Making healthy food changes can be as simple as trading your white Minute Rice out for any of the brown varieties. Brown rice is simply rice with the hull removed and surprisingly, it comes in a variety of choices including basmati, jasmine, sweet, short and long grain, just to name a few.
History of Rice:
Originally an Asian staple food, rice quickly became a global commodity. Eventually it landed in South America, along with the Spaniards who colonized during the 17th century, and today it is known as one of the most common sources of food, with Vietnam, Thailand, and China competing as the three largest rice exporters.
Health benefits of Brown Rice:
- Trading brown for white: This is not a passing fad. When white rice is milled and polished, a nutritional disservice takes place: the rice is stripped of many of its nutrients including iron and vitamins B1 and B3, not to mention that it turns to sugar once it hits the bloodstream.
- Nutrients and other benefits: Switching from white to brown increases the following nutrients in your diet:
- iron increased by 60%
- vitamin B1 increased by 80%
- vitamin B3 increased by 67%
- vitamin B6 increased by 90%
- maintaining all essential fatty acids and dietary fibers
How to cook Basic Brown Rice:
1 cup Brown Rice
1 ¾ - 2 cups water (or broth)
Pinch sea salt
1. Place all ingredients into a medium pot and cover with a tight-fitted lid.
2. Bring to a full boil; reduce heat to low. DO NOT stir.
3. Simmer about 45 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Remove the rice from the heat source; let stand for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
Yields about 3 cups
Tips and tricks on how to cook whole grains:
- Cooking: For the best results use a stainless steel pot with a thick, aluminum core bottom for even heat distribution and a tight-fitting lid. Bring both the grains and water (liquid) to a boil to-gether in the pot; once boiling lower heat and simmer. NOTE: If tough and chewy, you may have boiled them too long. If mushy or clumped, the initial heat may not have been high enough or perhaps you added too much liquid.
- Stirring: Never stir while the grains are cooking. Whole grains are unique in that they arrange themselves so that the bottom layers cook as evenly as the top to create steam holes. By stir-ring you destroy the steam holes and all of the grains never fully cook.
- Salting: Amaranth, wheat berries, kamut berries, and spelt berries should NOT be cooked with salt because it inhibits the liquid absorption. All other grains cooked with a pinch of salt will open them up and bring out the sweetness rather than leaving them tasting flat.
- Gluten free grains: Amaranth, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa. Wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut all contain gluten. Oats vary, so check to see if they are certified gluten-free.
- Always consult your physician if you have special diet or health related issues.
For additional information and local places to shop for healthy foods, click on any of the following links:
- For more health related information about brown rice, click on the link in this sentence.
- To discover more tips and tricks about whole grains, click on the link in this sentence.
- Boise Co-Op
- Whole Foods Market
- Brown Box Organics
- The Organic Store Locator
From my home to yours, another favorite recipe - enjoyed with nutrition in mind.