Locally Available Rice Alternatives

Rice is definitely the most sought item in every meal. A meal seems not complete without it, the daily carbohydrate source rice. Eating rice is a tradition. Pass down to us by our great ancestors. It is deeply engraved in our brain considering it as necessity.

Behold, rice is not the only carbohydrate source we can take. There are plenty of alternatives. All we need to do is open are mind and include them in list.

1) Corn. The Department of Agriculture is aggressively promoting this corn. They even got the service of Boxing Champion and Congressman Manny Pacquiao. It has low glycemic index, good for diabetics. A slow release energy source for athletes. It makes a person fuller for longer time.

It can be eaten as nilaga, bualaw, inihaw, nilugaw or steamed with rice.

2) Potato. My former professor’s story. Other countries are eating potatoes as staple food. I cannot recall what country. Most restaurant there are serving boiled or mashed potatoes.

We Filipinos are treating potatoes are viand. Mixed with meat and vegetable dishes. Also popular as cracker snack, the potato chips.

3) Cassava.Locally known as balinghoy or kamoteng kahoy. The popular root crop for its cyanide content. It will send anyone to the other world if enough is consumed. Do not worry too much, proper processing methods are able to remove the poison.

During elementary years, some of my classmates were bringing boiled cassava as pack lunch. It was not their choice. They family simply lacked budget to buy rice.

Can be consumed broiled, boiled or baked.

4) Adlai. Yet another grain promoted by the Department of Agriculture. I have several post about it but have never found out yet how to extract and cook the cotyledon.

5) Gabi. I think the popular term for this uraro. Commonly consumed boiled and rarely broiled. It is mixed with some vegetable recipe and used as meat extender.

We used to gather gabi for merienda. I contains substance that can make tongue and sides of mouth itchy.

6) Ube. Most people know ube/purple yam as flavor of several products such as ice cream, cakes and yogurt or as ube haleya. On the other hand, it can eaten as boiled or broiled.

7) Bread. The pandesal bread. Pandesal plus a cup of coffee  often suffice one’s breakfast thus freeing a serving of rice. The rest of bread products are eaten during merienda time.

Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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