Grains & Alternatives: Brown Rice

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Brown rice is a type of rice that is closer to the original state it was at in nature. Brown rice has not had the outer bran removed, which helps to keep more fiber and nutrients in tact. However, it is important to be aware that brown rice has significantly higher arsenic levels than white rice does. Preparing your rice by washing and rinsing it can help to remove this, but eating brown rice very frequently is not recommended. Brown rice from California, and India tend to be lower in arsenic levels.

Brown rice comes in many varieties just like white rice does. The same differences between short, medium, and long grains apply to brown rice as well. If you need a refresher click here to go read on white rice.

Brown rice tends to be much more chewy. It can be more nutty in flavor as well. Exploring the different types of brown rice can provide some new and interesting flavors.


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Here at the Hart Center, our favorite type is forbidden, or black rice. This rice is originally from China. The flavor is very nutty and chewy. The dark coloring of this rice tends to stain any sauce or ingredients mixed in. When cooked with coconut milk, it makes a beautiful purple rice pudding. This color is indicative of the high antioxidants in this rice.


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Red rice is another interesting variation of brown rice. It has anthocyanin, which is a flavonoid. Red rice tends to have a more nutty flavor. A variation on red rice is Wehani rice and is produced by Lundberg farms.

Brown rice is a good way to mix things up, and continue to include variation in your diet. The most important thing to do with diet is rotate items and include variety!

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