We all love carbs. Whether it is in the form of a warm, toasted breadstick or a bowl of hearty spaghetti, carbs seem to rule the world. While carbs are delicious, no doubt about it, sometimes it can be good to step away and find some carb alternatives. Using carb alternatives, even just for one swap-out a week, can help with weight loss, maintaining levels of vital nutrients, and is a great way to expand your culinary palate. Check out there carb alternatives and you will be shocked at how delicious these choices are!
Spaghetti is a staple of many diets across the country, and even across the globe! It is easy to prepare, delicious, and can be the star of any number of dishes. However, in one cup of dry spaghetti, which is roughly the amount that the average American consumes in one sitting, there are 43 grams of carbs, or 14% of your daily value of carbohydrates. Should you go back for seconds… well… you may just hit your daily value in one sitting. One of the heralded carb alternatives for this as of late is spaghetti squash. It even shares a first name with our pasta-friend. In one cup of spaghetti squash, there are just seven grams of carbohydrates, or two percent of your daily value. Spaghetti squash is also easy to make, and can often be steamed right in the microwave. Add your favorite sauce and voila! You are well on your way to some smart carb alternatives.
Cauliflower probably was not one of your favorite veggies as a kid. We get it. However, when it comes to carb alternatives, cauliflower is one of the most versatile swaps you can make for a number of your favorite starchy snacks. One of the most popular ways to swap out some heavy-duty carbs and replace them with cauliflower is by substituting mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. One cup of mashed potatoes, prepared with butter and cream (which have no carbs) contains 35 grams of carbs, or 11% of your daily value. Whoa! However, mashed cauliflower gets to boast as one of the best carb alternatives at just five grams of carbs per one cup serving, which is less than three percent of your daily value. Other cauliflower carb alternatives include cauliflower breadsticks and cauliflower grits! Feel free to make your mashed cauliflower with butter and your choice of milk or cream because those contain no carbs!
A current trend in carb alternatives is a phenomenon known as “zoodles.” That’s right. Zoodles. As in, zucchini + noodles. Some of your favorite recipes, especially in Asian cuisine, often feature carb-dense noodles as the main “meat” of the dish. Using carb alternatives like zucchini in place of the noodles leads to a lower-carb, lower-calorie, and higher-nutrient dish! It is surprisingly easy to make zoodles. Simply cut the ends off a zucchini, then use a spiralizer or a peeler to gently peel the zucchini into curled noodles. It is recommended that you leave the zucchini skin on to give some firmness to the noodles. Then, simply steam the zoodles and add your favorite sauce and flavorings. A great, healthy member of our family of carb alternatives!
What are some of your favorite carb alternatives? Let us know in the comments!