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How to make instant ramen healthy: Makeunders

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Make a healthier version of instant noodles by using less of the soup base or adding a handful of spinach. ©jreika/shutterstock.com

(Relaxnews) – A new report predicts that in just five years, sales of instant noodles or ramen will exceed 154 billion packs around the world, despite the fact that the convenience food has developed a reputation for being a fat and salt bomb.

In a report prepared by Global Market Analysts Inc. and released April 2, researchers said that minimal cooking time, the variety of flavors, and increasingly hectic lifestyles have been driving up sales of instant ramen not only in Asia, but also in parts of the Western world which have developed a palate for Asian flavors.

Here are some ideas on how to pull off a healthy makeover on the convenience dish, where noodles are typically deep-fried and the soup base a sodium and MSG nightmare.

Bloggers at thekitchn.com, for instance, suggest making your own instant ramen by pouring boiling water over thin rice noodles, which will cook in minutes. Next, make your own soup base by mixing powdered chicken bouillon with miso, garlic and chili powder and hot water. Add green onions and vegetables.

Seriouseats.com also suggests adding a little greenery to a pot of ramen. As the instant noodles cook, throw in handfuls of baby spinach, cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, or other assorted frozen vegetables like peas and cauliflower. For a hit of protein, make it an egg-drop noodle soup by cracking an egg into the pot. Make sure it’s at a rolling boil.

And the manufacturer of the most popular instant noodle brand in South Korea, Shin Ramyun, also offers a few tips on how to slash sodium. By using less of the soup base and refraining from drinking all of the broth in the noodle soup, you  can reduce the sodium intake by 60 percent, says the Nong Shim site.

Adding tofu or broccoli can also help meet calcium intake.

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