Are Rice Cakes Healthy? Here’s What to Know

By | May 6, 2023

The Surprising Benefits of Rice Cakes: A Healthier Snack Than You Think

Puffed rice cakes

Nutritional value (e.g. calories, carbs, protein, fiber, fat, sugar): Depending on the brand and recipe, rice cakes can contain anywhere from 60 to 78 calories per cake. If you opt for one of those with plus simple ingredients like sea salt or cinnamon, is a much healthier choice than some varieties that have added sugars and artificial flavors.

Taste and flavor: the perfect combination for a healthy snack. Rice cakes are just that – and with so many different varieties available, you can enjoy them in sorts of delicious combinations. From whole-grain to chocolate, salt, or even cinnamon-coconut varieties – the possibilities are endless! These crunchy cakes tend to be low in calories and can provide a much healthier option than regular snacks such as potato chips or cookies.

Health benefits and drawbacks (e.g. gluten-free, low calorie, low fat): Rice cakes offer the biggest benefit of their ability to deliver crunch without the added calories that come with some snacks. However, they should not be used as a primary source of nutrition due to their limited nutritional value. It’s important to watch the ingredient label for choice and additive contents, as even plain rice cakes can contain a lot of sodium if you’re re-sensitive. The healthiest option is to consume them in moderation and choose those with simple ingredients like sea salt or cinnamon.

Cooking methods (e.g. microwaving, baking, frying): Rice cakes make a great base for nutritious snacking and even mini-meals, using additions such as fruit, nuts, and other toppings. They can be microwaved or baked to create an even more tasty and healthful snack. However, you should steer clear of the varieties with added sugars and artificial flavors if you’re conscious about your sodium intake.

Shelf life and storage requirements: Rice cakes can last for up to a year if stored properly. It’s best to keep them in an air tight container as exposure to air and humidity can reduce their shelf life. While some people say they should not be consumed past the expiration date, they can still be enjoyed as part of a diet – especially as an alternative to less healthy snacks.

Where to purchase: Rice cakes can be found in most grocery stores and health food stores. Amazon has a wide variety of rice cakes available for purchase as well.

Varieties and flavors (e.g. plain, salted, sweet, savory, chocolate, caramel): There are a variety of rice cakes available on the market, ranging from plain and salted to sweet and savory. Popular flavors include chocolate, caramel, sea salt, cinnamon-coconut, and more.

Compatibility with dietary restrictions (e.g. vegan, halal, low FODMAP): Rice cakes are vegan, halal, and low FODMAP friendly.

Cultural significance and history (e.g. traditional Korean tteok, Japanese mochi): Rice cakes have been a part of traditional East Asian cuisine for centuries. In Korea, they are known as tteok and come in various shapes and sizes. In Japan, rice cakes are called mochi and are often enjoyed during the New Year festivities and celebrations.

Texture and consistency (e.g. chewy, crunchy, crispy): Rice cakes have a light, airy texture that can range from chewy to crunchy. Depending on the variety, they can be either crispy or soft.

Nutritional value vs. taste: Although rice cakes are low in calories and fat, they don’t necessarily compromise on flavor. With so many different varieties available, you can enjoy a wide range of flavors such as sea salt, cinnamon-coconut, chocolate, and caramel to name a few.

Pairing options (e.g. peanut butter, jams, spreads, tteokbokki): Rice cakes can be enjoyed with a variety of spreads, jams, and other toppings. Peanut butter is always popular as well as tteokbokki, which is a Korean dish made with stir-fried rice cakes and vegetables.

Usage as a snack or meal component: Rice cakes are a great snack or meal component. They can be enjoyed on their own with spreads and toppings, or added to salads and soups for an extra crunch.

Impact on bodily functions (e.g. constipation, bloating, digestion): Rice cakes are low in fiber and can therefore be a helpful food for those suffering from digestive issues such as constipation or bloating. Additionally, they can help to promote digestion when eaten alongside other foods high in dietary fiber.

Comparison to other snack options (e.g. chips, crackers, popcorn): Rice cakes are a healthier alternative to chips, crackers, and popcorn. They are low in calories and fat but still provide a satisfying crunch when you need it. Additionally, they come in a variety of flavors so you can find something that suits your taste buds.