I LOVE curries! I mean love them with passion, I crave them. In fact there are very few things in life that satisfy my hunger as much as a really good curry. Thai curries, Indian curries, you name it. I love them all. Only problem is I don’t eat rice, or really any grains for that matter. And while I’m perfectly happy to enjoy my curry on it’s own, once in a while, a girl needs rice.
I remember a friend of mine a long time ago mentioning a restaurant offering a cauliflower “rice” option in their sushi instead of real rice. I have to confess I was a bit narrow minded with food back then and I was quite grossed out by the idea of cauliflower in my sushi. Why would you want freakin’ cauliflower to replace rice???
Ok so without giving you a massive lecture on why simple carbohydrates such as white rice aren’t good for you, or getting into the fascinating story of why grains in general aren’t that good for you either, I’ll just cut down to the chase and tell you this: cauliflower rice is the bomb! I honestly wasn’t really expecting to enjoy this but was more looking for something to serve my curry on. Loved it! Actually it’s better than rice, I’m not even kidding.
Just coming back to the whole nutrition aspect for a second I just want to drop a few words. First one concerning simple carbohydrates is the issue of Blood Sugar. Here’s a quick breakdown for you: Sugars, starches and fiber are all carbohydrates — one of the three macronutrients, along with fat and protein. Carbohydrates are defined as simple or complex based on the number of sugars in their chemical structure. Foods with only one or two sugars, such as fructose, the sugar in fruits and sucrose, which is table sugar, are simple carbohydrates. Carbs with three or more sugars are complex carbs and often have a higher nutrient profile than simple sugars. Starchy vegetables, legumes and whole grains are complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and have less impact on blood sugar, thus, doesn’t give you as much of an energy crash.
And as far as avoiding grains in general, here’s what you should know. And I want to clarify this because I think there is a common misconception with the Paleo Diet and the reason why it doesn’t include grains or legumes (and a limited amount of nuts). Most people seem to think it is to reduce your carbohydrate intake, which isn’t totally incorrect. But the true reason, in my opinion, why the Paleo Diet is grain & legume free (and should almost be nut-free according to this information), is because these foods contain a high level in phytate.
Phytic acid, also called phytate in its salt form, is another anti-nutrient. Phytic acid is the main phosphorus store of many plants, as well as an energy store, and it’s a source of cations and myoinositol (a cell wall precursor). Unfortunately, phytates aren’t digestible by non-ruminants (read: non-cud-chewers) because we lack the enzyme phytase to break them down.
Phytates actually bind to the magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron in your intestines and take them OUT of our bodies. We do not want that to happen. Some researchers believe that this alone is greatly contributing to the worldwide epidemic of iron-deficiency anemia. It could be part of the reason many people are deficient in magnesium as well, which can contribute to everything from muscle cramping to PMS. And zinc? Well, it’s just SUPER important to our immune systems and for our reproductive abilities, so we wouldn’t want to lose any of that. And the fact that phytates are chelating calcium out of our bodies means that we have less access to that bone-building and nerve-transmitting mineral we’re all so fond of.
My apologies I really hope I am not overdoing the nutritionist wannabe talk, I know some of you might not be interested in reading this, but I feel it is my duty to share information I find important. Your choice to do whatever you please with it.
Ok back to food. Cauliflower. Coconut flakes. Coconut milk. Lime juice & zest. Fresh cilantro. Bam! You got yourself the best rice substitute ever invented.