Even though I was as tired as the wings of a bird three weekends ago, I was excited. Usually, I do most of my cooking on Saturdays ahead of the week. Three Saturdays ago wasn’t different. I cooked some meals and stored them in the refrigerator.
So what was the excitement about?
My brown rice! My perfectly cooked brown rice! Yipeee!
Okay, let me share a confession.
Three weeks ago, I took my daughter for her vaccination and while we waited to be attended to, the clinic secretary received a call from a patient who wanted to know about his/her blood glucose result. Unfortunately for him or her, his/her blood sugar was quite high and the secretary advised him/her on what to eat and not eat. What to do and not do. In short, the patient was developing diabetes, which is a high blood sugar condition.
My heart skipped as I listened (or eavesdropped? No, she was loud enough to be heard by everyone so I didn’t eavesdrop). That was when I remembered that I’d been eating too much white rice in the past few weeks. Yet I had a pack of brown rice in the kitchen cabinet that I hadn’t cooked.
I didn’t like the way my brown rice usually came out soggy after boiling. I know you’ll agree with me that white rice could be tempting even though it’s not as healthy as brown rice.
Wait. Let me tell you what brown rice is.
What is Brown Rice?
Rice is one of the most consumed staples all over the world. As a matter of fact, a lot of people eat rice every day. Some months ago, I did a ‘survey’ on Facebook, I asked my Facebook friends the food(s) they eat on a daily basis. About 80% listed ‘rice’ as one of the foods they can’t but eat every day.
Types of Rice
I hope you know that there’s more to rice than just ‘white rice’. Oh yeah, there are varieties of rice and they can be classified according to different characteristics: length and shape, texture, colour, and aroma. But for the purpose of this article, I’ll be focusing on the length and shape and colour.
Types of Rice according to Length and Shape
. Long Grain Rice- This is usually slim and long but it expands in length and width when cooked.
. Medium Grain Rice- It’s not as long as long grain rice and tends to stick together than long grain rice.
. Short Grain Rice- It’s usually plump and sticky when cooked.
Types of rice according to colour:
Red rice (which I’ve eaten before)
Black rice (also known as forbidden rice)
Rice grain is called rough rice or paddy and it consists of the hull, which is the outer protective inedible layer; the bran layers, composed of fibre, vitamin B complexes, protein and fat, and it’s the most nutritious layer; and the endosperm, which is composed of mainly starch.
The number of layers retained in a certain type of rice determines its nutritional content. Brown rice has the inedible hull removed but has the bran layers and the endosperm retained while white rice has the hull and bran layers removed, thus, leaving the starchy endosperm. Brown rice is classified as whole grain while white rice is classified as polished grain or refined grain.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
1. Brown rice has its outer hull removed but its bran layers and endosperm intact while white rice has its outer hull and bran layers milled off, but its endosperm retained.
2. Brown rice is chewier than white rice, so white rice taste is usually preferred. Brown rice taste requires some getting used to.
3. Brown rice has a rough texture while white rice has a smooth and finer texture.
4. Brown rice has a longer cooking time than white rice i.e brown rice takes longer to cook because of its fibrous bran layer.
5. White rice digests easier than brown rice and that’s because brown rice has its bran layers which have fibre, intact.
6. White rice has a longer shelf life than brown rice.
Benefits of Brown Rice
1. Brown rice is highly nutritious because it has the most nutritious bran layers retained while the milling process of white rice strips it of its nutrients.
2. Brown rice is a healthier option as it is low in calories, high in fibre, gluten-free and cholesterol free.
3. Brown rice has a low GI (Glycaemic Index). G.I refers to the value assigned to carbohydrates in foods and how fast or slow they raise blood glucose levels after eating.
The higher the GI, the faster the food raises blood sugar levels.
GI is classified as:
55 or less = Low (good)
56-69 = Medium
70 or higher = High (bad)
Brown rice has a GI of 55 and thus, helps to prevent diabetes and even diabetes complication because it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Research has shown a link between high GI foods and the development of type 2 Diabetes. Low GI foods take longer to digest and longer to be converted into glucose.
4. Brown rice helps in weight loss because of its chewy texture and fibrous content. Its chewiness makes you eat slower while its fibrous content promotes fullness. Remember, less food is fewer calories.
5. Brown rice can help in reducing certain types of cancers such as bowel cancer. The importance of fibre in the diet and to health cannot be overemphasized.
How to Cook Brown Rice
Now that you are equipped with knowledge on what brown rice is and the benefits of brown rice, let’s get right into how to cook this fibrous goodness of nature. Remember I said the reason I stopped cooking brown rice was that my brown rice usually turned out soggy, and who likes soggy rice?
To be honest, the taste of brown rice requires some getting used to, so imagine having to deal with the chewy and fibrous nature and the sogginess.
Just like most people, I love rice and I don’t mind eating it every day. In fact, we eat rice almost every day in my home, and if this is the case, then we have to eat healthily, so brown rice is a must. I had to figure out the way to cook my brown rice perfectly so that we can enjoy eating rice without frowns plastered on our faces. Healthy eating is important but we should have fun while at it.
Before I cooked my brown rice that Saturday, I took to YouTube to see if I could find a helpful video that’d guide me in cooking brown rice perfectly, and luckily, I found one and you can find it below:
[VIDEO] How to Cook Brown Rice
[METHOD]How to Cook Brown Rice
- Put water to boil. Brown rice needs more water to cook than white rice. For a cup of rice, you’ll need two and a half cups of water because apart from the fact that brown rice takes longer to cook, you’ll need to drain the rice when it’s cooked to prevent mushiness.
- Add a few drops of olive oil or any healthy oil (I use coconut oil) and some drops of lemon juice to prevent the rice grains from sticking together.
- Add salt to taste.
- Wash rice thoroughly in order to remove any attached dirt and to improve the appearance of the rice.
- Pour washed rice into the boiling water.
- Boil for twenty or thirty minutes (depending on the type of brown rice you buy) and drain.
You should get a perfect result this way. Check out my result in the video below:
[VIDEO] Brown Rice
What do you think about brown rice? Let me know what you think and do not hesitate to share this article. Let’s spread the gospel of healthy eating.