Kelp noodles are one of my favorite alternatives to pasta because they're low in starch and come in at under 50 calories per cup. Kelp's also great because it has a distinct bulk to it that makes you feel full faster. All I ask is for you to give it a chance—it's virtually tasteless and the soft, glossy feel is unique, but the longer it sits in whatever sauce you pair it with, the more it softens. When all is said and done, you won't be able to get enough.

So what exactly is this stuff? Kelp is a type of large, brown seaweed that grows underwater in shallow oceans. It's high in iodine, which helps with healthy thyroid function. Some studies also suggest kelp can help protect against estrogen-related cancers—ovarian, breast, and endometrial Antitumor activity of a crude fucoidan fraction prepared from the rootes of kelp. Chiada, K., Yamamoto, I. The Kitasato Archives of Experimental Medicine, 1987 Jun;60(1-2):22-9. . Plus, it's high in iron and antioxidants.

This raw noodle recipe pairs kelp with an almond, garlic, and ginger sauce that brings some serious punch to a healthy, low-carb pasta that is as close to "nothing" as pasta can get in terms of calories.

Recipe: Kelp Noodles with Almond-Ginger Dressing

Serves 2

What You'll Need:

For the Noodles

2 cups kelp noodles (taken out of the package and rinsed)
1 small red bell pepper, julienned (aka sliced into very thin matchsticks)
1 small carrot, julienned

For the Sauce

3 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1 teaspoon miso paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2-inch chunk of fresh ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water

What To Do:

  1. Combine carrot, pepper, and kelp noodles in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the sauce over the noodle and vegetable mixture, and toss until the sauce is evenly distributed.
  4. Garnish with extra veggies or bean sprouts, and enjoy!
READ THIS NEXT: The Healthy Pasta Alternative We're Obsessed With Right Now Greatist Cookbook