Brown Rice

Brown rice is highly esteemed by nutritionists because it contains plenty of fiber and nutrients that have been removed from white rice; even enriched white rice will contain less of these nutrients, typically half as much. The only disadvantage of brown rice is that it takes 45 minutes to cook on the stove; a pressure cooker will reduce that time span. But, with a little planning, you can enjoy the benefits of brown rice: not only is it nutrient dense, but it is more flavorful than white. Try brown basmati rice for the ultimate in flavor!

Nutritionists prefer brown rice because it is nutrient dense; like white flour, white rice has had most of the nutritional value removed, along with its flavor and texture. Brown rice is chewy and nutty tasting with plenty of fibre.

The main disadvantage of brown rice is that it takes longer to cook, but you can pre-cook it and freeze it in serving-sized containers, if you wish. It freezes well, and also reheats in the microwave perfectly. Or, leftovers can be stirfried. It only takes about 45 minutes to cook on the stove, and a pressure cooker is faster.

Wash the rice well before cooking; this helps to remove any powdered starchy material that will make your finished rice sticky. One method is to place the rice in the bottom of a large bowl and allow cold water from the tap to run slowly into the bowl, carrying any debris away as it overflows. Rinsing in a strainer should be repeated a few times, allowing excess water to run out in between rinsings. However, if you are buying a high-quality American rice like organic basmati, you may find that it is very clean out of the package. Delrose is an excellent example.

At this point, you can spread the damp rice out on a cookie sheet and toast it in a 300° F oven for 20-30 minutes (quicker with dry rice). This will reduce cooking time in the pot to 30 minutes. Stir the rice on the pan a few times during the toasting. Toasting produces a nutty flavor in the rice and a fluffy texture. If you toast the rice first, you can also add a small amount of wild rice to the pot which will then cook in the same amount of time.

Measuring water for steamed brown rice can be trial and error. For one cup of rice, two cups of water are required, but for larger amounts of rice (2 cups) water should be reduced to 1 times the amount of rice, or less if you are making 4 cups. Add salt to taste to the water and bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer for a total of 45 minutes, without lifting the lid during cooking.

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You may replace some of the water with concentrated broth. Even for a chicken recipe, tinned beef broth works well for steaming rice. Vegetable broth will add flavor, and if you have turkey or chicken broth you have made, that is excellent. A crystalized bouillon like Knorr also adds great flavor.
If you prefer to avoid the calculations involved in measuring water for cooking brown rice, you can soak it over night first and then steam it in a vegetable steamer. Place 2 cups of water in the pot, add the steamer, and then carefully spread your rinsed and soaked rice in the steamer. In a pressure cooker, it should only take about 20 minutes to steam, depending on the amount of rice you have. Sweet Black Rice
This technique works well with black rice, a whole grain from Indonesia known to contain large amounts of the purple antioxidant pigment anthocyanin, found in blueberries; therefore, black rice is believed to have remarkable health properties, although only preliminary studies have been done to determine how effective anthocyanin is in the human body.
Uncooked Brown Rice

Nutrients in Brown Rice:

phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, thiamin, V-B6, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, protein, fiber

Other favorites to add to the pot when steaming rice are minced sun-dried tomatoes, peas, lemon zest, crumbled cinnamon bark or dried chilies, raisins, sliced dried apricots, ginger, . . . fresh herbs and/or feta cheese can be added after the rice is cooked.

Try our favorite Rice Pudding recipe with brown basmati rice; this pudding has a custard consistency rather than the runny consistency of commercial white rice pudding.


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