Everyone should eat some starchy foods every day as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Although your usual favourite carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, noodles and potatoes are very popular, they’re not the only options. You could try grains like couscous, quinoa and barley to introduce a new flavour to your favourite dishes.
Barley and quinoa are both low-GI foods, and quinoa is also a source of protein and fibre, and works particularly well in salads.
The sweeter taste and creamy texture of sweet potatoes can make an interesting change from potatoes – they’re particularly delicious baked.
Or, you might want to try a new variation on rice. There are lots you could try, including brown rice, sticky rice, wild rice and fragrant rice, which are very popular in a range of dishes from around the world.
Alternatives to carbs
Instead of sticking to pasta and rice, try these recipes for vegetable alternatives to rice and pasta, which will help you to cut down on your carbohydrate portion sizes – if you need to – as well as adding to your five a day:
- Take one head of fresh cauliflower (or however much you want) and break it into florets.
- Using a cheese grater, shred it until it looks like normal rice. If you have a food processor, you can use the plain steel or shredder blade to save time.
- Either microwave it in a covered dish (you don’t need to add water), steam it, or fry it in a little oil or low-calorie spray.
- Chop off the top and bottom of the courgette and, using a vegetable peeler, cut strips off the whole of the length. (For nice, thick slices, press the peeler down harder than you would when normally peeling fruit and veg.)
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil and then drop in the strips.
- Cook for up to 1 minute, then drain well.
- Season with pepper, if you wish.
You could also try using slices of marrow in place of some of the pasta sheets when making lasagne.