Rice is a filling staple in cuisines around the world. These tasty little grains complete a range of dishes, from stews and stroganoffs to stir-fries, curries, and poke bowls. You already know the carb count of traditional rice is too high to enjoy when you’re following a ketogenic diet. White rice is especially high in starch and causes your blood sugar levels to rapidly surge.
Brown rice is usually considered healthier, but it still isn’t a good choice for keto dieters, with around 46 grams of net carbs in one cup of cooked brown rice. If you’re one of the majority of keto dieters who can’t eat even half a cup of rice in a sitting without getting pushed out of ketosis, you’re probably looking for tasty alternatives to crush those rice cravings–and to accompany dishes usually served with rice. Let’s look at the best keto rice substitutes to keep you on the low-carb track and heading toward your goals.
1. Riced Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a health-promoting cruciferous veggie that can be transformed into keto pizza, rice, pasta, and other foods. With this versatile vegetable, the sky’s the limit, it seems! Cauliflower provides potassium, vitamins B6, C, and K, and folate. Research shows that unique plant compounds in cauliflower may be protective against heart disease and cancer.
You can buy frozen cauliflower rice at many grocery stores and even find it on local restaurant menus as the low-carb diet gains popularity. You can also make cauli rice in your keto kitchen by trimming the leaves, cutting the head into florets, and transferring the florets to a food processor or blender.
If you’re using one head of cauliflower, you’ll need to blend three batches and avoid overcrowding the blender. Use short pulses to obtain rice-like cauliflower grains, and take care to avoid pureeing the cauliflower. You may want to pat down your cauliflower rice to prevent excess moisture, which can make it soggy. From here you can cook your cauliflower rice or enjoy it raw and crunchy as a salad topping. Check out these keto recipes using cauli rice:
Shirataki or konjac rice (also found as noodles) are made of a type of fiber that comes from the root of the konjac plant, which grows in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. They’re often called ‘miracle’ noodles or rice because they contain zero calories and can be consumed on a low-carb diet. Manufacturers blend glucomannan flour with water and a minor amount of lime water before boiling and forming them into rice-like pieces or noodles. You can buy shirataki rice packets, rinse the rice, and warm them up with your favorite dish. Enjoy one of these keto dishes and add shirataki rice or noodles:
The satiating cabbage provides folate, potassium, vitamin K, and other nutrients. You can turn cabbage into rice-like pieces in your food processor or by using a cheese grater. Cook your cabbage rice as you’d cook the vegetable by stir frying with oil in a skillet with your favorite seasonings. Riced cabbage makes an excellent addition to this beef stroganoff or this savory mushroom stew.
You might be surprised to discover that the keto-favorite zucchini is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Zucchini is very low in carbs and rich in manganese and vitamins A, B6, and C. Chop your zucchini noodles into rice to bulk up your meals or grate whole zucchini. Next, you’ll need to pat down your grated or finely chopped zucchini and drain off excess liquid. Zucchini is softer and more watery than other keto rice substitutes, so you’ll want to drain or gently press off excess water and avoid overcooking this delicate fruit. Pair the rice with a keto-approved meal like this chicken, mushroom, and artichoke casserole or Thai beef stir fry.
Other Keto Rice Substitutes
The world of keto rice substitutes is bigger than you think. Check out these other options:
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.
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