Brown is the new white, or at least it is when it comes to rice! I was shocked by my friends apathy to this delicious foodstuff. Brown rice can be slightly harder to cook than white rice but the rewards are immense.
Brown Rice History
- Believed to have been first cultivated in China around 6,000 years ago…until recently when 9,000 year old rice were found!
- If you only remove the husk from rice, then brown rice is made (to make white rice, you remove more layers).
- Rice globally important because of historical conquests:
- Alexander the Great brought it to India
- The Moors brought it to Spain
- The Crusaders brought it to France
- The Spanish brought it to South America
Brown Rice Nutrition
- Brown rice is a whole grain and a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and manganese, and is high in fiber.
- It is good for the heart.
- Brown rice aids digestion.
- It may reduce the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and cancer.
- It is gluten free and contains no trans-fats or cholesterol.
- One study found that people who are the most whole grains (like brown rice) had significantly higher amounts of fiber, energy and polyunsaturated fats.
Brown Rice Tips
- When you cook brown rice, allow it to soak in water for 40-50 minutes before turning on the heat as it helps to soften the grains.
- Cooking brown rice with too much water makes the grains stick together and feel like a paste. On the other hand using too little water will make the grains too stiff, and will not bring out the full flavour of the rice.
- Start out with a 2:1 ratio – this means that you add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice.
- Make sure you check the packing date when you buy brown rice. You should ideally consume brown rice within 3 to 4 months from the packing date(refrigerating it in a tightly sealed plastic bag can increase the shelf life to around 5 or 6 months). Storing brown rice beyond this period gives it a stale rancid flavour.