If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already know that I’m kind of obsessed with Banza’s chickpea pasta. I think it’s a nearly identical swap for whole wheat pasta and I love that it contains more fiber and protein than typical pasta. This week, Banza just released new chickpea-based rice.
I immediately started dreaming up ways to use this new rice in my everyday cooking. While the calorie count is similar to brown rice, it has a lot more protein and fiber meaning I’ll actually stay full for more than an hour.
Naturally, I had to put this new rice to the test. As soon as I posted about it on Instagram, I got a few main questions that I’ll answer here.
Does Banza’s chickpea rice actually taste like rice?
To be honest, I think it tastes more like orzo than rice. The texture isn’t quite as chewy as rice.
Can I use chickpea rice like regular rice?
My opinion? Yes and no. I’m not sure this would make sense to use in something like a stir fry. I think it would get too mushy in something like that. But I think it would be delicious in a risotto-style dish. I used it in this vegan “cheesy” broccoli and rice recipe and it turned out great! I’m also planning to use it in this Parmesan orzo recipe.
Is chickpea rice really “better” for you than rice?
Like brown rice, it has about 170 calories per ¼ cup (dry). But it contains 11g of protein compared to just 4g in brown rice. As a vegetarian, I like finding ways to add a little bit more protein to my meals so, for me, this is a good option!
So would you recommend it?
Absolutely! Just like all the other Banza pastas, I think it’s a great option, especially if your vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free.
Where can I buy it?
I’m told that right now, the rice is only sold at Whole Foods. But you can find Banza’s other pasta at most grocery stores and even Target! It’s usually around $3 a box.