10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy

By: Bob's Red Mill | July 9 2020

The word "carbohydrate" is being used more frequently in the health industry today. Good carbs, bad carbs, low-carb and high-carb diets are just a few of the many trends carbs have fallen into. So, what's the truth about carbs? Should you stay away from them? Should you carb up?

While the amount of carbs needed depends on the individual and their lifestyle, healthy high-carb foods are an essential part of most balanced diets. Complex carbs can be found in wholesome foods like quinoa, sweet potatoes and brown rice. Aside from carbs, these foods are packed with vitamins, nutrients and fiber—all of which are essential nutrients that your body needs to remain healthy and strong. The carbs in these high-carb foods that are healthy work with your body to keep you full and to provide long-lasting energy. Incorporating whole foods full of complex carbs into your diet will help give you a necessary energy boost and keep you satisfied until your next delicious meal. 

Wondering which healthy high-carb foods you should work into your meal rotation? Our Bob's Red Mill experts got together to create this list of ten high-carb foods that are great for you! Keep scrolling to learn more about these high-carb foods and how they contribute to a healthy lifestyle. 


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

In recent years, quinoa has quickly become one of the world's most popular health foods. And for a good reason—it's fantastic! Quinoa is naturally gluten free, high in protein and full of complex carbs. Plus, it's one of the few plant-based foods that contain ample amounts of all nine essential amino acids. One of our favorite ancient grains, quinoa, has a delicious nutty flavor when used in pilafs, salads, stir fries and soup. Because it is naturally gluten free, quinoa is an ideal food for individuals following a gluten free, vegan, or vegetarian diet. 

Want to start cooking with quinoa today? Use it to make these delicious Quinoa Sliders. These sliders are incredibly easy to customize, which makes them an excellent choice when accommodating individuals with dietary restrictions. To easily make this meal gluten free, make sure to choose gluten free buns and toppings.


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Oats are one of the healthiest grains out there. They're gluten free, a great source of vitamins and nutrients and loaded with health benefits. Oats come in several different varieties including, oat groats, crushed oats, steel-cut oats and instant oats. While commonly eaten for breakfast in a porridge-like fashion, there is a variety of different lunch, dinner and dessert dishes in which oats can be used. Oats are often included in muffins, granola bars and cookies, and are the perfect addition to your baked goods. 

Oats don't have to be used just to make meals! Use this Homemade Oat Milk Recipe to turn your favorite oats into a delicious milk alternative that you can serve atop of cereal or enjoy with your morning coffee. 

Sweet Potato

10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

A starchy, sweet-tasting root vegetable, sweet potatoes are excellent for you. Their naturally sweet flavor causes most people to think of this veggie as a dessert ingredient. However, there are many different ways that you can incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet. Aside from their versatility, sweet potatoes are also extremely rich in nutrients. An excellent source of vitamin A, sweet potatoes are packed with complex carbohydrates that fuel your body for extended periods. 

For a dessert-like breakfast, try making these Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes. They're the perfect way to start your day. Made with sweet potatoes, our Paleo Baking Flour and Organic Coconut Sugar, this recipe is a wholesome treat that even those following dietary restrictions can enjoy.


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

An incredibly nutritious whole grain, buckwheat is a superfood that is great for your health. It's created from the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant and related to the rhubarb plant. Buckwheat is a good source of protein, fiber and energy. This super grain is also high in healthy carbohydrates and naturally gluten free! All of these incredible factors make it the perfect grain for those with a gluten sensitivity to enjoy. Organic buckwheat can easily be added to recipes like soups and salads to amp up the nutritional value. 

If you're looking for a sweet recipe, then make these Blueberry Peach Buckwheat Hand Pies. The ideal summertime treat, these fruit pastries are the perfect dish to pack along on your next picnic. They're made with our organic buckwheat flour and can be made in advance so that you have them on hand when you're ready to enjoy them. 


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Chickpeas, a salutary legume, are an incredible source of fiber, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. A popular and versatile seed, they're often used in vegetarian and vegan recipes as a meat substitute. You may know chickpeas as your favorite salad topping, or the main ingredient in hummus—a widely loved Mediterranean dip! 

Adored worldwide, chickpeas are consumed daily by many. Due to their versatility, chickpeas are used in a variety of dishes. In India, chickpeas are used in chana recipes like this Instant Pot Chana Masala. In Morocco, they're the main ingredient in a famous chickpea stew. 

But which healthy chickpeas recipe should you try first? We recommend making this Chickpea Flour Omelette with Chipotle Grilled-Tomato


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

There are a few things that say "summertime" like a freshly grilled ear of corn. When corn is cooked to perfection and seasoned with spices, it makes for a deliciously wholesome treat. However, with low-carb diets on the rise, many people are questioning if corn is that great for you. Though corn may be higher in carbs than other savory vegetables, it is full of complex-carbs—the good kind! So if you're not following a low-carb diet, corn is a great vegetable to start working into your meals. 

For an exciting way to start using corn in your summertime dishes, try making these homemade Corn Tortillas.

Brown Rice

10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Rice often gets a bad rap, but we're here to clear things up. The most common variety of rice purchased is white rice. While this grain serves as a great base for many entrees and appetizers, it's highly processed. The heavy processing of white rice strips it of its nutrients and healthy carbs. What's left? A grain full of sugar. 

For a healthier alternative to white rice, purchase brown rice instead. Far more nutritious than white rice, brown rice is a tasty grain loaded with health benefits. While it does require a longer cooking time, the nutrients that you'll receive from this grain are worth waiting for! If you're in a time crunch and want an easy way to cook brown rice, then we suggest purchasing a rice cooker or pressure cooker. Doing so will drastically speed up the cooking time and create the perfect, fluffy rice dish. 

Add brown rice to your favorite side dish, or work into your breakfast menu by making this Apple Cinnamon Walnut Brown Rice Farina.


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Now, if you've tried chickpeas and aren't a raving fan, don't give up on legumes quite yet. An underrated legume, lentils are the perfect addition to any healthy or gluten free recipe. From gluten free pasta to savory soup, lentils are making their way into every dish—and we're all about it!

If you're not familiar with lentils, let us introduce this superfood to you. Lentils are a tiny round seed that grows in a pod. They come in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colors andlike chickpeas are a staple in Indian cuisine. A valued food in vegan cooking, they're an excellent source of plant-based protein.

A trending superfood, lentils are becoming increasingly popular in the health and wellness field. If you're searching for a tried and true recipe, try out this Lentil Soup.


10 High-Carb Foods That Are Actually Super Healthy | Bob's Red Mill Blog

When it comes to healthy carbohydrates, Bulgur might just top the list! A diet rich in complex carbohydrates can help provide long-lasting energy. Healthy carbs help you stay fuller longer, which means you'll be able to better resist those sugar cravings. Bulgur is a fluffy and filling grain that offers up a delicious nutty taste. Its agreeable flavor makes it easy to use in both sweet and savory recipes. For a tasty bulgur packed dish, try out this nutrient-rich Bulgur Pilaf.

We hope that this list of healthy high-carb food has helped you understand this vital micronutrient better. Though carbs can be found in nearly all foods, it's essential to fill your diet with complex carbs found in wholefoods. While simple carbs are okay in moderation, a diet high in bad carbs can have adverse effects on your health. For more healthy high-carb recipes, view our online recipe section here.


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