Food Facts & Tips Brown Rice
Brown Rice cultivation originated in Asia as early as 10,000BC. Today it is grown in over 100 countries. This annual grass grows best in flooded areas, known as paddies. Rice is a primary food for over half of the people in the world. Rice is said to calm the nervous system, relieve mental depression, and strengthen the internal organs.
Rice has a sweet, nutty flavour and is the highest of any grains in B vitamins. Brown rice also contains iron, magnesium, vitamin E, linoleic acid and numerous other nutrients. Different varieties of brown rice have been developed all around the world. Rice is available in three lengths: short, medium and long. Most rice varieties are available in brown or white. White rice is brown rice with its hull, bran and germ removed in the refining process. This process strips from the grain virtually all the fibre, vitamins, minerals, 100% of its vitamin E and many other highly beneficial nutrients. White rice cooks faster and stores longer than brown rice, so it is often preferred in regions where fuel is limited and proper storage is not readily available. In Asian countries white rice is only partially refined leaving substancial nutrition in this common food. Brown Rice is generally non-constipating and easier to digest than white rice, due to being naturally high in dietary fibre.
Common Types of Rice:
Short grain rice is higher in starch and minerals, is heartier and more strengthening than long grain. Great in recipes where a creamy texture is required.
Long grain contains more protein than short grain and yields a fluffy, light rice.
Medium grain is close to long grain in appearance and performance.
Jasmine rice is native to Thailand. It is a naturally aromatic long grain rice.
Basmati rice is an aromatic long grain brown rice native to India and Pakistan. While cooking, it emits a popcorn-like fragrance. Preferred rice for Indian inspied dishes.
Sushi rice is known in its native Japan as Akitakomachi. This medium grained white rice is high in starch, which gives the cooked product a sticky texture, ideal for making sushi.
Arborio is a white rice from Italy that can absorb much liquid without getting mushy. Its perfect for making risotto and paella. As it cooks and is stirred, a creamy sauce forms around large al dente grains.
To cook Brown Rice: Bring 2 cups water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add 1 cup rice and stir. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, without stirring for 20-25 minutes. Do not remove the lid until all the water is absorbed - you can check it quickly. Ideally, allow cooked rice to sit covered for 10 minutes before serving. Yields 3 cups cooked rice.
Wild Rice is more closely related to corn than true rice. This ‘water grass’ is only one of two cereal grains native to North America (the other being maize). Gluten free, high in protein, and B vitamins this highly nutritious, chewy grain is commonly blended with brown rice to vary its texture and add a festive or gourmet element to the dish.
Posted on: May 2nd, 2008
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