Rice is one of the most consumed cereals in the world. Even according to studies, it is the main food of at least half of the world's population. Unlike white rice, brown rice has a particular brown color and also brings numerous health benefits to those who eat it.
Like all cereals, rice is a good source of prolonged energy, which allows us to carry out our activities for several hours. Naturally, brown rice is a good source of magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3) and also contributes to the intake of iron and calcium, all basic elements for the proper functioning of the body.
Brown rice is a suitable alternative for people with celiac disease, intolerant or sensitive to gluten, and of course, it is the best companion for many types of diet. But this does not mean that it has to be cooked only with salt and water. The truth is that brown rice can be cooked in as many ways as the culinary imagination allows.
Nowadays, it is possible to find an infinite number of recipes and combinations that will allow you to cook brown rice like a pro. Here are some important details about this important cereal.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
Compared to white rice, brown rice provides numerous nutrients and benefits for the health of our organism. Some of them are:
Compared to white rice, brown rice provides the body with a lower level of calories. In addition, thanks to the bran it contains, it helps to significantly improve intestinal transit, which translates directly into the elimination of fats. This is one of the main reasons why it is recommended when following a healthy diet since it helps to lose weight.
Contribution of Vitamins And Minerals
Brown rice contains a large number of vitamins, including vitamin B, B2 and B3. And although white rice also contains B complex vitamins, brown rice makes our body absorb these vitamins better.
Brown rice also contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. If we add the different antioxidants and healthy fats it has, it automatically becomes a highly nutritious food and perfect for pregnant women, people with stomach problems and as we have mentioned for anyone who wants to follow a healthy diet.
These minerals can be found in white rice only if it is fortified rice, but in general terms, brown rice provides more nutrients to the body than white rice.
While white rice is absorbed and digested quickly, brown rice is digested more slowly. This means a greater feeling of satiety. In addition, this also allows better absorption of all the nutrients it contains.
Source of Energy
Due to a large amount of carbohydrates it contains, brown rice is a food that allows us to increase our energy levels. For people who are physically active or have a busy schedule during the day, brown rice is excellent as part of your diet.
The main role of fiber is to support intestinal and metabolic function. Because brown rice comes in whole grains, it retains all the fiber that comes with this food. This fiber is not digested completely, but it is expelled directly and in its passage, it drags different substances that can damage the organism, as is the case of cholesterol and sugars that we consume.
Brown rice contains more protein than white rice.
Another notable difference is that brown rice is not subjected to any chemical process, as is the case with the refining of white rice. This is why it keeps its dark color and takes longer to cook.
Pick the Right Tools
Making brown rice is not such an elaborate process and the same utensils can be used for cooking white rice. We can use a wok, a basic casserole, a special rice stove or even any pot in our kitchen according to the size of the portion we are going to prepare. Remember that brown rice is cooked for a long time, so it is recommended to cook it in pots that resist heat for enough time.
You should have a spoon at hand to taste the rice and a knife to chop the seasonings or vegetables for the preparation.
Cooking Instructions For Brown Rice
The preparation of brown rice involves a series of considerations that you must take into account before cooking. It is necessary to take into account that brown rice does not have the same behavior as white rice. Therefore, it will never have the same texture as white rice, nor will it have the same flavor.
At the time of cooking, there is also a notable difference, and it is necessary to get the right cooking point and the amount of water that it will require. Likewise, thanks to the bran that covers each of its grains, brown rice must be cooked for longer. Some brands of rice can take between 20 and 30 minutes to cook, while others can exceed 40 minutes.
It is necessary to emphasize that if we want brown rice full of vitamins and minerals, we should not wash them. By doing so, we would be dragging with the water all the benefits it brings.
Although cooking brown rice turns out to be such a complex activity, in addition to these tips, below you will have some instructions for cooking it.
To Cook On Fire:
In a saucepan, heat the amount of water indicated on the package and add a generous pinch of salt. When the water begins to boil, add the rice.
Cook the rice over medium heat for 20 minutes. The rice should be tasted when at least 18 minutes have elapsed. If it is al dente, we should turn it off. If it is still hard, we should leave it a little more time. The ideal is to check how much time the package indicates and if it is necessary to add more water, we should do it.
When it is al dente, remove it from the heat.
Drain the excess water (if any) and the rice is ready.
To Steam Cook:
Leave the rice to soak for at least 2 hours. Remove the water and place it on a clean cloth.
This will be placed over the steamer. Cover and let it cook for at least 40 minutes.
Since it is a long cooking time, you should check it constantly to prevent it from running out of water.
Taste it before removing it from the heat and verify that it is at its cooking point.
In an electric rice cooker:
You must place all the ingredients in the rice cooker, water, salt, rice and the amount of water according to the portion of rice you are going to use.
You must cover the rice cooker and leave it in cooking mode until it turns off by itself.
Ideally, do not remove the lid from the rice cooker until it has finished so that the rice does not lose heat.
The Best Seasonings For Brown Rice
If you want to cook brown rice with a delicious aroma and with a looseness that has nothing to envy to white rice, you can sauté it with a little extra virgin olive oil and then add boiling water. This way the rice will have an intense and completely different aroma.
Brown rice can be seasoned, served and accompanied like any other rice. If we wish, in the last 10 minutes of cooking we can add chopped vegetables to give it a healthier and different touch.
Another way to prepare it as an excellent side dish is to add some chopped onion, parsley or chopped fresh cilantro. It can also combine perfectly if you add color and flavor with soy sauce or turmeric.
The great advantage of brown rice is that it can be seasoned as much as our diet allows.
Health Benefits of Brown Rice
Brown rice brings numbers of health benefits, thanks to its large amount of nutrients and properties. The most relevant are:
It helps reduce the risk of diseases.
A study conducted by Harvard University revealed that compared to white rice, brown rice, if consumed two or more times a week reduces the risk of chronic diseases and heart disease, such as type II diabetes, as well as relieves stomach problems and helps improve health, thanks to its high nutritional value.
Stable glucose levels.
The fiber contained in brown rice contributes to slower assimilation in the body, which can be clearly translated in that it maintains low levels of glycemia and insulin. This is of vital importance, especially for those who do sports, diabetics, or simply those who wish to have a healthy diet.
It reduces cholesterol levels.
Thanks to the fiber in brown rice not only promotes intestinal function, but also eliminates much of the bad cholesterol. This lowers levels significantly and helps us to take care of our hearts.
Brown rice is a cereal that provides a high level of nutrients for our body and can also be prepared in as many ways as our diet allows. Prepare it as an accompaniment to your proteins or vegetables. Incorporate it as a fundamental part of your diet and start enjoying its benefits.
We are sure that if you learn to cook brown rice like a pro, you will be able to enjoy its benefits.