Did you know that there are more than 40 thousand rice varieties in the world? In fact, rice is the staple food for half of the world’s people. Rice with the hull, bran, and germ removed is white rice. Rice with just the hull removed is brown rice. Accordingly, while brown rice is a whole food, white rice is not.
Luckily, brown rice is gaining more popularity as it is packed with healthy dietary fiber, minerals, and complex carbohydrates and it is gluten free. Brown rice is very versatile and can be used in both savory dishes and desserts. It is also a staple in Macrobiotic Diet, which has a cancer-fighting reputation.
Brown rice comes in a variety of types, e.g., short-grain, long-grain, basmati, or jasmine. Short grain cooks into more sticky, compact, and grounding food, while long rice is lighter, drier, and fluffier. All of these varieties can be prepared according to the recipe below.
There are also other varieties of whole rice like red Bhutanese rice or black rice. Red rice has a beautiful brown color and an earthy texture without being heavy or sticky and has a beautiful presentation, while black rice glistens and may have a bluish shine to it similar to black beans, and is very sticky, perfect for a coconut milk based pudding.
BENEFITS OF BROWN RICE
Surprisingly, both brown and white rice contain the same amount of carbohydrates and calories and almost the same amount of protein. Yes, rice has protein! However, brown rice has a much better nutritional and fiber makeup.
Due to the rich fiber content, brown rice supports the feeling of satiety in individuals, which ultimately means maintaining body weight. Numerous scientific studies have also shown that fiber reduces the risk of colon cancer. It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Brown rice improves digestion, has strong antioxidant effects, and improves heart function. In addition, unlike white rice, brown rice contains selenium, a mineral important for cancer prevention, detoxification, and thyroid function. Since selenium depends on the quality of soil, make sure you choose organically grown brown rice. In the US, Lundberg Family rice may be a good choice, especially due to their commitment to keep arsenic out of their rice (commercially grown rice has enough arsenic for concern if you consume it daily).
Brown rice contains two times more phosphorus and magnesium compared to white rice. In addition, it has much more vitamin B1, two times more iron, and three times more vitamin B3.
Grains are blamed for their phytic acid content, which can prevent some mineral absorption. Therefore, please rinse the rice well and then soak it in fresh water overnight if possible or at least 30 minutes before cooking to minimize the effect of phytic acid and optimize the health benefits of this grain. Rinse again after soaking and then cook it in fresh water.
KEEPING YOUR COOKED RICE HOT WITHOUT A MICROWAVE
Back in Poland when I was growing up, my mother used to wrap the pot of rice cooked (with the top on) in a newspaper and then wrap that with a blanket, and that would keep the rice hot for hours. Alternatively, do what my Asian friends do: keep a rice cooker on the kitchen counter with hot rice in it at all times.
The preparation of rice usually requires salt for seasoning. Salt in cooking helps in the assimilation of the food cooked and brings the flavor of the food to the surface of the food so you can taste more of it, which is certainly also true of brown rice. The healthiest salt to use is Celtic Sea salt and Real Salt (aka Redmond salt) and that is the only salt you will find in my kitchen. These salts do not contain microplastics, while most other commercial salts do.
We hope that this explanation will encourage you to use these ingredients in your next meal. If you are adventurous, try black rice and the beautiful red Bhutanese rice as well to impress your friends.
Looking for more recipes with functional nutrition benefits? Enjoy many other delicious and nutritious recipes here!
**To learn how to get rid of arsenic in rice, read more here.
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