Ah, Instant Noodles. They’re the drug of choice for many college students, debt-ridden individuals, and the everyday New Yorker trying to make rent. While they’re renowned for being cost-effective, they certainly lack in the nutritional value department.
From The Washington Post:
Although instant noodles is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food’s] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat, and glycemic loads. Women who ate instant noodles twice a week or more had a higher risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate less, or not at all, regardless of whether their diet style fell into the traditional or fast-food category…
So, what’s a strapped for cash twenty-something to do? Here are some simple hacks that can make that cup of noodles a little healthier without breaking the bank.
Ditch the Seasoning Packet – Use Unsalted Broth
The noodles themselves have a lot of sodium, but you can win half the battle by ditching the seasoning packet. It’s loaded with a ton of preservatives and sodium. Switch it out for some Unsalted Chicken Stock and then…
Dice Up a Vegetable Rainbow
Instant Noodle’s biggest crime is that it has barely any nutrients, so inject some of your favorite vegetables. Or even some vegetables you can’t stand. I hate eating carrots, but they’re awesome in ramen. Some ramen old faithfuls include spinach, carrots, and green onion. Get a colorful array of vegetables, steam them, and throw them in.
Add a Protein
You’ve got the nutrients, now get the gains. Cook up a lean protein and throw it in your creation. My personal add is either shredded chicken breast or eggs. Sometimes, it’s both. Typically, I opt for something in my fridge that’s on its last legs. That means it’s soup time.
Throw in Some Peanut Butter
I did not believe this the first time I heard it. But whoa…peanut butter in ramen is GOOD. Besides the fact that peanut butter is a recovery powerhouse, it adds great flavor and texture to the soup. And yes, crunchy works just as good as smooth.