What do banana leaf rice, wonton noodles and pizza have in common? Copious amounts of comatose-inducing carbs, of course! And although they’re lovely treats to have once in a while, we all know that too much of a good thing just isn’t good!
Carbohydrates are a known source of energy to fuel our brains and bodies. What we need to pay attention to is the type and amount of carbs we consume. Head over here to get the lowdown on simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. While we do not advocate eliminating carbohydrates from your diet entirely as we don’t want you feeling lethargic, light-headed or nauseous, we’d suggest that you consider the amount of carbohydrates you dig into since having too much carbs with little physical activity will only pile on the pounds. If you realise that your activity level is disproportionate to the carbs you’re having or would like to trim your waistline, why not opt for these delightful ‘carb-stitutes’ below to satisfy your carb cravings.
Caulis have become a fast-growing favourite for those hankering a carb-laden big bowl of rice or mashed potatoes. Boil them or throw them into your food processor and you’ll see that they take on the consistency of rice or potatoes. Jazz them up with lemon juice, curry, chilies, garlic, chives or pepper. Voila! Guilt-free comfort food!
2. Spiralized zucchini
Move over, noodles – spiralized zucchini or zoodles is marching in. No surprise then that spiralizers are becoming a must-have in the scullery of healthy foodies. Spiralizing and serving a plate of beautiful vege-ribbons are not only healthier options compared to their wheat-heavy counterparts, they’re also nutritiously appealing when vege or meat weave their way in.
3. Portobello mushrooms
Which kid doesn’t love pizza and hamburgers? The kid in us sometimes does, too! You’ve gotta try this to believe it. Use Portobello mushrooms and drizzle the mushroom caps with olive oil and load up on your favourite toppings, be it veggies, seafood, meat or cheese and put them into the oven to bake. They’ll be bursting with sumptuous flavours in no time!
4. Baked carrot/pumpkin strips
This one is for when the cravings for French fries gnaw at you. Instead of reaching out for those salty and greasy potato strips, why not bake carrot or pumpkin? Sprinkle them with cinnamon, pepper or crushed chilies for an extra kick!
Shrimp and avocado bruschettas undoubtedly make lovely canapes. How about impressing your guests with eggplant-bruschettas? Bake them for crusty edges and lather your desired spread for a healthier version of the Italian classic. You could also make yourself an eggplant pizza!
Maple or chocolate syrup or honey drizzling down a stack of thick, fluffy pancakes – mouth-watering. Before you know it, two or three of those round, flat cakes of batter would’ve made their way into your digestive tract, leaving you stuffed and soon experiencing a sugar-crash. You don’t have to sacrifice your weekend family brunch, just pick up flax meal from the store, whisk in some eggs, cheese (try ricotta or cottage), baking powder and if you like, cinnamon. Breakfast is served!
7. Lettuce wraps
Wraps are easy-to-make, healthy and fun to eat! If you’re looking to go easy on carbs, you’re in for a treat! Skip tortillas, lettuce wraps are tasty, crunchy and draw out the flavour of your filling – how good is that? For a zesty twist, smother some guacamole, salsa or yoghurt.
There you have it, seven scrumptious ways you can enjoy the ‘carb-factor’ without sacrificing taste, flavour or zing!