As a college student, pasta makes up approximately 98% of my diet. It's fast, it's easy, and there are a million different sauces you can use to switch it up. I didn't think there was anything that could compare—until I discovered kelp noodles.

I was walking through the clearance section of HomeSense when I saw a package of kelp noodles sitting on a shelf. My curiosity was piqued (and they were only $3) so I threw them into my cart.

After doing some research (which included eating an entire bowl), I discovered multiple reasons why kelp noodles should be a part of everyone's lifestyle.

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Most importantly, kelp noodles are healthy. They're low-calorie, low-carb, fat-free, sugar-free, and full of vitamins A, B, and C as well as minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron.

Kelp noodles also fit into a range of diets. They contain only water, kelp, and sodium alginate (a naturally occurring salt in brown seaweed). As a result, kelp noodles are gluten-free, vegan, and free of all common allergens.

wine, beer
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Since they come ready-to-eat straight out of the bag, kelp noodles are versatile and easy to use. They have the texture and crunch of a very thin bean sprout and virtually no taste, so they pick up incredible flavour from whatever they're paired with.

Below are some of the best ways to incorporate kelp noodles into your favourite dishes.

Salad

Salad is often given a bad reputation for being boring and tasteless. With kelp noodles, tons of veggies, and a zesty dressing, you can turn that stereotype on its head.

Soup

When simmered in broth, kelp noodles are infused with incredible flavour and get a softer, more pasta-like texture. They're a great way to add substance to soup while keeping it healthy and vegan.

Pasta

Okay, so maybe kelp noodles can't replace actual pasta, but hey—they're a pretty good alternative to overloading yourself with carbs every day.

Sushi

Seaweed in sushi is standard, so why not add kelp noodles too? They provide a great crunch and can even replace the rice inside of a health-packed veggie roll.

vegetable, vermicelli, pasta, rice
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It's important to know that the high iodine levels in kelp noodles can be harmful. That said, your body actually requires a certain amount of iodine to function properly. As long as you aren't eating kelp noodles daily, you should be fine.

All told, kelp noodles are a healthy replacement for pasta and a great way to switch up classic dishes like soup and salad. With all of the benefits, there's no reason not to try this new food in the coming year.