Trend Alert: The Rise of Riced Vegetables

FNK HEALTHY CAULIFLOWER RICE, Food Network Kitchen, Cauliflower, Olive Oil, Onion, Parsley, Lemon

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Remember when “rice” was a just a noun? Nowadays it’s become a verb and an adjective to describe one of the hottest veggie trends around. These tiny chopped pieces of vegetables have found their ways into all kinds of recipes, and can offer a hefty dose of nutrients.

Riced revolution

What started out as a new-fangled way to use cauliflower has evolved into so much more. Cauliflower “rice” came on the scene as a popular grain free alternative to rice. Riced cauliflower can be used as a standalone side dish or as the star ingredient in traditional recipes like fried rice and baked casseroles. 

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Healthy Sicilian Cauliflower Rice

Using a vegetable-based option in place of grains lowers the calories and carbohydrate counts but this swap isn’t completely a nutrition win. If you compare one cup of cooked rice to the same portion of cooked cauliflower, rice contains more fiber, protein and magnesium but less vitamins K and C.

As with many food trends, the “riced” craze has continued to advance. Instead of just cauliflower, ricing other veggies like sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots has begun to gain momentum. There is also more variety of flavored rice vegetables. Check ingredient lists as some are seasoned with flavorings that can up the sodium content.

Hot products

You can find fresh and frozen riced veggies of some sort at every grocery store. Trader Joe’s offers bags of fresh riced broccoli as well as both fresh and frozen riced cauliflower. Green Giant has a series of frozen riced products including blends of cauliflower and sweet potato and a medley of cauliflower, carrots, onions and peas. Boulder Canyon brand features a variety of plain and flavored items like Thai Curry Riced Carrot and Caramelized Onion Riced Sweet Potato.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Cauliflower Fried Rice

DIY and ways to enjoy

Making your own riced veggies is surprisingly simple. Trim, chop and pulse in a food processor then cook with a quick steam or sauté. Flavor with fresh herbs, spiced, nuts, other chopped veggies, or a sprinkle of cheese.

Cauliflower Fried Rice, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 12.

Photo by: Jason DeCrow ©© 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Jason DeCrow, © 2016, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Cauliflower Fried Rice, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 12.

Recipes to try:

Related Links:

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

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