Hey guys! I’m currently in the midst of packing before heading to Florence tomorrow for a good friend’s wedding. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Especially now that we have reached the age where our own friends are getting married, attending weddings have become so much more special. Before I enter the land of pizza, pasta & gelato, I wanted to discuss a food on the other end of the spectrum: rice cakes.
Especially during the low-fat, high-carb craze that plagued the 1980s & 1990s, rice cakes gained popularity as one of the ultimate diet foods. However if you look at the nutritional label, the only thing ‘diet-friendly’ about them is that they are extremely low in calories, about 30 calories per rice cake predominantly from carbs. They lack fat, vitamins, minerals and contain negligible amounts of protein, half a gram at the most. In terms of weight loss, rice cakes do nothing to nourish the body, reduce hunger or improve satiety when eaten alone. And let’s be honest, plain rice cakes taste
like styrofoam pretty bland on their own.
That all being said, I am personally a big fan of rice cakes and they’ve definitely become a staple in my pantry. While they might not be the most nutritious or satisfying food when eaten alone, rice cakes are the perfect vehicle for so many different toppings. What’s even better is that wholegrain variety of rice cakes are now available i.e. rice cakes made from brown rice- gotta love that extra fibre! As long as you add enough protein and/or healthy fat, rice cakes can actually make for a pretty filling, delicious & healthy snack or even a side for a meal. While I wouldn’t equate them to toast, they are certainly a nice alternative. Especially as an increasing number of people seem to be avoiding gluten, it’s a good thing rice cakes are naturally gluten-free! While the options truly are endless, here are some of my fave ways to eat rice cakes:
Rice cakes topped with…
- Mashed avocado, chili flakes, lemon juice & salt
- Almond butter & fruit preserves
- Protein spread i.e. Simply add a scoop of your fave protein powder to a bowl and add enough water to form a paste (about 2-3 tablespoons). Once ready, spread on rice cakes.
- Hummus, cucumber slices & hot sauce
- Peanut butter & banana slices
- Smoked salmon, hummus & freshly ground black pepper
And some are some other combinations which I don’t have a picture for:
Rice cakes topped with…
- Finely chopped tomatoes, basil & a drizzle of balsamic glaze
- Runny eggs
- Cream cheese & grated carrot
- Egg/tuna/chicken salad (<— click here for a yum Chicken Avocado Salad recipe)
- Salsa & turkey slices
Some people call rice cakes bland, but I think ‘versatile’ is a more fitting description ;)!
Are you a fan of rice cakes?
If so, what’s your favourite topping?
If not, what’s your favourite toast topping?