Love pizzas, burgers, fries, and pasta but feel guilty thinking about a number of carbs they pack? You can quite easily replace the parts of these foods that are high in carbs with amazingly yummy yet healthy alternatives.
If you’re looking to eliminate carb-heavy foods from your diet, here is a list of some of the ingredients of your favorite foods you should probably be avoiding.
- Most vegetarian appetizers made of potato are extremely carb heavy – potato has about 30 g of carbs.
- The white bread you’re using in your sandwiches is loaded with carbs too. 100 g of white bread contains about 49 g of carbs!
- A hamburger bun has carbs equivalent to the carbs in 2 slices of bread – each bun in a single patty hamburger has about 34 g of carbs.
- The crust of your pizza is basically flatbread and hence high in carbs. A 14-inch regular crust pizza contains 100 g of carbs.
- 100 g of pasta contains about 25 g of carbs.
If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake when you eat these foods, try some of these amazing veggie alternatives!
14 Tasty Vegetable Alternatives For Carb-Heavy Foods
Replacing the infamous potato, which is rich in carbs, with another vegetable is indeed a real challenge. Well, worry no more. Here are some ways you can make potato sides with other vegetables and hence fewer carbs.
1. Seasoned Radish Chips
While potato chips are a hot favorite, they’re loaded with carbs. You can easily make yummy chips with radishes and gorge on them while not having to worry about your carb intake. To make radish chips, slice a bunch of baby radishes thinly (as thin as you’d want your chips to be). Put these slices in a bowl, and coat them evenly with a little olive oil and toss gently. Lay them on a baking parchment-lined tray, and sprinkle salt and sweet paprika. Bake in an oven for about 10 minutes at 175 degrees C; reduce the temperature to 100 degrees C and bake till the chips become crisp. Cool and enjoy the chips!
2. Broccoli Tots
If you love tater tots and eat them way too often, you might want to try this healthier but just-as-yummy alternative. These are better than the ones made of potatoes because they’re baked. Blanch 2 cups of broccoli in boiling water for a few seconds. Then, dice them into tiny pieces and combine with egg, cheddar cheese, and diced onion. Add a mixture of Italian and panko bread crumbs as well. You could also choose to add just one of the two but a mix of both will give your tots a good texture and taste. Press the mixture into tiny balls, shape into tots, and bake at 200 degrees C until golden brown.
3. Paprika Parsnip Fries
Fries but without potato? If this sounds a little bizarre, you’re in for a pleasant surprise because you can now cut down on your carb intake and still be able to eat yummy fries. To make them, peel jumbo parsnips, cut off the ends, and slice them like fries. Then, roast them with coconut oil and paprika on a pan till they are crispy. Blend cashews, lemons, salt, and almond milk in a blender until creamy. This gives you an amazing sauce to pair with your fries.
4. Cauliflower Mash
If you’re wondering what this is, it’s simply cauliflower mashed up – an alternative to mashed potatoes but lower on carbs. Cut up a big cauliflower into smaller florets. Cook the florets in salt water till they’re tender. Then, drain them thoroughly to avoid the mash from getting watery and spread on a paper-lined baking sheet. Puree the florets in a food processor with ricotta, butter, and roasted garlic. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
We all love bread without a doubt. But if there’s an option to swap it with a healthier alternative, we’d surely pick it. Here are some simple ways you can turn veggies into bread and avoid carb heavy bread foods.
5. Carrot, Cauliflower, And Beet Bread
The best part about this recipe is that it not only has great texture and taste but is also easy to make. It’s also low in carbs. You can use it for sandwiches, mini pizzas, or even pita-like chips. Cut the beets, carrots, cauliflower into chunks; then, run them in a food processor till they get a crumbly texture. Transfer this mixture to a bowl; add flour and stir till everything combines well. Then, add eggs and whisk and mix the vegetable mix until you have a wet dough. Bake this dough in an oven at 200 degrees C in the form of even, rectangular flatbreads and your healthy bread is ready to eat.
6. Broccoli Flatbread
This flatbread not only lowers your carb intake but is also gluten free and rich in fiber. It’s also fairly simple to make. Mix 1 head of broccoli with 4 eggs, salt, turmeric, pepper, and 1 cup of a nut or seed meal (almond meal, sunflower meal) in a bowl thoroughly. Press the mixture in the form of a triangle on a baking paper lined tray and bake for 30 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees C, cool completely, and remove the baking paper to get great tasting, healthy flatbread.
