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Substitutes for carbohydrates in your cooking

Christy Pogorelac is a marketing manager and freelance writer who likes to cover topics like entertaining, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle. Along with writing, her favorite past-times include date nights with her husband, jogging in the...

Simple carb substitutes

Cutting carbohydrates from your cooking can be an effective way to either lose or maintain weight. Though helpful in the weight-loss department, low-carb cooking does not offer many obvious options for variety in your meals. If boredom is beginning to consume your low-carb lifestyle, try these simple substitutions in some of your old favorite recipes.

Spaghetti Squash

1Experiment with squash

Low cal and low-carb, squash is an alternative to pasta and an encouragement to go ahead and make your favorite marinara. Try spaghetti squash in place of spaghetti, vermicelli or baked in a casserole. Zucchini and summer squash are also yummy stand-ins for noodles. Grated or sliced -- prepare them in a way that's closest to the noodle being replaced and enjoy. Mangia!

2Cut carbs with cauliflower

Replace rice with cauliflower for a carb-cutting solution. Simply shred it in the food processor and then cover and cook in the microwave until tender (no extra water needed). Or try serving pureed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. It does not have to be an all-or-nothing substitution. If you are not sure about making the switch completely, then try substituting a portion of your starchy staple with this versatile veggie.

3Try something different than dairy

An often overlooked way to cut carbohydrates in the kitchen is to replace milk with an unsweetened soy or almond milk product. If you are feeling really ambitious, you can make your own almond milk at home. All you need is a little time, the right ingredients, a blender and the recipe below.

Looking to boost your metabolism to lose weight? Registered dietician, Katherine Zeratsky, advises that the two true factors that can be adjusted for weight loss are calories and activity. Not only will changing your diet and lifestyle habits help you to manage your weight, but they may also improve your metabolism in the long run.

Pizza-Pie Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh spinach
  •  2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Favorite family pizza toppings

Instructions

  1. Steam squash and zucchini until tender.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan with marinara sauce.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine squash, zucchini, spinach, half of marinara sauce, Parmesan and ricotta.
  4. Spread squash mixture in pan. Spread remaining sauce over the squash.
  5. Add your favorite family toppings – turkey pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers are all delicious.
  6. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, and sprinkle mozzarella cheese over squash mixture. Bake for an additional 7 to 10 minutes.

Raw Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unroasted almonds
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 t. vanilla
  • 4-8 soaked dates or other sweetener to taste, such as honey, stevia or agave (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak almonds in cold water for 4 to 8 hours.
  2. Drain almonds and place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend at the highest speed until water is white and frothy.
  3. Strain blended almond milk – use the pulp for cereal or in a smoothie, if you'd like. There's no need to throw it away!
  4. Store milk in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Explore more creative low carb recipes

Low-carb lunch recipes under 400 calories
Three ingredient recipes from Low-Carb 1-2-3
Low-carb spring menu

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