This one goes out to rice. For most of my life, white rice was in almost every dinner I made or was served. Before moving to college, I witnessed my family go through about 3 to 4 rice cookers. I find a comfort in white rice; it’s glistening fluffiness reminds me of a welcome meal when my stomach wasn’t feeling well, big family events at our favorite, now no longer Chinese restaurant, and home. The wonder of sushi later got added to that list in college.
I never questioned it’s pearly sheen or if rice really came in other colors or shades. I think I knew of brown rice, but it was just a thing that was out there, floating in the ether. When I started to change my diet and eat healthier, I noticed the suggestion to stop eating white foods, including white rice.
In order to make rice a creamy white color, the rice grain is stripped of it’s bran and polished. Removing rice’s bran takes away most of nutrients rice naturally has in it, including vitamin E, riboflavin, niacin, iron and more. It also lowers the amount of fiber rice can provide. Years ago, it was mandated that rice manufacturers add those nutrients back into rice, which is why white rice is called “enriched.”
After learning this, I decided I wanted to eat rice that didn’t need to be enriched and made the switch to brown rice. I enjoyed it’s newer, nuttier and hearty flavor. Shortly after I discovered quinoa and other whole grains, and rice got pushed further down the pantry hierarchy.
I’ve since emerged from the whirlwind of new grains, depleting my boxes of newness to see my jar of rice still sitting on the shelf, waiting patiently. It’s been long enough, and my brown rice deserves a spot on my plate.
This dish can easily be enjoyed with another grain, but I ask you to consider the humble nuttiness of brown rice. Give it a try and the rice may surprise you.
This recipe is part of a series called Nutrition DL. Nutrition DL gives you the download on seasonal fruits, vegetables, or pantry staples. Once you learn about the basics of the featured ingredient, I share a four recipes over four weeks to inspire and feed you with this great seasonal food. Check out other foods I’ve covered here.