Natural Balance Foods

Veggie Substitutes for Bad Carbs

healthy carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an essential part of our everyday diet and are a necessary source of energy for our bodies, but unfortunately there are others which aren’t quite so kind to the body! Why not squeeze some extra vegetables into your daily meals by using some tasty veggie substitutes for carbs such as white rice and processed bread.

Cauliflower rice

Whether you’re making a smoky three bean chili con carne, spicy eggplant and green lentil curry (see the recipe below!), or delicious mixed tabbouleh, ditch the starchy white rice for a healthy low-carb alternative! Low in fat and carbs, cauliflower is packed full of dietary fiber and vitamin C, making it one of the most versatile veggies around.

Simply pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor (or grate them) until they’ve been blitzed into light and fluffy grains. You can keep a slight crunchiness to it by leaving it raw, or soften it slightly by cooking it lightly on the stove in a little oil and added herbs.

Zoodles

Pasta is one of the greatest foods ever made; simple, economical and delicious. Using just a few well-paired ingredients like tomato, basil and garlic you can cook up some of the best tasting food you’ll ever find. However, if you are looking to avoid pasta or are intolerant to gluten, then zucchini is the veggie for you!

All you need to do is use a spiralizer lengthways to create thin ribbons until they appear like spaghetti. Throw into a pan with a little oil for around 5 minutes, season and serve!

Butternut squash fries

French fries – perhaps the potato’s most loved creation. Unfortunately it doesn’t matter whether they’re skinny and salted or cut into great thick wedges and dusted with paprika, French fries are very high in carbohydrates and often in fat too. The solution? Delicious homemade savory-sweet butternut squash fries.

Squeeze in another portion of vegetables into the day with this low-starch alternative (just 16g per cup). Slice the squash however thick or thin you like and dust down with seasoning such as rosemary and paprika. Give the slices a light spray of olive oil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or longer, depending on how chunky your fries are!

No carb wraps

When you have work or school commitments to stick to, eating something for lunch which is both healthy and convenient enough to fit into your hectic schedule can be a challenge. Luckily, sandwiches and wraps have generally solved this problem, allowing for a quick, delicious and nutritious (sometimes!) bite. If you’re cutting out starch in your diet then carb-less wraps are just what you need, allowing you to abandon the bread but still enjoy all your favorite fillings each and every day!

Grab a large leafy green such as cabbage, unsliced collard greens or a good sized lettuce and use the layers to wrap up your fillings inside. Not only do the greens add a tasty crunchy texture that bread can’t match, but it’s also another sneaky way to consume another portion of veg for the day! Why not try smashed avocado and chickpeas with carrot and cilantro, or even a black bean, tomato and walnut filling for extra protein punch. Our tip – if you’re struggling to keep shape of the wrap just pierce either end with a small wooden toothpick, it will hold till lunch no problem!

If you want some more tasty ideas why not check out our lovely lunches recipe section!