March 29, 2011

Rice – make mine brown

(Excerpt from Healthy starts Here! – Whitecap 2011)

Brown rice is a whole grain and a much healthier choice than white.

Brown rice brownie points:

  • Brown rice is a great source of whole grain carbs which supply your body with energy
  • It’s an excellent source of manganese which helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates.
  • Eating brown rice supports a healthy nervous system.
  • It’s a source of magnesium, a mineral that is necessary for healthy bones. One cup of brown rice supplies you with 17% of your recommended daily value.
  • You can cook it once and then eat it all week – stores well in the fridge for up to five days
  • It’s a chameleon – it can be sweet or savoury. Main course, salad, side dish or a dessert.
  • It’s economical – costs about ten cents per serving.
  • Great shelf life – up to six months in the cupboard or longer in the fridge or freezer


Rice comes in three basic types or grain lengths– short, medium, and long.

  • Short grain is a stickier rice and can be used in risottos, puddings, or in a dish where you want the rice to stick together, like sushi
  • Medium has a little bit of both of these and is a good go to rice. It’s also good for risottos, desserts and puddings.
  • Long grain cooks into single grains and tends to be fluffier than short. Good for pilafs, side dishes, soups, and fried rice.


Brown Rice Cooking 101:

  • Use a heavy bottom pot that is big enough to hold the cooked rice. Brown rice triples in volume.
  • Add rice and water to the pot.
  • 1 cup (250 mL) brown rice and 2 ¼ (560 mL) cups cold fresh water will yield approx. 3 cups of cooked rice (750 mL)
  • Follow the basic rules of measuring by using the right equipment. Measure the rice in a dry measuring cup to level. Measure the water in a glass measuring cup.
  • Bring the rice and water to the boil. Stir once.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Never remove the lid and stir while the rice is cooking. This will lengthen the cooking time and make sticky gummy rice plus you may go to Culinary Purgatory.
  • Cook till done – most brown rice will take anywhere from 45-50 minutes
  • Check for doneness. If the rice is still hard cook for 4 -5 minutes longer or until done.
  • Remove from heat when done. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork or a rice paddle (a shamoji), cover and let sit for 10 minutes.  This will redistribute any liquid in the bottom of the pot and create great cooked rice.
  • OR Buy a rice cooker and call it a day.


Check out for everything you ever wanted to know about rice.


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