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Rice cakes have been a pantry staple for years. Their airy crunch makes them the perfect light weight base for both sweet and savory snacks. However, traditional white rice cakes are packed with carbs. This can make enjoying these crispy treats tricky when limiting carbs.
Luckily, food manufacturers have brainstormed clever ways to re-create the magic of rice cakes with a fraction of the carbs. Introducing low carb rice cakes – the crunchy, flavorful snack you’ve been craving that seamlessly fits into carb-conscious lifestyles.
In this article, we’ll explore the genius behind low carb rice cakes. You’ll uncover their smart ingredients, stellar nutritional profile, and endless topping ideas to satisfy all your cravings.
Low-Carb Ingredients That Mimic Rice
The key to keeping rice cakes low carb? Ditching starchy white rice and using vegetable-based alternatives that mimic both the fluffiness and bite of rice.
Popular ingredients in low carb rice cakes include:
Cauliflower Rice – By grating cauliflower florets into tiny crumbles, you get a rice substitute that’s low carb and high in nutrients. Cauliflower rice adds bulk and satisfaction minus the carbs.
Broccoli Rice – Broccoli stems and florets can be “riced” too for an extra boost of vitamin C and fiber.
Nut Flours – A small amount of almond or coconut flour helps bind the veggies and provides an extra protein punch.
Alternative Grains – Some low carb rice cakes incorporate alternative grains like oats, quinoa, or amaranth for added texture and nutrients while keeping carb counts low.
Comparing Nutrition Stats
Traditional white rice cakes offer little beyond empty carbs and calories. But by using vegetables, alternative grains, and nut flours, low carb rice cakes deliver a powerful nutrient profile.
Here’s how the nutrition typically compares in one rice cake:
White Rice Cake
- 36 grams carbs
- 80 calories
- 0.5 grams fiber
- 0 grams protein
Low Carb Rice Cake
- 5 grams net carbs
- 35 calories
- 2 grams fiber
- 2 grams protein
Plus, low carb rice cakes serve up a hearty helping of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in cauliflower and other veggie ingredients. It’s a win-win snack swap!
Perks of Low-Carb Rice Cakes
Trying carb rice cakes offers several benefits:
Blood Sugar Control – Skipping starchy white rice avoids unhealthy blood sugar spikes. The high fiber keeps you full and steady.
Weight Management – The lighter carb load and higher protein are more satisfying, so you eat less overall.
Nutrient Density – Packers with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to nutritionally-void white rice cakes.
Keto/Low Carb Diet Friendly – Easily fits into carb-limiting lifestyles like Keto. Watch portions to keep net carbs low.
Gluten Free – Most brands are gluten-free, opening up the crunch to more lifestyles. Always check labels.
Endless Topping Options – From sweet to savory and everything in between, customize these crisp canvases to suit your cravings.
Creative Ways To Fill Your Low-Carb Rice Cake
Low carb rice cakes’ light taste makes them the perfect palette for whatever flavors you crave. Take your pick from these delicious ideas:
Sweet Fruit Fillings
Berries + yogurt
Banana slices + almond butter
Diced peaches + ricotta cheese
Apples + cinnamon
Turkey + pesto
Smoked salmon + whipped cream cheese
Tomatoes + mozzarella + basil
Hummus + cucumbers + red onion
Carrots + red pepper + goddess dressing
Sweet and Savory
Peanut butter + strawberries
Cream cheese + cucumbers + crushed walnuts
Ricotta + fig jam + prosciutto
The ideas are endless! Use your imagination, rifling through your fridge and pantry for inspired low-carb rice cake possibilities.
Low-Carb Rice Cake Sandwiches
Sturdy enough to stand in for bread, low-carb rice cakes allow you to enjoy open-faced sandwiches while avoiding excess carbs. Some delicious ideas:
Smoked Salmon BLT – Loaded with crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a schmear of tangy cream cheese.
Caprese Sandwich – Fresh mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil leaves drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Curry Chicken Salad – Chicken salad seasoned with curry powder, raisins and cashews.
Egg Salad Sandwich – Hard-boiled eggs blended with mustard, mayo, and chopped celery.
With two rice cakes, you can even make closed sandwiches. Use them for low-carb lunch inspiration!
Are Low Carb Rice Cakes Keto Friendly?
Those adhering to a strict keto diet will be happy to know that low-carb rice cakes can fit into the plan. Most versions contain 5-8 grams of net carbs per cake.
Pair a cake or two with protein like deli meat and cheese slices to help slow digestion. Topping with plenty of fiber-rich veggies also helps counteract the carbs.
Just be mindful of portions. Too many rice cakes at once can exceed daily carb limits. Enjoy in moderation alongside other low-carb foods.
Tips For Storing Low-Carb Rice Cakes
To keep low-carb rice cakes at peak freshness:
- Store unopened packages in a cool, dry spot. Avoid humidity.
- Once open, keep rice cakes in an airtight bag or container. Air exposure can make them lose their signature crunch.
- Enjoy within 2-3 days for maximum crispness. They can become limp and soggy if left open too long.
- To revive slightly soggy cakes, bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 minutes to crisp them up.
With proper storage, you can stock up on low-carb rice cakes, keeping the crunchy snacks at the ready when cravings strike.
Where To Buy Low-Carb Rice Cakes
Several brands offer premade low-carb rice cakes in grocery stores and online:
Caulipower – Cauliflower cakes in original and cheddar flavors.
Right Rice – Vegan-friendly cakes with cauliflower, lentils, and chickpeas.
Quaker – Cheesy cauliflower rice cakes and medleys with veggies.
Trader Joe’s – Sea salt and sesame rice cakes made with cauliflower.
You can find these rice cake brands in the snack aisle or gluten-free sections of stores like Target, Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, and more. Prices range from $3-5 per bag.
Make Your Own Low-Carb Rice Cakes
Looking to DIY? This easy homemade recipe lets you whip up cauliflower rice cakes with simple ingredients:
- 3 cups cauliflower rice
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients until fully combined.
- Scoop the batter into rounds on the baking sheet. Slightly flatten.
- Bake 20-25 minutes until set. Cool before eating.
This versatile base recipe can be tweaked with herbs, spices, and veggie add-ins. Make a batch on Sunday to grab for snacking all week long.
The Verdict: Are Low Carb Rice Cakes Healthy?
Swapping starchy white rice cakes for innovative vegetable-based rice cakes allows you to enjoy the crispy crunch you love with a fraction of the carbs. Thanks to fiber-rich cauliflower, protein-packed nut flours, and the addition of other nutrient-dense ingredients, low-carb rice cakes are a nutritional upgrade.
However, as with any food, moderation and balance is key. While low-carb rice cakes can be part of eating healthy, overdoing any single food is unwise. Enjoy as part of a varied diet with plenty of veggies, fruits, protein, and healthy fats.
Satisfy Cravings the Low-Carb Way
You’re in luck if you love the delicious crunch of rice cakes but need to cut carbs. Today’s low-carb rice cakes offer guilt-free snacking for carb-conscious lifestyles. Made smartly with cauliflower, nut flours, and alternative grains, they pack satisfying texture with a fraction of the carbs and a hearty dose of nutrients.
Topped sweetly with fruit spreads or piled high with savory proteins, the possibilities are endless. You can even craft craveable low-carb sandwiches. Stored properly, these crispy snacks are perfect for dipping into any time.
So next time a rice cake craving strikes, reach for a low-carb version. With a bit of creative genius, you truly can have your cake and eat it too – minus the carb overload!