Creative chefs around the country are using these marvelous vegetables to replace rice, pasta and more, with NRN calling them “veggie doppelgangers for grainy rice and carbo-loaded pasta.” Benefits of this culinary approach that are named in the NRN article include:
the “obvious health benefits,” ones that don’t require diners to make a sacrifice with flavor
“the shape of the smaller zucchini forms the most perfect ribbon noodles”
zucchini noodle dishes are a “runaway hit”
the “creative aspect of it all”
riced cauliflower “became an instant hit”
At one restaurant, the article shares, about 40 percent of poke bowls are already being ordered with their “veggie ‘carb’ base instead of rice.” And, the article ends with another quote, one sharing how guests at yet another restaurant “love the fresh taste and textures of vegetables more now than ever.”
“And,” Farmer Lee adds, “here’s the beauty of it all. I’m convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that our chefs already have even more creative ideas in mind for unique vegetable-focused dishes that reduce or eliminate traditional carbs. My mouth is already watering!”
Carb Substitution Trending
In a December 2017 report by the National Restaurant Association, the use of vegetables as alternatives for pasta or rice is listed as the seventh hottest trend. This carb substitution strategy just makes good sense, the article reports, allowing diners to benefit from a health and wellness standpoint without having to have their options limited. The Kerry Health and Nutrition Institute also lists replacing traditional, grain-based carbs with veggie carbs as a key healthy food trend.
Not surprisingly, other 2018 food trends being listed in multiple industry reports include more veggies on the plate, up to and including diets that are exclusively plant-based. And, clearly, using vegetables in place of grain-based carbs helps to boost the percentage of veggies on your diners’ plates.
Also related is Insider.com’s 2018 food trend that focuses on unique spins on veggie uses.
“I’d be remiss,” Farmer Lee adds, “if I didn’t share how our incredible team at the Culinary Vegetable Institute and the CVI’s creative guest chefs have been contributing to these trends for years, being way ahead of the curve.”
Vegetable Carb Count
Traditional carbs, such as regular noodles and pasta, are high in carbohydrates, with a single cup having 45 grams. Compare that to noodles made from spaghetti squash, which only has 10 grams. Saving the 35 grams per cup is wonderful all by itself, but your diners will also benefit from 2.2 grams of fiber, too.
Fresh Vegetable Carbs to Consider
Here are just a few fall crops that you can transform into rice, noodles and more, ones we think will make your diners forget all about traditional grain-based carbs. We’re including variations on cauliflower and squash, as well as a couple of amazing beets to mull over. Beets, after all, were named the 2018 Vegetable of the Year by the National Garden Bureau.
When you experiment with using veggie carbs in place of traditional ones, we’d love to hear about it. Send pictures!
It wasn’t until the Jones family began growing cauliflower in varying colors that young Farmer Lee began to appreciate this vegetable and become excited about its flavor, appearance and resiliency. Today, Farmer Lee compares this brilliant vegetable, mulberry cauliflower, to one that’s been dipped in a beautiful vat of lilac, and so you know how excited he is about this variety. Splashed with vinegar, its startling hue becomes even brighter, punching up every plate it graces, and the color changes dramatically when pickled or cooked.
Butternut Squash 898
This fall squash packs a powerful one-two-three punch with its sweetness, nutty flavor and tender-juicy flesh. Plus, this farm-fresh squash is also bursting with healthful beta-carotene.
Badger Flame Beets
The insides of these beets are absolutely stunning, red, orange and yellow, ideal for making gorgeous ribbons. Flavor is sweet, mild and delicious. We’d like to nominate the Badger Flame Beet as the 2018 Best Variety of the Year’s Best Vegetable!
Candy Striped Beets
The natural earthy-sweetness of these beets will please the palate, while the bright colors will add eye-catching beauty to your plates. (Are we allowed to also name candy striped betters as the 2018 Best Variety of the Year’s Best Vegetable?)
Also in the news: using slices of sweet potato as a delicious and nutritious form of toast!
We invite you to contact your product specialist today.