Questions I get asked a lot —>
Is white rice Paleo? Shouldn’t I eat brown rice instead? Shouldn’t I avoid carbs at night? Isn’t white rice high on the Glycemic Index?
And truth is…. IT DEPENDS. It depends on the person, their gut health, their activity levels, and the way they prepare grains. Yep, it depends.
In all honesty, I prefer to eat my carbs in the form of plantains, potato, or squash. But you see, I’m married to man who runs his but off for a living. And who already started training for an 2015 Ironman. Which means it’s bulking season at our house. No, not the muscle kind. The BULK cooking kind. And rice is EASY to make in batches and use in SO MANY WAYS!
Let’s talk about why rice is nice (for recovery), shall we?
Rice is calorically dense so you can replace calories without having to scarf down a bunch of food, especially if you don’t feel like eating much after a workout. White rice has a high glycemic index which helps to get those calories in fast and restore glycogen. Most endurance athletes need to consume food with high Glycemic Index (GI) to restore glycogen level FAST and white rice increases blood sugar level which then increases the GI.
Hence why I make RICE BOWLS for post swim breakfast. It’s best to soak your rice before cooking.
Soaking allows the nutrients in grains to become more digestible and more easily absorbed. Similar process to that of beans and lentils it, soaking for hours or overnight breaks down the enzymes from the grain that inhibits absorption.
This one has white rice, dried fruit, seeds, berries, kefir yogurt, and coconut butter (sweet spreads cinnamon roll flavor)
I also soak rice in coconut milk or other cultured products-such as kefir, and buttermilk– they provide the beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli, which can actually help pre-digest the grain for you
Now you know why I love coconut rice bowls too!
Speaking of bacteria… cold rice is also resistant starch. Which means it can help feed your good bacteria in your gut. Rice Cakes are ideal for snacking in between workouts or to use when you have a heavy week of training. Keeps you fueled and can potentially boostsyour immunity while doing so! That’s if you practice good recovery in ALL areas (not just food). Great to feed kids who are busy playing sports as well!
My favorite rice cake recipes are the mango vanilla rice cakes, bacon rice cakes (for savory craving), and Cherry Vanilla.
- One 7oz bag of dried mango (can also use Apricots or fig)
- 4–5 cups of white rice (preferably sticky rice)
- 2 scoops (about 60 grams) protein Powder
- honey or maple syrup (this can be however much or little you want here)
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- butter or coconut to mix into rice after cooking
- Optional – shredded coconut for topping or filling.
- First, rinse your rice and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then cook according to directions in a large pot or rice cooker.
- Note: Rice cooker works better for stickiness.
- Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl and mix in a few tablespoons of coconut butter or butter and your protein powder. Then add in a fair amount of honey. I think I mixed in at least 1/4 cup. Once that’s done, set aside and let it get sticky.
- While your rice is sitting, blend your filling, the mango, almonds, and optional coconut. Set aside.
- Next, place foil in a 9×3 casserole dish. Spread half your rice on the dish and press down to make it even. Then add in your filling and spread it out evenly. Drizzle your almond butter on top of the filling. I actually added in a little molasses as well. That’s why the picture below has dark colors. But molasses is not needed in the recipe. Just FYI
- mango vanilla almond rice cakes 3
- Once done with the filling, add the rest of your rice and press down to make even and flat. Bake at 375F for about 35-40 minutes. Just depends on your oven. Let it cool.
- Once cooled, you can either remove foil and slice into squares, or cut with foil and wrap them up to go right then.
- Makes about 12-16 squares depending on your cutting technique.
I make the cherry Vanilla Rice Cakes the same way I do the Mango Vanilla, but use coconut butter instead of almond butter and then roll them into balls and bake versus in a square pan.
Rice is an ideal dinner or recovery meal as well! It’s a fast uptake carbs which you can then mix with quality proteins, and fats to refuel your body quickly for tomorrow. Try mixing it with lamb, plantains, zucchini, MCT oil or butter, spinach, and turmeric and you’ve got yourself the perfect anti-inflammatory meal!
Or switch out your meat for fish and make it rich in Omegas! which is also great for recovery! That reminds me, I need to post my Sriracha Salmon recipe soon, yes?
Well, are you sick of me talking about rice? Nah.. never! Rice is nice. 😉
What’s your take? Do you eat white rice in your diet?