replacement for pasta, rice and other cereals other low carb diets have come a long way. What started with zoodles has grown into a huge industry with new brands like Banza and Capello’s and even traditional brands like Barilla creating their own alternatives to wheat-based ingredients.
We saw pasta and rice made with chickpeas, pumpkin, almond flour and of course cauliflower. Cruciferous vegetables have been the darlings of the low-carb movement for years, but a new vegetable is gaining momentum that could surpass its fame: palm heart.
We’ll cover what palm hearts are, how they can be used as low-carb substitutes for pasta and rice, and what they add to your diet. We caught up with Dr. Amy Lee, Head of Nutrition at Nucific, to explain everything you need to know.
What are palm hearts?
Fortunately, the name speaks for itself: this is the heart of a palm tree. Palm hearts are harvested from various types of palms in Southeast Asia, Central and South America. It is most common to find jars or jars of this vegetable packed in water or brine and sold as thick, smooth cylinders or thin slices.
At first glance, some people may mistake palm heartwood for white asparagus stalks. This pale whitish vegetable actually tastes and textures more like the heart of an artichoke. Its flavor is smooth, with slight vegetable notes, and it adapts to any seasoning used.
What is the nutritional value of palm heart?
Compared to standard wheat-based noodles, the heart of the palm contains significantly fewer carbohydrates and calories. According to the USDA, 100 grams of cooked pasta contains about 30 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of palm heart contains less than five grams.
A vegetable may not have the same protein content, but it contains less than 20 percent of calories. Although it is comparatively lighter than regular pasta or rice, low-carb dieters love how filling it is. “What really makes it a healthy alternative is its texture. It’s strong and rich,” says Dr. Li. “It’s also high in fiber per serving.”
Unlike some low-carb noodles like zucchini, palm heart will give you a feeling of fullness rather than hunger.
“Many people dislike cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables because they can be bitter,” says Dr. Li. “Palm hearts may be a better alternative because they have a more neutral flavor.”
Which Palm Heart Products Should You Buy?
Ready for enter into the palms? It is still a new ingredient in low carb cereal production and is therefore not as widely available as other varieties. Here are some of the best on the market right now:
Include palm heart in your diet along with legume-based cereal substitutes and even shirataki noodles based on konjac root make the diet more balanced and prevent boredom.
Gabby Romero is an assistant editor at Delish, where she writes stories about the latest TikTok trends, develops recipes, and answers any food-related questions you may have. She loves to eat spicy food, collect cookbooks, and add a mountain of Parmesan to any dish she can.