Healthy Rice Cake Ideas: Toppings for Weight LossPosted: December 7, 2022
If you are looking for healthy rice cake ideas with easy and filling toppings, then you are in the right place.
Puffed rice cakes or rice cakes are a popular snack and are a great addition to your pantry. Rice cakes are a great snack as they provide a quick low-calorie snack option when you use toppings loaded with protein and fiber.
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One of the hardest parts of weight loss is the constant hunger but needing to minimize the ongoing need to snack. The best way to do this is to learn how to build your meals for sustainable weight loss that provide your body with nutrients that give you energy while balancing blood sugar levels. This helps you reach and sustain your health and weight loss goals. And this is also where keeping healthy and easy snacks on hand, like rice cakes, comes in handy.
What are rice cakes?
Rice cakes are snacks made from puffed white rice pressed together to form a circular cake. Rice cakes are a great low calorie, crunchy snack and can be used as a substitute for bread, crackers and other higher carbohydrate choices you may use to add toppings.
There are many different varieties available, but the most basic kind are plain rice cakes. You can easily find rice cakes at your local grocery store or any of the major grocery stores.
Are rice cakes a healthy snack?
Since rice cakes are made with only puffed rice and air, they do not provide much nutrition. However, when you choose the options made from whole grains like these , it does provide more nutrients. Keep in mind this is a small amount as puffed rice has a lot of air within the food itself.
Having said that, the glycemic index (GI) of rice cake equals to 85, which classifies it as a high GI food. Therefore it is important to add healthy toppings to stabilize the rise in blood sugar levels after eating rice cakes.
If you are trying to lose weight and/or eat healthier, I would recommend staying away from the other variety of flavors and stick to the plain or lightly salted healthier version. This is because the other types of rice cakes often contain added sugar and other ingredients.
Rice cake nutrition
Even though rice cakes are a delicious snack, they are essentially rice and air and thus don’t provide an impressive nutrient profile and don't add much towards your daily values.
One plain rice cake (9 grams) made from brown rice contains:
- Calories: 35
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Protein: 1 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
How to make healthy rice cake snacks
Making healthy rice cake snacks is very simple and quick! You will need to choose the toppings and when ready to eat the snack, you add the toppings.
However, as a Registered Dietitian I do recommend choosing whole grain rice cakes instead of other flavored options which can contain lots of added sugar.
When deciding what healthy rice cake toppings to add, you need to choose a protein source, fiber and healthy fats. This will ensure you are providing your body with the nutrients it needs to feel full and satisfied while on your weight loss journey.
Below are healthy rice cake topping ideas that you can mix and match depending your preference.
Healthy rice cake topping ideas
When choosing rice cake toppings, use a mix of nutrients from healthy fat, fiber and protein. Here are some examples from each category that you can mix and match to build healthy snack options.
- Cottage cheese
- Laughing cow wedge
- Greek yogurt
- Smoked salmon
- Peanut butter
- Nut butter (like almond butter)
- cream cheese
- chia seeds
- sesame seeds
- Vegetables (tomato slice, cucumber, lettuce)
Sweet rice cake topping ideas
If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you're going to love these delicious toppings.
Classic peanut butter and jelly
On top of your rice cake, add peanut butter or any nut butter you prefer. Then mash fresh berries to make the jam. You can even sprinkle some hemp seeds to add a boost of omega-3's and protein.
This sweet snack is a personal favorite. All you do is spread some nut butter on top of the rice cake, slice an apple, sprinkle some cinnamon and hemp seeds for the perfectly balanced snack.
Banana and nut butter
Nut butter provides healthy fats and the banana provides some sustenance. The perfect combination. You can add cinnamon on top for extra flavor.
Greek yogurt and fruit
This may seem like a simple snack but it is so satisfying. Choose a plain Greek yogurt to provide a boost of protein and add some berries for fiber.
Ricotta cheese, arugula and honey
On your rice cake, spread a tablespoon of ricotta cheese, add a handful of arugula and drizzle some honey for a satisfying snack.
Goat cheese, nuts and fruit
Goat cheese, or chèvre, is a soft cheese and is a great option to spread on a rice cake. Spread it on a rice cake and then add chopped pistachios, a drizzle of honey and fruit of choice.
