bowl With Broccoli, Egg, and Basil
One packet of plain 3-ounce (oz) ramen noodles should be cooked in two cups of low-sodium chicken broth. To taste, add a few drops of each low-sodium soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. While the noodles are cooking, add 3/4 cup of broccoli florets to the broth. Add a half soft-boiled egg, 2 tablespoons of fresh bean sprouts, and 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh basil to the brothy dish as garnishes.
Nutritional information per serving (one serving): 510 calories, 21g total fat, 9.3g saturated fat, 21g protein, 60g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 2g sugar, and 808mg sodium.
Chicken Ramen Stir-Fry With Peppers
Stir-fry Cubed chicken breast, 4 ounces, in 2 teaspoons of canola oil. Cook until the peppers are tender-crisp after adding 1 cup of thinly sliced bell pepper and 1 minced garlic clove. One box of plain, cooked 3-oz ramen noodles and one teaspoon of low-sodium soy sauce should be stirred in. Add shredded scallions on top after tossing to blend.
Nutritional information per serving (serves 1): 649 calories, 28g total fat, 9g saturated fat, 36g protein, 61g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4g sugar, and 661mg sodium.
Leftover Veggie and Ramen Frittata
2 cups of leftover chopped cooked veggies are whisked with 8 big eggs. One 3-oz packet of cooked ramen noodles should be added. Mixture should be poured into a 9-inch pie pan that has been lightly greased. Add 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar or jack cheese on top. Frittata should be brown and somewhat puffy after 25 to 30 minutes of baking at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nutritional information per serving (serves 4): 322 calories, 17g fat (total), 6.6g saturated fat, 18g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4g sugar, and 459mg sodium.
Cabbage-Peanut Salad With Ramen
Mix one tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce, two tablespoons of warm water, one tablespoon of lime juice, and one tablespoon of sugar with one quarter cup of smooth natural peanut butter in a dish. Set the bowl aside. Add half a cup of each shredded carrot and thinly sliced bell pepper to 2 cups of shred napa cabbage or coleslaw mix. One 3-oz bag of cooked and cooled ramen noodles and one cup of shelled edamame are added to the veggies along with the peanut dressing. Add chopped fresh cilantro and peanuts on top.
2 servings = 566 calories, 30g total fat, 7.2g saturated fat, 24g protein, 49g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 7g sugar, and 623mg sodium per serving.
Customize it your way
This healthy ramen recipe is totally adaptable, just like all of my other dishes.
- Make use of your preferred quick-cooking veggies. This is a great way to use up any leftover vegetables in your refrigerator.
- Make this dish gluten-free by substituting rice vermicelli noodles for the ramen and soy sauce with tamari.
- Moreover, you may alter the sauces and seasonings to suit your preferences. These noodles jars would be perfect for serving sauces like teriyaki or sweet chili sauce. Add extra Sriracha and red pepper flakes to enhance the heat.
- Remove the veggie bouillon cube and make sure to use low sodium soy sauce if you want to reduce the sodium content.
Q: How can I make my ramen gluten-free?
A: Look for gluten-free noodles such as soba noodles or rice ramen, which can be found in most grocery stores.
Q: How can I make my ramen vegan?
A: Try using vegetable-based broths like mushroom and miso broth instead of chicken or beef stock. Additionally, you can use soy sauce or tamari instead of fish sauce for flavor and try adding tofu, seitan, tempeh, edamame beans, or nuts for added protein.
Q: How do I keep my ramen from becoming too salty?
A: If you are using a pre-made broth with high sodium content, try adding more water to dilute the saltiness. You can also reduce the amount of sodium used in your condiments and/or replace them with low-sodium seasonings.
By following these tips, you can make a delicious and nutritious bowl of ramen that will leave you feeling satisfied. Upgrading your ramen game is easier than you think – give it a try!
Now that you know how to make a healthier ramen, why not give it a try? If you need help with the ingredients or have any questions, feel free to contact us at Angelo’s Burgers. We would be more than happy to help you out!