4 substitutes for white rice

White rice has got a lot of bad press of late. Weight watchers are skipping it and it is disappearin

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4 substitutes for white rice

White rice has got a lot of bad press of late. Weight watchers are skipping it and it is disappearing from the plates of the health conscious. While this crop has fed populations the world over like no other, it has been under the scanner for not being a great source of nutrition. Being just a simple carb, rice doesn’t do much except make you feel stuffed and lazy after a meal. If you need to follow a low carb diet or are just bored of rice, then here are some tasty and much healthier alternatives to white rice that taste great in an Indian meal that you ought to try! 

Half the calories, double the nutrition

Couscous is universally accepted as a type of pasta that resembles small granules of semolina flour. As opposed to rice it contains lots of potassium and low glycemic index which helps in regulating blood pressure and controlling fluid balance in the body (contributes to maintaining a steady heartbeat). Besides iron, magnesium and Vitamin B, couscous has fibre which ensures your digestive system functions smoothly. Whole grain couscous gives you half the calories and double the protein per cup as compared to white rice. We don’t know why anyone would hesitate before making a switch. 

Couscous cooks just like rice, only much faster and has a brilliant nutty flavour too. Try this recipe for couscous with beetroot – bright red in colour, loaded with nutrition and a perfect side to just about anything!

Gluten free and rich in proteins

Quinoa unlike rice provides you with plenty of amino acids and proteins, which aids in muscle building and sustaining energy after a workout – perfect for today’s health freaks. 1 cup of quinoa contains approximately 8 – 10 grams of protein. Also a great option if you are planning to shed some pounds, because the body burns much more calories digesting proteins than carbs, which rice is full off. What’s more it vegan and gluten free too!

Along with the earthy taste, quinoa manages to retain some of its crunch after being cooked – so you get plenty of flavour and texture with just the basic recipe. Try this recipe for dahi quinoa, after which you will never eat curd rice again!

More fiber, more iron

Bulgur most of us know as the fluffy grain that makes tabbouleh the fabulous refreshing salad that it is. Bulgur really is a processed form of whole wheat which when compared to white rice gives much more fibre and iron while keeping the calories and fat minimal. The iron content in bulgur helps greatly in proper circulation of blood in the body and is also essential for healthy skin, proper muscle function and immunity.
With the cooking time reduced to half, you sure will enjoy a bulgur pilaf as much as you would a rice biryani.

Vegetable grains!

Cauliflower rice! Neither a grain nor a seed, this substitute for rice in the form of a fresh vegetable is nothing short of a blessing. Besides being a good source of source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, , magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese (whew!) cauliflower is a also gluten free and paleo friendly substitute for white rice. Studies have shown that eating cauliflower on a regular basis helps fight cancer, boost brain health and memory. The antioxidants present in it help detoxify the body of harmful toxins.

All you need to do it grate and steam it and then toss it up along with your favourite herb or eat it just like that with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. You will be surprised at how much it resembles rice in taste and texture. 

There really isn’t any problem in eating rice, but why stick to it when there are so many healthier tastier options available. Try out some of these options and find out what works best for you. Check out recipes and brilliant ideas on

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