Rice can ripen your fruit!

Fruit’s great, it’s one of those foods which is super tasty and yet healthy!  But you know what’s annoying, waiting for fruit to ripen.  To have it sitting there on your counter just staring at you, seducing you with it’s fruitiness.

Yummos!

Weirdly enough, rice can actually help to ripen your fruit.  Just stick your fruit in a tub of rice and you’ll cut a few days off the ripening process!  Great for things like bananas, mangos and avocados.    So what’s actually going on behind the scenes?  How on earth does rice ripen fruit?  It’s actually quite simple, fruit produces ethylene gas which basically kick starts the whole ripening process.  The more ethylene, the faster the fruit ripens.  Rice helps to keep the ethylene gas around for longer, the same way a paper bag would work.  Cool huh!

Isn’t science fun!

Anyway, be sure to check on the fruit regularly.  The only thing worse than unripe fruit is rotten fruit!

Have fun enjoying your fresh ripe fruit!


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Rice heating pad, how hot.

Here’s yet another very cool use for rice, a heating pad.  That’s right, fill up a bag with rice, stick in in the microwave and wham you’ve got a heating pad.

Yay, more things you can do with rice!

Okay, so what exactly is a heating pad.  What’s the point!  Well, it’s actually a really cheap and easy way of managing aches and pains.  When you apply a heating pad to your body the blood vessels in the vicinity expand which increases blood flow to the area!  The increased blow flow means more nutrients and oxygen will travel the affected area, it’s a really good thing.  The heat will also stimulate sensory receptors in the targeted area decreasing pain signals to the brain and therefore increasing comfort for you!  If you’re feeling crafty you can even add herbs like lavender to the heat pad to help you relax.

This guy needs a heat pack, pronto.

So how exactly do you make your own heat pack?  I’m glad you asked.  If you search online there are many tutorials showing all kinds of ways to make them.  I’ll link some of my favourite ones here.

1. Crafty Endeavour – Shoulder Heat Pad

2. Sew4Home – This one uses a sewing machine!

3. Blisstree – Literally rice, a sock and dried lavender

There are many more tutorials out there, find one you like and get cracking!  Release your inner craftsman!  If for some reason you don’t or you can’t there are heaps for sale on Etsy and their pretty reasonably priced as well.

When you’re done you can be the envy of all your friends.

 


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Why rice in your salt shaker makes so much sense

So I’ve blogged about how rice can save your wet electronics but did you know that rice can also save you from clumpy salt in your salt shaker!

I know, isn’t rice just great.

Rice is great for soaking up moisture because it is a dessicant material, basically it makes the vicinity around it dry!  Now, what happens when you get a drop of moisture in your salt?  It gets clumpy and clumpy salt does not come out of a salt shaker.  Maybe you didn’t get any moisture in your salt but even excessively humid environments can cause havoc in  a salt shaker!  

You’d need a giant salt shaker for this.

Here’s how you save yourself for clumpy salt!

Step 1:  Add a few grains of rice into your salt

Step 2:  Shake salt shaker for salt

That’s it, you’re good to go.  Now wasn’t that just the best lifehack!

Doubles up as some interesting table talk too.

P.S.  Check out our old blog post to discover how rice can save your electronics!


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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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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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Washing your rice, yay or nay?

I grew up in a house where we washed our rice before cooking it.  Now I thought this was normal until I went to a friends place and to my surprise they just stuck it straight into the cooker and switched it on!

Just wow

So that got me thinking, why the hell do we wash our rice.  Won’t all the bad stuff just die when we cook it, and anyway, it’s rice, what could possibly be in there that would want to harm me.  Plus, I don’t think people in Africa would waste water washing rice after trekking across the land for water.

Fellow rice lovers, before I teach you how to cook the perfect bowl of rice, I must first address this issue.  Do we really need to wash our rice?

Firstly, what exactly is all that white powder in a bag of rice.  Well, the answer is actually pretty simple.  When the rice is hulled some of the actual grain might be milled a long with the husk.  Now while the husk will get sifted out of the mixture the particles milled grain is too fine and so they get placed in the bag a long with the rice.

SIMPLE!

So, should we wash our rice?

Well that actually depends on what you intend to do with your rice after its cooked.

If you want your rice to be more separated/loose you’ll get better results if you wash your rice.  This is due to the removal of the rice powder which is essentially just starch.  The cooked powder will act like a glue, making the grains stick together.

Now, if you’re cooking a risotto on the other hand you want the rice to be nice and sticky.  Washing your rice in this situation would only make your risotto less tasty.  Still tasty, just less tasty.

Ta dah!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post!  Stay tuned for, “How to cook the perfect bowl of rice!”


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Arborio Rice

Hey guys welcome back!

This week we’re going to be talking about one of my favourites, Arborio Rice.

Arborio Rice!

This great little grain comes from the Italian town of Arborio, who’d guess, situated in the Po Valley.  You may recognise this grain from the classic Italian Risotto!  This is definitely one of my favourite Italian dishes.  The rice is cooked in a meat or vegetable stock instead of water which gives every bite a bountiful explosion of flavour.

Mushroom Risotto

Arborio rice is a high-starch rice which means it has great absorption abilities!  All that mushroom juice has now been soaked up by the Arborio rice!  Amazing!  There are several strains of the  rice similar to Arborio which can be found in Italy, namely, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Pandano, Roma and Vialone Nano.

Remember, when using Arborio rice it will literally absorb the flavours of whatever you chuck in the pot with it!  With great power comes great responsibilities.