Barenaked konjac pasta and rice
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Product review: Barenaked konjac pasta and rice

Barenaked konjac pasta and rice are another low-calorie, low-carb and low fat alternative to the real deal. You can use them as substitute wherever you use noodles, pasta or rice.

What is konjac?

The dictionary tells us konjac is “the swollen underground stem of a herb that grows in parts of Asia and is often used for adding fibre to food, or the herb itself.” (1)

Konjac is very low in carbohydrates and very high in a type of fibre called glucomannan, which is linked to several health benefits, including appetite control and digestive health.

Barenaked konjac pasta and rice

These products are made in China for a UK-based company. In Australia, they are available in some grocery stores such as Harris Farm. Besides being low in energy, carbs and fat, they are wheat-free, dairy-free and vegan. They do not contain any artificial flavours and preservatives.

The current line includes noodles, protein noodles and rice. The products come in 250g pouches with 2 serves per pouch. They have a long shelf life when unopened but must be refrigerated and used quickly once the package has been opened.

Ingredients

The three product varieties contain water, konjac flour, food grade calcium hydroxide, soybean flour and oatmeal flour.

Barenaked konjac pasta and rice back

Nutrition information

See the table below for the full nutritional panel of the three varieties.

Nutrient Noodles
Per serve (125g)
Noodles
Per 100g
Protein noodles
Per serve (125g)
Protein noodles
Per 100g
Rice
Per serve (125g)
Rice
Per 100g
Energy (kJ) 62 50 91 73 62 50
Protein (g) <0.5 <0.5 3.4 2.7 <0.5 <0.5
Fat, total (g) 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
– Saturated (g) 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Carbohydrate, total (g) 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.0
– Sugars (g) 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Fibre (g) 4.9 3.9 4.9 3.9 4.9 3.9
Salt (g) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Glucomannan (g) 2.0 1.6 2.0 1.6 2.0 1.6

Taste test

We tried noodles and protein noodles with homemade ramen, and the rice served with miso ginger pork (see below). I liked the texture of the noodles, they have a nice firmness and width. I found the rice very similar to other brands.

As with other konjac products, these do not absorb sauces like real starches. They work well in salads and soups.

Summary and recommendations

Barenaked konjac pasta and rice can be a great option for people who are looking to reduce carbs and/or energy in their diets. Don’t expect an identical substitute to rice and pasta, as these products do not have the same properties, taste or texture.

Having said that, keep in mind these products hail from far away, which means a high carbon footprint and less support to local businesses.

More information

Visit Barenaked’s website for more information about their products.

You may also want to check out my previous reviews of similar products:

References

  1. Cambridge University Press. konjac 2020 [30/01/2020]. Available from: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/konjac.

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