Rice is a staple in many people’s diets. It’s filling, inexpensive, and a great mild-tasting addition to flavorful dishes.
However, rice — white rice in particular — may not be appropriate for everyone’s dietary needs. For instance, people who are trying to take in fewer carbs or calories may want a lighter alternative like riced cauliflower.
Also, swapping out rice for alternative healthy choices, such as other whole grains, can add variety to your diet.
Here are healthy alternatives to rice.
Riced cauliflower is an excellent low-carb and low-calorie alternative to rice. It has a mild flavor, as well as texture and appearance similar to that of cooked rice, with only a fraction of the calories and carbs.
To make riced cauliflower, chop a head of cauliflower into several pieces and grate them using a box grater, or finely chop them using a food processor. The riced cauliflower can be cooked over medium heat with a small amount of oil until tender and slightly browned.
Like riced cauliflower, riced broccoli is a smart rice alternative for people on low-carb or low-calorie diets.
Riced broccoli is also an excellent source of vitamin C.
Like riced cauliflower, riced broccoli can be prepared by grating broccoli with a box grater or chop it in a food processor, then cooking it over medium heat with a bit of oil. Some grocery stores also sell riced broccoli in the freezer section.
Chopped cabbage is another excellent alternative to rice. Cabbage is low in calories and carbs with a mild flavor that compliments many styles of cuisine.
It’s an excellent source of vitamins C and K which helps regulate blood clotting and circulation. It also plays an important role in bone health.
Couscous is a type of pasta made of very small pearls of flour.
Whole-wheat couscous is a healthier option than regular varieties because it’s richer in fiber and protein.
Couscous pearl is much smaller than grains of rice, so they add a unique texture to the foods they’re served with.
There are many alternatives to rice that can help you meet your personal health goals or simply add variety to your diet.
Vegetables, such as riced cauliflower, riced broccoli, and chopped cabbage, are low-calorie and low-carb alternatives packed with nutrients.
Next time you want to put rice aside and swap in something different, try one of the nutritious and diverse alternatives above.