Want to eat healthier? Here are all the substitutes for white rice you can have to make your meals healthier and more nutritious.
White rice is a common part of many people’s diets. It may be part of your diet too.
After all, what’s not to love about white rice? It’s cheap, and you can use it in a ton of ways.
But, the thing about white rice is that it’s not good for you. For one, it is low in fiber, so you get hungry soon after eating it.
It is also high in carbs… a problem if you’re on a low carb diet.
Today, I’m sharing 10 healthier alternatives to white rice that are tasty and filling. So, dig right in!
Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse. That is because it is a complete protein; it contains all the essential amino acids you need to build muscle.
It is a great protein to have if you’re vegan, or simply trying to add more plant-based proteins to your diet.
It is a great source of protein, as well. One cup of boiled quinoa provides 16% of your daily protein needs.
Also, it’s an excellent source of fiber, providing 21% of your daily fiber needs. Fiber is not only essential for good digestion, but it also helps keep you full longer.
And when you’re full, you’re less likely to overeat. So, eating quinoa may help you lose weight too.
It is also an excellent source of magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, which you need for healthy bones.
You can add quinoa to salads and make breakfast porridge with it. You can even use it to make your own plant-based burgers.
If you’re looking to bulk up your stews and soups, quinoa is a great addition. You can find quinoa in the health food section of your local grocery store, or for extra convenience, you can find some here.
Love the fact that you can increase your protein intake with quinoa? Check out these healthy protein pantry recipes.
2. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a nice low carb alternative to white rice. And it is very nutritious.
That’s because it is made from cauliflower, which is packed with nutrients. For instance, one cup of raw cauliflower contains 77% of your vitamin C needs, which you need to fight colds.
Also, it’s a good source of vitamin K, which you need to help your blood clot. And since it contains only 25 calories, it is the perfect diet food.
Now, you can find pre-packaged cauliflower rice. However, by making cauliflower rice yourself, you will save tons of money, and also ensure that your cauliflower rice is fresh.
Making it is pretty easy. All you need to do is break your cauliflower into large pieces.
Then, place your cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it becomes rice-like. This food processor here will do the trick.
One of my favorite ways to cook cauliflower rice is to make it into fried rice. Here is a cauliflower fried rice dish that will remind you of Chinese takeout…without all the carbs.
3. Broccoli Rice
Broccoli rice is another great low carb alternative to white rice. One cup of broccoli rice contains only 1.36 grams of net carbs.
And at only 37 calories per cup, it is perfect for if you’re watching your calories. Since it’s made from broccoli, it is also very nutritious.
It provides more than 100% of your daily vitamin C needs and even has some calcium.
To make broccoli rice, break your broccoli into pieces. Then, pulse your broccoli pieces in a food processor until rice-like.
Broccoli rice goes great in stir-fries. And since it contains a good amount of fiber, you can use it to bulk up your soups and stews.
4. Shirataki Rice
Shirataki rice is another good low carb alternative to white rice. It is “rice” made from the root of the konjac plant, found in Asia.
And the good news is that 3 oz. serving contains zero calories. What’s more, it has only 1 gram of net carbs as well.
So, you can eat your cake and have it too. It also contains iron, which you need to keep your energy levels up.
You can cook it on the stove, or even a rice cooker. It goes well in stir-fries, soups, and stews. If you’d like to stock up on some Shirataki rice, you can find some here.
5. Rutabaga Rice
Looking for some more low-carb rice alternatives? Try rutabaga rice.
Rutabaga rice is “rice” made from Rutabaga. Rutabaga is a root vegetable that contains fewer carbs than potatoes.
In fact, one cup of raw rutabaga contains only 7.9 grams of net carbs. Now, that’s a steal compared to white rice.
And at only 50 calories, it is also perfect if you’re watching your calories.
Also, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C. As a bonus, it contains potassium, which helps lower your blood pressure, and manganese, which is good for healthy bones.
To make rutabaga rice, peel some rutabaga and spiralize it using a spiralizer. Now, because rutabaga is a pretty sturdy vegetable, you want to use a heavy-duty spiralizer like this one here.
Next, you want to place your rutabaga noodles in a food processor. Then, pulse them until they become rice-like.
Finally, add some broth to your rutabaga rice, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Here is a handy tutorial on how to make rutabaga rice.
6. Cabbage Rice
When you think of cabbage, you probably think of coleslaw. But, did you know that you can use it to make “rice”?
And since 1 cup of cabbage contains only 18 calories, it is another food you want to eat if you’re on a diet. It’s also bursting with vitamin C and vitamin K.
Besides being nutritious, cabbage contains many antioxidants that may lower inflammation.
To make it, cut your cabbage into small pieces. Then, pulse in a food processor, until it becomes rice-like.
Cabbage rice is great for stir-fries and stews. It has a mild flavor that also makes it great for use in Indian cuisine.
7. Butternut Squash Rice
Do you like things sweet? Then, be sure to try butternut squash rice.
Now, it has more carbs than some of the other veggies that you can use to make “rice”. But, it is pretty nutritious.
It is an excellent source of bone-building minerals like manganese and magnesium. It is also high in potassium, which helps lower your blood pressure.
To make Butternut Squash rice, simply cut your Butternut Squash into pieces. After, throw them in a food processor, and pulse until the texture is rice-like.
You can use your “rice” to make fried rice, as well as beautiful casseroles.
Do you need more fiber in your diet? Then, bulgur is a great option for you.
One cup of cooked bulgur provides a whopping 33% of your daily fiber needs. It is also an excellent source of manganese, which you need for healthy bones.
Cooking bulgur is easy. Just combine one part of bulgur with two parts of water and bring to a boil. Then reduce your heat and cook until tender.
Bulgur is great for salads, particularly tabbouleh. You can even use it to make porridge, and use it to make soups and stews. If you would like to give bulgur a try, you can find some here.
Do you love grains with a chewy texture and a nutty taste? Then, give barley a try.
One cup of cooked pearled barley provides 24% of your daily fiber needs. Like bulgur, it is also an excellent source of manganese. It is also a source of vitamin B3, selenium, and iron.
Eating barley may help reduce your blood sugar and insulin levels too. It is also a good prebiotic, as it helps feed good bacteria in your body.
It takes the same amount of time to cook pearled barley as you would white rice. To cook it, combine one part pearled barley with four parts water and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
You can use pearled barley in salads, soups, and stews, especially in a crockpot!
Already a big fan of barley? Then, you’ll probably love farro as well.
Just as barley, it has a chewy texture and nutty taste. But, its grains are bigger.
One cup of farro provides 48% of your daily fiber needs. It is also a good source of vitamin B3 and a good source of magnesium and zinc.
Farro is great for salads, soups, and stews. You can even use it in porridges.
You may be able to get farro at your grocery store. If not, you can get some here.
There are so many healthier alternatives to white rice. Whether you’re looking to add more protein or fiber to your diet, or whether you want lower-carb alternatives to rice, there’s a rice alternative for you.
So be adventurous this week, and try one of these healthier alternatives to white rice. You may be pleasantly surprised!