Cream cheese, peaches and blueberries
As cream cheese is higher in saturated fats, I recommend opting for Laughing Cow wedge or whipped cream cheese. Add peaches and blueberries for a delicious combination.
Cottage cheese, blackberries and walnuts
If you do not like the texture of cottage cheese, you can blend the cottage cheese in a high-speed blender to make it smoother. Add blackberries and walnuts on top.
Savory rice cake topping ideas
If you prefer savory snack options, then here is a list of some delicious combinations.
Avocado rice cake
This is just like your typical avocado toast except you are using a rice cake. Mash an avocado on top of your rice cake, add a tomato slice and other vegetables and drizzle with olive oil. Delicious.
Tuna and spinach
In a small bowl, mash the tuna with a squeeze of lemon and mix. Once combined, top your rice cake with the tuna mix and fresh spinach for this savory rice cake.
Egg and avocado
Add slices of half an avocado on top of your rice cake. Top with a hard boiled egg and Everything but the Bagel seasoning and enjoy for breakfast or lunch.
Smoked salmon and avocado
Mash half of an avocado onto the rice cake, add 2-3 slices of smoked salmon and sprinkle with some salt.
Hummus cucumber tomato
Hummus is not only nutritious but it's packed with plant based protein. Spread your favorite hummus onto the rice cake. Top with sliced cucumber and tomatoes and sprinkle Everything but the Bagel Seasoning.
Grab your favorite marinara sauce and spread it on a rice cake. Top it with your favorite pizza toppings such as cheese and vegetables and microwave for 15 seconds.
Goat Cheese, Arugula and Pomegranate seeds
Goat cheese has protein, calcium and healthy fats. Top your rice cake with crumbled goat cheese, arugula and pomegranate seeds for a savory and sweet rice cake!
Turkey and Cheese
You can’t go wrong with a classic turkey and cheese. Add a slice of your favorite cheese (mine is white cheddar) and add 1-2 slices of turkey.
Pesto and Caprese Salad
Spread pesto sauce on top of the rice cake. Add slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes. Drizzle with some olive oil, and balsamic glaze (optional).
Grilled chicken and avocado
If you’re looking for a more filling rice cake, topping your rice cake with grilled chicken and avocado will sure do the job. Add slices of grilled chicken, avocado, and some leafy greens to your rice cake and sprinkle everything-bagel seasoning. Yum.
Next time you are looking for a healthy snack, make sure to grab rice cakes as they are easy, quick and provide a healthier crunch option.
However, it is important to add protein, healthy fats and fiber as a healthy topping to keep you full and satisfied between meals.
Rice cakes do not provide enough nutrients on their own so I would recommend using rice cakes for snacks and not as meal replacements. Whether you are looking to lose weight or make healthier food choices, it is important to remember that all foods fit and any food can be a part of a healthy and sustainable diet.
Rice cakes are a favorite snack when it comes to weight loss as they can easily be substituted for bread and crackers. Just add protein, healthy fats and fiber to keep you full and provide your body with energy and nutrients.
You can eat rice cakes with any topping of your choice. Use it like you would with bread. You can add toppings like Greek yogurt, hummus, cheese, salmon, tuna, turkey, chicken, ricotta cheese and so much more.
Rice cakes are a low-calorie alternative to bread. They are made with puffed rice and air. Rice cakes are a great choice for weight loss as they are also very low carb. However, it is important to add nutritious toppings to provide your body with energy and nutrients.
Healthy Rice Cake Ideas for Weight Loss
Peanut Butter and Jelly
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ½ cup berries mashed
- 2 tablespoons nut butter
- ½ apple sliced
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Ricotta Cheese, Arugula and Honey
- 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese
- ½ cup arugula
- 1 teaspoon honey drizzle
Egg and Avocado
- 1 egg hard boiled
- ½ avocado sliced
- ½ teaspoon Everything but the Bagel seasoning optional
Pesto and Caprese Salad
- 1 tablespoon pesto sauce
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella sliced
- ½ tomato sliced
- ½ teaspoon olive oil drizzled
- ½ teaspoon balsamic glaze optional
- Add toppings to rice cake
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