Healthy Rice

For a staple food consumed by most of the world I think most people know surprisingly little about the nutritional content of the grain.  So how healthy is rice?  Well it’s definitely not unhealthy, as for how healthy it is, that depends on the strain you’re eating!  Rice comes in many varieties, brown, white, black, red and even purple!

“Purple Rice”
“Purple Rice”
“Purple Rice”
“I only wanted to see you beneath the purple rice”

Just so I don’t look completely insane that was a Prince reference.  Anyway, lets start with white rice.  When you remove the husk, bran and germ layers from brown rice you get white rice, the most common type of rice.  White rice is basically just little packets of calories.  Most of the calories from white rice come from carbohydrates.

Brown rice has about 3x the fibre of white rice however we’re talking about small amounts of fibre here so it’s not really life changing.  Apart from the fibre, brown rice also has higher levels of phosphorus and magnesium, both nutrients used for bone enrichment.  The nutrients don’t stop there though, brown rice also has higher amounts of selenium and manganese, antioxidants.

By itself rice is an incomplete protein however, when paired with other dishes such as beans or peanuts you’ll be able to form complete proteins!  Great for muscle growth.

He looks like he eats rice

Unfortunately there is a downside to rice.  Rice has a high glycemic index which means the carbs from rice get converted into sugars quickly which means a sharp rise in blood sugar levels.  This can be bad for your heart, kidneys and eyes but it is especially bad for people with type 2 diabetes.  Luckily for us brown rice has much lower glycemic values which typically fall between 48 – 62.  On the contrary the glycemic index of white rice typically falls between 72 and 83.  A value above 70 is considered high.

I’d like to bring us back to one of my favourite strains, basmati.  I’ve spoken about how awesome this strain is but it also has a glycemic index of 53!  53!  No need to give up white rice any time soon if you’re worried about glycemic indexes, just have some basmati.

Have fun with your rice!


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Burrito Rice

One of the great things about rice is its ability to mesh with pretty much anything you throw in with it! Check out this interesting take on the humble grain.

foodbydad

BurritoRice FoodbyDadWe all have those weeks where things just keep coming up, the house is a mess, there’s no food in the fridge and even if there was you don’t have the energy to create a masterpiece. Wednesday and Thursday are our busy afternoons and it is always on my mind that I need to have quick easy recipes ready so the kids can get to bed on time and I can finally sit down. Mexican is one of my go to cuisines for tasty quick meal ideas, I love playing with different ingredients (well mostly the same ingredients used differently). About 8 months ago, while exploring some Asian recipes, I discovered chicken rice (which is rice cooked in chicken stock). Steamed chicken breast, chicken rice and Asian greens is another go to tasty quick recipe that has been kid tested, but I will get to that in another post. Anyway…

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The perfect bowl of rice, from your rice cooker.

Who doesn’t like a perfect bowl of rice, the steam coming off it, the smell, the perfectly fluffed up grains.  I could go on but why don’t I just show you how to make the perfect bowl of rice!

ARE YOU READY?!

Rice is a simple dish to cook but it’s a hard one to master.  Their kind of like eggs, just about everyone can fry an egg but you see, there’s a difference between frying an egg and frying an egg.  The latter, in bold, is the kind of fried egg which makes you say, “DAMN! This is some good fried egg!”

DAMN! That looks like some good fried egg!

On to the real stuff, how exactly do you make the perfect bowl of fried rice?  Well, that depends on what you’re using.  Now whether or not you’re using a rice cooker or not it’s recommended you thoroughly wash your rice if you don’t want the grains to stick together.  Make sure you wash the rice until the water becomes clear!

Rice Cooker

Full-time rice cooker

Rice cookers are simple enough.  Put in the amount of rice, fill it up with water then flick the switch.  The trick with using a rice cooker is finding the perfect water to rice ratio.  One method is to stick your hand in, washed of course, and fill up the cooker with water until it covers your hand.  Of course, different kinds of rice will use different amounts of water.  Brown rice needs more water than white rice while long grain rice needs more water than short grain.

The best way to perfect your rice in a rice cooker is to cook more rice!  Learn how your rice cooker responds to you.  Respect the rice cooker and it will respect you.

Snoop loves rice too.

Anyway, stay tuned for part two where we’ll talk about cooking rice on your stove!


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