There is a great range of rice, pasta, pulses and grains available.
From quinoa and buckwheat to spaghetti and lentils and everything in between, there are lots of options no matter what your tastes.
Often staples in our diets, rice, pasta, pulses and grains make great accompaniments to everyday meals which are popular throughout the world.
How to eat rice and pasta
Rice and pasta are notoriously high in carbohydrates and there has been a lot of debate around carbs in the weight loss world in the past few years, leaving some people choosing to limit their intake of carbohydrates.
As with lots of food groups, carbohydrates are a large and varied group and not all types of carbohydrates are the same.
Rather than choosing not to eat carbs at all, it is worth knowing that it is the type, quality and quantity of the carbs that we eat that is important.
So you might be pleased to know that you can still eat pasta and rice as part of a healthy diet!
Low calorie pasta and noodles
Despite being carb free, wheat free and fat free, these products do not compromise on taste, tasting just like the noodles and pasta you know and love – you won’t know the difference!
They are made using a key ingredient of konjac flour, which is a plant-based fibre rich in glucomannan.
What are complex carbohydrates?
Complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules strung together in complex long chains.
They pack in more nutrients than normal carbohydrates as well as being higher in fibre.
Because of this, they keep you feeling fuller for longer than regular carbs and help to support a healthy digestive system, reducing issues such as constipation and bloating.
Alternatives to rice and pasta
If rice and pasta just aren’t some of your favourites then there are plenty of substitutes for you to choose from.
Here are some of our favourites:
Cous cous makes for a neutral base for meals and is a great alternative to rice.
It is perfect for serving with curries, tagines as well as including in salads.
You can also add extra fruits, meats or vegetables to cous cous or just it eat it on its own, for a delicious, light lunch.
Red Split Lentils are great for bulking up dishes perfect for anyone with a big appetite!
Add lentils to soups and curries or as a meat replacement in any meal.
Organic quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a complete protein which includes all eight of the essential amino acids which our bodies need for some of their vital processes.
As well as this, quinoa is high in fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorous – all of this in such a tiny little package! Add quinoa to cereal, soup and salads.
Vegan friendly bulgur wheat is a perfect rice alternative and used a lot in Middle Eastern, North African and Eastern European cookery.
It can be used to stuff vegetables such as peppers and is great in salads, as well as useful for adding texture to soups. Bulgar wheat is a great source of protein - and high in fibre too.
What are grains and are they good for you?
Grains are small, hard seeds which are harvested for humans to eat.
They tend to make up the bulk of our diets and are sources of carbohydrates.
What’s the difference between whole grains and refined grains?
Whole grains have been through the minimum amount of processing and so they still contain the bran, germ and endosperm which are the three parts which make up a grain.
Refined grains, by contrast, are made up of just the endosperm.
Because of this, whole grains contain lots of vitamins and minerals including fibre, B vitamins, proteins, minerals and carbohydrates.
Refined grains still contain protein and carbohydrates but are missing a lot of the other vitamins and minerals.
Organic millet grain
Organic Millet Grain is a good example of a whole grain.
It is gluten free with a sweet, nutty flavour and can be used in cereal, soup and making wholegrain bread.