Alright, here’s a little secret. Don’t tell anyone, okay? Promise? Great, here it is:
Carbs are delicious.
I mean, so so so good. And throughout the last few decades we’ve gone back and forth on certain foods (Fat, butter, egg yolks – good! Dairy, fruit sugars, sweeteners – bad!) but it seems like most 21st century diets concern themselves with how to cut or limit certain carbohydrates out of every day meals.
Giving up bread, rice, and other grains can be tough – and everything in moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. But there are certain alternatives you can use to substitute some of your favorite carbs.
Shall we dig into them?
Cauliflower Rice > Rice
We live in a world where brown rice and quinoa is bountifully available to substitute for enriched, white rice. But let’s take this healthy habit one step further with a vegetable substitute: Cauliflower Rice!
Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower florets chopped up to resemble grains of rice – and now many grocery stores are selling pre-chopped cauliflower rice to save you the hassle of chopping it yourself (look out for them in refrigerated produce and specialty frozen aisles).
I like to also chop up red onion, shallot, or garlic (sometimes all three!) along with some sea salt and black pepper for flavor. But you can pretty much add any other fragrant veggie, herb, or spice to flavor up your cauliflower rice. Then, carry on with whatever stew, sauce, or protein you normally accompany your rice with and bam! You have a healthier meal.
2. Invest in a Spiralizer for Pasta Substitutes
It’s hard to overstate just how great pasta meals are, right? It’s an international staple and accounts for some of the best meals you’ll ever have. But sadly, pasta is loaded with starchy carbs that are just not very healthy – and let’s be real: The best part of most pasta dishes is the tomato and herb-rich sauces that are mostly healthy enough.
But there’s a solution!
With a spiralizer you can julienne some veggies to look like noodles, allowing yourself to eat a good textured and good flavored pasta-substitute with some great sauces.
I personally love spiralizing zucchini or sweet potatoes, then frying them in coconut oil with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Sometimes by mixing both, you get a great little mix of hearty green and sweet orange creating a nice taste.
Sometimes, sauces can have trouble clinging to some of these veggies – especially the zucchini. But just add a little arrowroot flour to thicken it, and it clings quite well!
And speaking of arrowroot flour…
3. Arrowroot flour can thicken your sauces and bread your proteins…
…in a healthy way!
Arrowroot is a starch extracted from several tropical roots (the most well known of which is tapioca) which boasts several health benefits and can be used to thicken sauce (as a cornstarch substitute) as well as bread your chicken, steak, shrimp, or fish (as a flour substitute).
So next time you get a hankering for healthier chicken nuggets or homemade teriyaki sauce (to accompany your cauliflower fried rice or zucchini noodles) – you have a little food hack for a guilt-free meal.