I know what you are thinking– “healthy” and “ramen” in the same sentence? That can’t be right. But it’s true!
I first heard about / saw such a thing when I went to a vegan restaurant that served it. I tried it because they were telling me how nutritious it was and it looked like ramen which I love. The verdict? A healthy ramen noodle option and is a great canvas for delicious sauces, seasonings, and dressings.
I was picking up a few things from Whole Foods the other day including ramen and saw the same green noodles I had at the restaurant! There were GreeNoodle packages next to the ones I usually get. I didn’t realize they sold this stuff in stores and decided to try making them myself. There was a recipe on the back of the package– a healthy ramen noodle salad? I’m sold! It sounded very refreshing for this 100 degree weather we are still having in Southern California! (If you don’t have a Whole Foods by you, you can get sampler packs and an assortment of flavors on Amazon.com.)
I have never heard of Moroheiya until discovering these noodles. What exactly IS it? After some research, here’s what I found:
Moroheiya also known as mulukhiya or mallow leaf has been cultivated in Egypt since ancient times (it reminds me of mint leaves, here’s a pic). Its fibers are spun into jute while its young shoots and leaves are harvested as a vegetable and used in traditional Egyptian dishes and stews. Moroheiya contains a ton of goodies including potassium, calcium, beta carotene, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is also a great source of dietary fiber. You can find a Moroheiya nutrition chart here comparing it to spinach, carrot, and broccoli.
How did Moroheiya become a healthy ramen noodle option? It’s thanks to a man named Mr. Sho Oga, who is the creator of GreeNoodle. When Mr. Oga learned of how healthy this plant was but was rarely eaten in Japan and throughout the world, he thought about how he could make this appealing to adults and kids and the answer was: noodles! He quit his job working for a company that made health supplements to start an organic agriculture business that would offer safe foods to people while protecting and taking care of the environment. Mr. Oga put his heart and soul into perfecting these noodles:
“I wanted to make sure my noodles had the best combination of chewiness and smoothness. After years of frustrating trials and errors, I am finally rewarded with the invention of my dreams.”
I love his clever use of Moroheiya (making healthy foods appealing and accessible can be difficult!) and anyone who has ever tried to turn an idea they had into a reality can appreciate and applaud his journey.
I am a huge ramen fan and could literally eat it all day everyday and probably overdose on sodium so I think I’ll be eating GreeNoodles instead from now on! It’s available at Whole Foods for $1.99 per package. It doesn’t come with any seasonings but I think that’s good because who knows what the heck is in those little packages of powders and oils that usually come with dried noodles. You can add your own soy sauce, oils, herbs, and spices instead.
Below is the healthy ramen noodle salad recipe from the back of the GreeNoodle package I tried. The only thing I ended up changing was substituting the honey with agave nectar. It’s easy to put together and makes for the perfect light lunch or salad on hot days!
This recipe is vegan, dairy-free, and egg-free. It can be made without nuts. It does contain wheat.