January 09, 2008

Meet Your Unprocessed Friend #1: Brown Rice

My mom always wanted me to eat brown rice and I always hated it and wanted white rice instead. When I got a little older and started cooking for myself, I still hated it. It took so long to make! I still wanted white rice, preferably instant.

So what's the difference between white and brown rice? At the practical, day-to-day level, not much. It takes a bit longer to cook. Taste-wise, it's a bit nuttier and more dense.

The real difference is the nutritional value of brown rice as a whole grain vs. white rice as a processed food. They start as the same thing. If brown rice is milled to removed the bran and germ, it becomes 'white.' In the process, it loses most of its nutritional value. Eating brown rice instead will feed your brain with a steady stream of glucose and keep your blood sugar even throughout the day. It is close to a 'perfect' food, if there is such a thing.

Some ways to try brown rice:
-Brown rice sushi is available at many sushi restaurants
-Cold Rice Salad with corn, avocado, tomatoes, onions
-In bean burritos
-Fried Rice with egg, carrots, scallions

Hardcore Macrobiotic tips for brown rice (they LOVE this stuff)
-Chew each mouthful 50-100 times to get all of its nutritional benefit and see how it turns sweet in your mouth, even as you start to accidentally drool! Okay, maybe try that once, just to see what I'm talking about.
-Long grain is best for the summer months, short grain in the autumn/winter
-Try not to keep leftover rice longer than a day or so (it supposedly loses its energy and value)
-Microwaving is a no-no because it supposedly messes with the natural energy of the food. Instead, reheat in a pot with a bit more water.


Amy Flanagan said...

I only had one diet coke today. That's a start, right?

Hippolyra said...

I always cook my brown rice in a microwave steamer as it only takes 14 minutes. Help! ;-)