The Humble Rice Cake

Do you remember when rice cakes first came out? I think it was during the fat-free craze when everyone was searching for zero fat snacks, expecting them to pull off weight or maybe improve heart health. I sort of liked them: they were definitely crunchy. But they were also unsatisfying, as if they had dissolved before hitting my stomach! Which meant I could easily eat half a package (about 7 rice cakes) in one swoop…especially if they were cheddar-flavored. Yum.

As better-tasting snacks came about, I forgot about rice cakes. Well…a decade later I picked up a package and tried again. But this time I made them more satisfying and boosted the nutrition.

Plain rice cakes actually make an awesome part of a snack. They’re made from whole grain brown rice, have zero fat (meaning no unhealthful saturated fat) and cholesterol, and are low sodium. At only 35 calories per cake, you’re expected to add toppings! My version below is meant more as a dessert or whenever you have a super-sweet craving. But what the heck, any time of day works too. Construct it in the following order:

  • Plain rice cake
  • Thin smear of Nutella, or 88 Acres Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter for a vegan option
  • Sliced apples
  • Berries in season
  • Few chopped walnuts
  • Drizzle melted peanut butter (place 1-2 tablespoons in a small dish and microwave for 15-30 seconds

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