Quick Tip: Brown Rice is Better (and Not That Hard to Cook)

By , SparkPeople Blogger
It's a staple in cuisines around the world, from Chinese to Japanese, Indian to Thai, even Italian, African and Caribbean. It comes in an array of colors and all different lengths and shapes. It's found in dishes sweet and savory.
Rice, it seems, is a pretty versatile food. So why are you still eating run-of-the-mill white rice (with butter, no less)?

Step away from the boil-in-bag, and say no to the white rice. (Whose bright idea was it to create rice that doesn't clump together? Have you ever tried to eat it? It's mushy and hard to keep on your fork!) There's better rice out there.

Brown rice.

I've heard the arguments: It takes longer to cook. It's hard to cook. I don't like it.

Today we're going debunk all those excuses.
Brown rice is better, and it's better for you!

Brown rice (1 cup long grain)
217 calories
1.8 g fat
45 g carbs
3.5 g fiber
5 g protein
White rice
205 calories
.4 g fat
44.5 g carbs
.6 g fiber
4.3 g protein

(Long grain has fewer calories per cup compared with short grain rice.)
Brown rice is full of vitamins and minerals, too. According to whfoods.com:
"The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1 [thiamin], 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron."

Brown rice has a stronger taste and firmer texture than white rice, but the taste doesn't overwhelm even the most delicate of sauces. If you've tried it before and disliked it, give it another try. Studies show that it can take a few tries before we learn to like a new food.

Ask for brown rice at restaurants. It's not as ubiquitous as white or--gasp--fried rice, but many restaurants offer it. Pair it with stir-fries, stews and soups. Ask for it in your sushi rolls. Eat it with curries, throw it in casseroles and even use it to make risotto!

I make my kimchi fried rice with brown rice (or sometimes quinoa--more info coming soon)! No one can tell the difference.

It's really quite versatile. Use it almost any recipe.

Excuse: It's too hard to cook! (And it takes too long!)

No matter how you cook it, brown rice isn't that hard to cook. Yes, it does take longer to cook than white rice, but you can make a large batch and keep it on hand for quick meals.

The easiest way to cook it is on the stovetop: Heat 2 cups of water to a boil, then add one cup of brown rice. Bring to a boil again, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes or until rice is as tender as you'd prefer. Store leftovers in fridge for a few days or freeze in single serve portions.

Brown rice can also be cooked in the microwave, an oven, or the slow cooker.

Still not convinced? If all else fails, just buy it in the freezer case!

Do you prefer white rice or a brown rice? Will you make the switch?