Discover: Brown Rice

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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.

Enjoy,

Mahin

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