There is no shortage of substitutes when it comes to dieting: tofu burgers, zoodles, vegan cheese, etc. Culinary experts and diet companies have come up with endless resources for us to utilize when it comes to specific diets.
But if there is one thing that is incredibly difficult to part with when it comes to paleo, it has to be rice. Rice is cheap, delicious, and goes with most meals you will make. Who doesn’t love a rice bowl?
Unfortunately, every dietary lifestyle comes with a few drawbacks, and as lenient as paleo may be, it certainly has a few drawbacks that may prove difficult for fellow grain junkies.
Fortunately, we are at a place in the dietary world where there are plenty of alternatives we can comfortably rely on to get our fix of that sweet basmati rice. Here are seven truly incredible rice alternatives that are equally as delicious without upsetting the paleo gods.
1. Cauliflower Rice
That vegetable we all use to avoid as a kid has really made a fine showing of itself in the dieting community. Whether it be imitation cauliflower wings (which are better than they have any right to be) or cauliflower rice, this vegetable has proven itself to be vital for those of us looking to switch out the mahatma rice packages in our cabinets.
You can find this nutritious alternative in packages for as low as two dollars or simply grate them yourself till you have a reasonable enough amount for your meal!
2. Butternut Squash Rice
This is one that came very much as a surprise to me, but folks rave about it! By purchasing some butternut squash and peeling the outer layer you can make some pretty satisfying orange-colored rice. Simply grate the internal contents of your squash or use a food processor and dig in!
3. Rutabaga Rice
Brownie points to anyone who has used this veggie in another dish as it is a culinary mystery to most.
Rutabagas can be found in almost all produce sections you will find and look a bit like a larger turnip that got into a few scrapes. This guy has to go through a slightly different process to become more of a ricelike substance than the previous options.
First off, you will have to treat this root vegetable like an onion when trying to make it into rice. Cut the ends off and peel off the outer layer of skin. You will then have to turn this thing into a spaghetti noodle, which will require a vegetable spiralizer. When that process is completed, you will throw it in your trusty processor in portions until it is all a similar consistency to rice!
4. Broccoli Rice
This one is fairly common and incredibly easy to make. Much like the cauliflower rice, you really just need to make sure that you can fit the broccoli into the processor, so cut the florets into small enough pieces. Once that is done, you can pulse them a few times until they are the desired consistency.
Broccoli rice goes really well as a bed for meat like beef or chicken!
5. Konjac Rice
One of the most useful and diverse vegetables for those on the paleo diet, konjac is a root vegetable that you can also turn into a noodle. Konjac rice is available from the store premade, though finding the raw vegetable itself may prove difficult. If you want to lessen the hassle of making the rice yourself and are feeling a bit adventurous, this interesting spin on the traditional grain may be right up your alley!
6. Beet Rice
I’m about as surprised as you are but, yes, you can in fact make rice out of beets. You are going to have to chop up your beets into smaller pieces to ensure that they fit into your food processor. Once you have them comfortably inside, pulse until you have a beautiful platter of crimson-colored rice, and enjoy!
7. Sweet Potato Rice
Surprising as it may be, sweet potatoes are very much a paleo-friendly food that you can take advantage of. The nutritional benefits are endless and they are just starchy enough to match the consistency of your preferred rice of choice. The process is a familiar one: cut into pieces, process until grain-sized, and go to town.
Just because you can’t have rice doesn’t mean you can’t fool yourself into thinking you are having rice. You may actually find that you prefer a veggie alternative to the oft-times bland taste of most rice, anyway! So bust out that food processor and make yourself an imitation rice bowl that will satiate that pesky urge for grain.