I have been eating this stuff for over a year now and always wondered what the difference is from other rices and just about it in general. I eat it as much as 5 times a week with my General Tso's Chicken and just think it is great and ooooooh sooooo flavorful. So just spreading the word about it!
By Kristie Leong MD on September 1st, 2009
The Delightful Health Benefits of Black Rice
Are you looking for a tasty alternative to brown rice? The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of black rice will add interest to any meal. Plus, it has some unique health benefits.
In an effort to eat a healthier diet, some people turn to brown rice as a substitute for white rice. Brown rice is healthier than its overly processed white counterpart since it retains the bran and the germ that’s removed during the processing of white rice. This gives it greater nutritional value and more fiber than standard white rice. Another healthful type of rice that may be less familiar is black rice. Black rice is a heirloom rice cultivated in Asia that was once grown as food for the emperors. True to its name, it appears black when raw, but when cooked it turns a rich purple color that looks quite appealing when spooned onto a dinner plate. But even if purple isn’t your favorite color, you can’t help but be impressed with the health properties this less common, short-grained rice has to offer. What are the health benefits of black rice?
Black rice gets its dark color from the presence of flavonoid pigments known as anthocyanins, plant based pigments with strong antioxidant
properties. Anthocyanins are the same pigments that give many dark red and purple berries such as blackberries, dark cherries, and raspberries their rich color and health benefits. Anthyocyanins are being studied for their role in preventing a variety of chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Much of their benefit appears to stem from their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Prevention of Heart Attacks?
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition
in 2008 showed that an extract from black rice in mice helped to prevent progression of atherosclerotic plaques in the main arteries of the heart – the type that would eventually lead to a heart attack. It also lowered lipid components including triglycerides. In fact, black rice extract was found to be as powerful as the prescription drug Simvastatin, a drug used to lower cholesterol levels. This effect arises from the anthocyanins that are so abundant in black rice. Because of the anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties of the anthocyanins found in black rice, this tasty grain may help to fend off heart attacks.
Other Health Benefits
Black rice is a good source of minerals, including iron, as well as fiber and has a nutritional profile somewhat similar to brown rice. The presence of anthyocyanins gives it a nutritional edge over brown rice.
The Bottom Line
Black rice, with its pleasing, nutty flavor, is a tasty alternative to less nutritious white rice and provides another healthy alternative to brown rice. It’s more difficult to find than other types of rice, but many health food stores and Oriental markets now offer it. Expect to pay a little more for it than you pay for brown rice, but the extra cost may be worth it.
I just have a microwave rice cooker and a microwave rice setting. I just put the rice cooker on my scale zero it out add 425 grams of black rice and then 850 grams of water then put the lid on place it in my microwave and push "Rice" and come back about a half hour later it is done and then take lid off and stir it and let it steam off for 5 minutes then portion it out into 4 portions for rice at work. Then when reheating it I put about a quarter cup of water in then put it in the microwave for 4 minutes.
I grill up chicken breasts on my grill at home every couple of weeks and portion them out into 9oz. servings all chopped up and put them in in the fridge to cool off and then the next day take them to work and put them in the freezer. If frozen I reheat the rice for 4 minutes if not frozen then 2 minutes.
Once the rice and chicken are heated up I then put the rice on a microwavable plate and then keeping the chicken kinda together put it on top of the rice. I then put 8 tbsp of General Tao's sauce on(Either from Iron Chef or from Mikee's sauces, Mikees has half the calories of Iron Chef and is not a s sweet). So this coats the top of the chicken then I add crushed red pepper and then place it back in the microwave for a minute and a half to get the sauce to glaze into the chicken.
I then take it out of the microwave and spread the chicken out over the rice as even as I can and add more crushed red pepper to my taste needs. I have been eating this for over 2 years every day for lunch at work and have been using the black rice now for about a year and like it better than any other rice.
Be careful though it can stain your fingers and dishes for a time. It is also called "Forbidden Rice" or "Emperor's Rice" and can be found in most grocery store but is always cheaper in Asian food stores or online if shipping isn't to much.
I hear it is good with many things. Saw Duff on Ace of Cakes use it in an episode where he made a desert out of it, he bought it at the store under the name "Forbidden Rice". I have also been told that this or sweet black rice is used in China on top of ice cream.
It is a sticky rice so it does just that sticks not falls apart like white rice. It does have a nutty taste and smells great when cooking. So give it a try and let me know what you think.
Lotus foods makes it under the name "Forebidden Rice" but it is a little pricey at $5 a pound. If you have an asian market you can go to or sometimes a world food market they sell it as well and for about $2 a pound. Black Glutinous Rice is what you are looking for, not Sweet Black Rice(which is also good and good for you just has more carbs) or Black Wild Rice(Again good for you but not the same taste and nutritional values as regular black rice.
Lotus Food Link:
Cooking black rice in the microwave. I use a microwave rice cooker fromMagic Chef and I put 1.5 times the water in as ask for, so if it says a cup I put a cup and a half in. I also cook it twice, being my microwave has a "RICE" button so I let it cook once fully on this setting take it out stir it and then cook it again on this setting fully again. Takes of course twice as long but works for me. Also when I reheat cooked black rice I add a little water (tablespoon or 2). I have found I can keep precooked black rice in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks sealed. Hope this helps :)