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Chickpea rice exists and have we reached peak wellness yet?

A curry is not a curry without rice. A stir-fry is not a stir-fry without rice. Even a trendy poke bowl isn’t a true poke bowl without rice. Simply put, rice completes a meal.

It’s the most important food crop of the developing world and the staple food of more than half of the world’s population. But not only is it incredibly accessible and budget-friendly; digging into that pile of fluffy warm goodness is simply irresistible.

The bad news? It’s sadly considered empty calories. One cup of cooked white rice contains 206 calories, 45g of carbs, hardly any fat (the good and bad) and 0.6g of fibre. And even though the health conscious favour its brown counterpart, it still contains the same amount of carbs, is slightly higher in calories, and only has 3.5g of fibre.

As for the “cauliflower rice” hype? Please, that is not rice, thank you very much.

But now, founder of popular American food label Popchips and self-confessed “rice addict”, Keith Belling, might be onto the newest healthy rice-replacement trend to take the world by storm: chickpea rice.

What the fork is chickpea rice?

Labelled RightRice, the shelf-stable grain is composed of over 90 per cent blended vegetables (lentils, chickpeas and green peas), and is said to contain twice the protein and five times the fibre of rice.

However, the most notable difference Belling says RightRice offers compared to other faux-rice products on the market is the next-to-perfect rice texture and look.

“You’re not going to fool your kids into eating shredded vegetables,” Belling says in an interview with Fast Company.

On one hand, you have “rice” made from finely diced frozen vegetables, which doesn’t give the same soft texture and flavour absorption of the original model. But on the other hand, you have RightRice, which is made from a combination of flours and pea fibre to better resemble rice.

And there’s no need to crack the salt and pepper over your chickpea rice, either . RightRice comes in four different flavours – original, lemon pepper, Spanish and garlic herb – so you’re guaranteed a burst of flavour with every bite.

The benefits of chickpea rice

Chickpeas are hailed as one of the world’s healthiest legumes, offering a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. They have being scientifically proven to:

  • Help keep your appetite under control, and therefore help manage your weight
  • Support blood sugar control
  • Improve digestion
  • May protect against certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes

Where to get it

Sadly, RightRice is only available in the US for now, however we’re 100 per cent confident it won’t be long until it travels to the land Down Under. As for the time being, you could be inventive and try making your own version, or you could stick to your boring old bowl of diced cauliflower.

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