Carbohydrates in Vegetarian Cooking

Carbohydrates in Vegetarian Cooking

It is important that complex carbohydrates are included in any vegetarian cooking due to the fact that they supply energy to the body. Carbohydrates are in the form of starches and sugars from grains and products made from them. These include flour, bread and pastas. They are also found in potatoes, pulses and to a lesser degree in nuts, fruits and sugars.

People are gradually realizing that vegetarian food such as potatoes, pasta, rice, breads and cereals are not fattening especially if, like all foods, they are eaten in moderation. It is more that excess flab comes from eating too much fat rather than eating too much food with carbohydrates.

In the world of vegetarian cooking there is a whole raft of grain ingredients that are delicious and comprehensive in their nutrients. Foods such as couscous, buckwheat and hybrid grains like triticale. Just to let you know, triticale is bred from wheat and rye and has a yummy nutty flavor. Do yourself a favor and try it, either with or without rolled oats, in homemade muesli. Taking advantage of these different types of grains adds variety to your daily menu. All vegetarian meals should have a good variety of foods.

Rice is another source of carbohydrate and now it is readily available in many different ways. Fragrant basmati and jasmine rice, pearly Arborio which is essential for great risottos, are just some of the different rice you can now obtain. Try wild rice (an aquatic grass) which is now available in more economical mixtures and makes a great alternative.

Carbohydrate foods also have a fiber component which is a bonus. Just watch out for how much processing has been done as the fiber content diminishes the more it is processed.

Speaking of fiber, the fiber content in complex carbohydrates allows the sugars to be used by the body at an even rate. This is in complete contrast to refined sugars which hit the bloodstream very quickly and are rapidly used up which will leave your energy levels depleted. This is why you feel elated then lethargic very quickly after eating sugary foods. With complex carbohydrates you will have more stamina due to the sustained release.

Here is a list of foods which are rich in complex carbohydrates and should be a must for the vegetarian cook.
Dried beans

The wonderful thing about complex carbohydrates is that they fill you up while adding valuable vitamins and minerals to your body with little fat. They are economical and tasty. These should be included in any vegetarian cooking in the daily meal planner and should take up about 50 per cent of the daily energy intake.

If you are or are thinking becoming a vegetarian then make sure you include complex carbohydrates in your daily diet and you won’t go wrong.


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