Sunday, January 16, 2011

Makin the switch: White Rice to Brown Rice

Cooked Brown Basmati Rice from Trader Joe's

Growing up in my house we usually used parboiled long grain fact that was the only rice I remember using. My mom was firmly against cooking plain white rice, her explanation was that it was to hard to digest and that that it didn't have any real nutrients. As a kid I just said whatever and ate what I was given but now that I am grown I realize she was completely right. White rice is brown rice on a starvation diet. White rice may be satisfying to some people but it completely lacks any true nutritional value as its stripped of  most anything good for you in the refining process. Not to say I haven't used white rice before...I have some on hand when I want to make traditional Spanish yellow rice but that is all I use it for. Now back to the brown I have had this long lasting love/hate journey with brown rice, either its taste like something I should use as compost or it cooked up way to mushy. I tried brown rice from every brand I saw in the supermarket or even the Asian grocer but it always left me disappointed and I would go running back to my parboiled rice. In an continuing effort to eat the healthiest that I can I have been trying to switch out many of the luxuriously rich, fatty food that I love for more waistline friendly versions, so even though parboiled ice isn't that bad for you I still wanted to get the most out of rice if I had to eat it which meant switching to brown rice. I know I know..I'm hearing your "blechs/yucks/ughhhs" from here but I want to tell you about another great Trader Joes find! I started using Trader Joes brand brown basmati rice, its easy to cook and fluffs up perfectly every time. TJ's brown basmati smells similar to their white variety and has the best taste of any brown rice I have eaten thus far.  I wont give you all a recipe because it depends on what amount you will be cooking and the instructions is on the package, but I will leave you with a few tips:

- You may need to add additional water to the pot to get your desired texture, only add in 1/4 cup intervals
- Keep your stove low after your initial boiling, boiling it straight through will result in a gooey texture
- add in bouillon cubes, olive oil, grapeseed oil, garlic, onions, thyme, and any variation of aromatics you like to enhance the flavor but keep an eye on the salt your adding in( I use rapunzel no salt Bouillin cubes from whole foods) 

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