News and Reviews

Rozanne Stevens Recipe Corner – Brown Rice Rules

January 18 2010 at 19:13


The second most cultivated grain in the world  is a powerhouse of nutrients, which we are losing out on when choose white, boil in the bag rice or only ever have it with our Indian or Chinese take away. Rice is a versatile store cupboard essential that is tasty  and economical.

Always choose brown over white rice as it is far richer in nutrients and fibre. The removal of the bran and germ layers in white rice render a nutritionally inferior product that is almost exclusively starch. There is no real difference nutritionally between the varieties of brown rice, so choose the texture and flavour that you prefer. The short-grain varieties tend to be chewier which can be a bit too ‘virtuous’ for some tastes. My favourite  type of brown rice is brown basmati or jasmine rice. The texture is not too different from the white version, cooks up well and is great for salads.

Brown rice has three times the fibre of white rice. This fibre is excellent for the digestive system, attaching to cholesterol and eliminating it from the body, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. The high fibre content exercises the muscle of the bowel, keeping it in good shape, and helps eliminate accumulated waste. This is extremely important to prevent bowel cancer, especially in a diet of stodgy processed foods.

Brown rice is full of B vitamins which are essential to maintain good health. We all hear about B vitamins but what do they actually do? Some of the functions of B vitamins include maintaining brain and nervous system health. Manufacturing antibodies and helping wounds heal faster. Digesting food and stabilising blood sugar levels. And even preventing cataracts! Bottem line, you really need them so just eat them.

After many years of teaching cooking, I find so many students struggle to cook perfect rice. And brown rice is even more confusing for them as there are so many  varieties and no boil in the bag versions. And, just like you, I have also purchased many little bags of various grains from health shops and never cooked them!

I have perfected cooking brown basmati rice and use it as a side dish and also to make hot and cold rice salads. These are great for picnics and to bring into work. Brown rice will also not give you that post lunch snoozy feeling!

Brown Rice Cooking Tips

Buy brown basmati or brown jasmine rice for this method as different varieties require different amounts of water and cooking times.

Allow 1 cup of rice for 2 people. Rinse once under the tap.
Place in a pot and add water. For 1 cup of rice add 2 and a 1/2 cups of cold water.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
When the water has been absorbed, cover and stand for 5-10 minutes.

Rainbow Brown Rice Salad
500g small cooked prawns
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 red pepper, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp olive oil
2tbsp Glenisk  crème fraiche
2tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
1/2tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients to combine, season with salt and pepper and garnish with extra chives.

Make sure to either eat rice hot or chilled. At tepid temperatures it breeds bacteria after 90 minutes.

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Comments (2)

i love brown rice and i did it the way you said but i always thought i had to throw any leftovers in the bin is this right

mary said... on 24/09/2010 at 15:56

Throwing away leftover rice is quite often a good practice as if not stored correctly, cooked rice can bread bacteria than can lead to upset stomachs. Once the rice is cooked, serve whatever is required then cool down the rice completely before storing it in a well sealed container in the fridge. You have 90 minutes in which to do this. You can then eat the rice cold as a rice salad or reheat very well by steaming it. If you haven’t followed this procedure, it is better to discard the rice.

Rozanne Stevens said... on 25/09/2010 at 11:49