Those with gluten intolerance must avoid certain foods, including some popular desserts. So you may wonder, is mochi gluten-free?
Mochi is made with rice flour and is naturally gluten-free. While mochi is made from gluten-sounding sweet glutinous rice, it does not contain gluten. To keep mochi gluten-free, you must ensure there is no cross-contamination with any grains.
This article will discuss what goes into making mochi and if the delectable treat has any health benefits. In addition, we’ll cover if mochi is dairy-free and friendly for keto dieters.
What is Mochi Made Of?
Mochi is a popular Japanese treat that has made its way onto the plates of millions across the world. People have traditionally enjoyed mochi in Japan around the New Year, and the process of making mochi is often seen as a ceremony to wish for prosperity as the families bond.
Centuries ago, people offered mochi to gods, and the stretching texture of the dessert is associated with longevity.
The delicious treat is made with sweet glutinous rice and often resembles an edible, small pillow. Rice is naturally free of gluten like rye, barley, wheat, and other grains.
Additional ingredients in mochi include:
- Vegetable oil
- Red bean paste
- Rice flour
A single piece of mochi is nearly equivalent to eating one bowl of rice, so the treat is also very starchy. While mochi used to be hard to get in the states, you can now find it almost anywhere, including your neighborhood Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
What is Mochi’s Nutritional Information?
While mochi can vary in nutritional information based on brand and flavoring, below is an average of what you will find inside your next piece of mochi. Information is per 30g of mochi.
- Calories: 109
- Total fat: 3g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Sodium: 15mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 19g
- Dietary Fiber: 1g
- Sugar: 11g
- Protein: 2g
What Does Mochi Taste Like?
So, what does the popular Japanese treat taste like? Mochi is slightly sweet, but you can add it to your next bowl of ice cream for extra flavor. Remember, mochi can get chewy when cold, so it’s a good idea to cut it up before adding it to your sundae.
One of the best parts about mochi is you can add any flavorings you want to enhance the flavor of the dessert. Experimenting with various fillings is fun to find out what you enjoy best.
Here are some examples of what people enjoy filling mochi with:
- Fruit, like strawberries, oranges, and bananas
- Black sesame paste
- Coffee bean paste
- Ice cream
- Chickpea cookie dough
- Mashed sweet potato
Is Mochi Good for Weight Loss?
Mochi is high in carbs and sugar, making it unsuitable for weight loss. While the occasional treat won’t hurt your waistline, eating mochi often will not result in weight loss. Regarding weight loss, moderation is essential, so ensuring you don’t overeat mochi will help with your weight loss goals.
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How Do You Make Mochi?
Whether you are interested in making your own recipe or curious about the process, you may wonder how to make mochi. You make mochi with soft and chewy rice, which is steamed, pounded, and mashed before forming into its final shape.
The dough can be sticky, so you want to have some cornstarch nearby to prevent it from sticking to your hands. Cornstarch is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination. Once you have your dough shaped, you can fry the plain mochi or add a sweet filling inside.
In addition, people also grill or boil mochi before coating it with additional ingredients, like cinnamon or sugar.
What is Mochi Ice Cream?
Mochi ice cream differs from traditional mochi because you fill the mochi with ice cream. You can also add ingredients like vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and matcha tea to help add flavor to your mochi ice cream. Avoid adding any fillings derived from grains to ensure your mochi ice cream remains gluten-free.
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Is Mochi Healthy?
While mochi is delicious, it’s not the healthiest of foods. However, don’t let that discourage you from digging into your favorite dessert. Instead, mochi is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and contains Vitamins A, C, E, and K.
In addition, mochi can potentially offer you the following health benefits:
- It contains potassium, which is ideal for lowering blood pressure
- Mochi has calcium, which is vital for strong bones and teeth
- It contains Vitamin B, which naturally provides you with energy
You might not want to eat mochi at every meal, but there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself now and then. Also, remember a bowl of ice cream will cost you about 300 calories, whereas a piece of mochi is only around 100.
Is Mochi Keto-Friendly?
People following a keto diet avoid grains and stick to a low-carb diet. Mochi is not keto-friendly because it is high in sugar and carbs. However, you can occasionally find a brand like The Rebel Creamery that make mochi with fewer carbs and sugar making it keto-friendly.
There also are many keto-friendly ice creams you can find at a local grocery store to keep you on the plan.
Is Mochi Dairy-Free
If you are lactose intolerant, you know you must stay away from dairy products to avoid uncomfortable side effects like cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. You must read the individual label to determine whether a specific mochi brand is dairy-free.
While many brands use cow milk in their product, you can find mochi made with coconut milk, which offers a dairy-free alternative. In addition, some manufacturers add ice cream to their mochi, making it not dairy-free.
Is Mochi Safe to Eat?
A dessert should be innocent enough, right? Unfortunately, the hard-to-eat food is sticky and chewy, making it difficult to eat. It’s best for anyone with difficulty chewing, like young children or the elderly, to avoid eating mochi.
You can get mochi stuck in your throat if you don’t chew it thoroughly, so you want to chew the food as much as possible before swallowing and cut mochi into small chunks.