A creative way to add more carbohydrates to a Paleo diet (especially AIP) is the less-talked-about lotus root. Yes, this is the root of that beautiful flower that you’re probably thinking of!! The Indian lotus (also called “sacred lotus,” “bean of India,” or just lotus) is a species of aquatic plants native to the tropics in Asia as well as Australia; the lotus is the national flower of India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam. It also turns out that the entire plant is actually edible, including the flowers, leaves, stems, and root, but the root is the most commonly-used in culinary endeavors. I like using lotus root as an alternative to other starchy carbs, like in my recipe for AIP-friendly Paleo French Fries.
Looking at the nutrition of the lotus root, it is mostly a source of carbohydrate (16.02g/100g) with some fiber (3.1g/100g). It’s a good source (33% RDV) of vitamin C and a decent source (>10% RDV) of vitamins B1 and B6 as well as the dietary minerals manganese and phosphorus; plus, it has at least trace amounts of all of the other dietary vitamins and minerals!
Finding lotus root in stores is a little bit more tricky than some of our other Paleo-friendly carbohydrate sources. Trying checking out a local Asian market for fresh lotus root, or you might get lucky in the vegetable section of your natural foods market.