Here are some great veggie alternatives to carb heavy buns.
7. Sweet Potato Noodle Bun
If you love sandwiches and are looking for an alternative low on carbs, you should absolutely try this sweet potato noodle bun. It works great for all kinds of sandwiches and burgers, and here’s the best part – it’s also gluten-free and yummy! Use a spiralizer to make thin strands of a peeled sweet potato, and fry these strands in olive oil till they become soft. Cool thoroughly, and add them to a bowl of whisked egg. Also, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour this mixture into small serving bowls; press the contents, cover the bowls, and refrigerate for a while. Then, remove the covering and fry again till they are golden brown and ready to serve.
8. Cauliflower Crust Bun
While a regular bun is loaded with carbs, there are veggie alternatives that are just as tasty and worth trying. One such alternative is the cauliflower crust bun, To make it, run about 3 cups of cauliflower in a food processor till they are evenly chopped. Then, microwave the cauliflower till it is cooked; dry it thoroughly by placing it in a kitchen towel so that you don’t end up with a mushy dough. Add an egg, mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper to the dough and mix well. Spread this on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 220 degrees C till it’s golden. Cool, carefully peel the parchment paper, and enjoy!
If you want to replace your carb heavy pizza bases with healthier alternatives, look no further. Here are some alternatives made of vegetables.
9. Beetroot Pizza Base
If you’re vegan and sick of missing out on pizza, try this amazing veggie version. From base to toppings, everything in here is mostly veggies! The best part is that you can eat it at any time of the day. Cut the beetroot into chunks, and run it in a food processor to get crumbs. Then, add ingredients like chia seeds, chickpea flour, millet, and water instead of the usual ingredients you might use and run them in the food processor with the beetroot to get a wet mixture. You can use this mixture as your pizza base, and bake it in an oven once you’ve added the rest of the ingredients.
10. Cauliflower Crust Pizza Base
Another great alternative for a pizza base rich in carbs is making one with a cauliflower crust. To do this, chop the cauliflower roughly into florets and run it in a food processor till it gets a rice-like consistency. Then, dry it thoroughly using a kitchen towel. Add goat cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, and a pinch of salt, and mix until all the ingredients combine thoroughly. Put the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and heat in the over at 200 degrees C till it is golden yellow. Your cauliflower crust pizza base is ready.
While we all love grains and pasta, them being loaded with carbs may keep us from eating them too often. If you’re looking to switch to alternatives with fewer carbs, here are some variations that use veggies instead of grains.
11. Cauliflower Risotto
This alternative to the regular risotto is low in carbs and can be made much faster. Grate or chop 1 large head of cauliflower, and add it to a pan with olive oil, sautéd mushroom, diced onions, and minced garlic. Cook for 1–2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with white wine, and stir till the wine evaporates. Then, add vegetables of your choice such as asparagus, zucchini, and peas. Add the broth and milk, stirring till the liquid evaporates while allowing the vegetables to cook. Keep cooking till the cauliflower is tender. Add cheese, salt, and black pepper and garnish as desired.
12. Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi
Spaghetti squash works really well as a substitute for pasta that is devoid of carbs. It’s also much easier to make than regular pasta. Slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half. Remove the seeds and microwave it in a dish with water till it becomes tender. Separate the strings with a fork and transfer the squash to a bowl. Then, melt some butter, garlic, and pepper flakes in a pan. Add some white wine and cook the shrimp in it when it bubbles. Also, add vegetables like cherry tomatoes and lemon juice for flavor. Season and serve.
13. Sesame-Ginger Carrot Noodle Stir-Fry
This is a gluten-free vegan option. You can use a spiralizer to make noodles from carrots. You could also cut thin long strips with a knife. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a large frying pan, and add the carrot noodles to it with some bok choi and toss. Let the noodles cook for about 2 minutes till they soften. You can then add ginger sesame sauce and fried tofu to this. Garnish and serve.
14. Sausage And Eggplant Lasagna
This lasagna while cutting down on carbs manages to make you forget about the usual lasagna because of the abundant cheese in it. Slice eggplants lengthwise into 1 cm strips, and place them in a single layer on oven trays. Then, drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle salt, and toss to gently coat the eggplants. Roast them in an oven for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees C till the eggplants are tender or golden. Then, prepare a lasagna the way you normally would with other ingredients like sausage and cheese while using the eggplants.
Try these amazing recipes and enjoy the foods you normally would but only this time with ingredients low on carbs and just as tasty.