Next in my basic grains series is another common one – rice. It is a dietary staple for so many cultures.
Rice has one of the lowest phytic acid contents of any grain. So if you forget to soak in advance, go with rice. That being said if you do plan ahead it still helps to soak rice. It will break down the phytic acid it does contain and create a really soft and easy to digest starch for your meal.
Many people assume that using brown rice (the “whole grain” version) is better. But for many that is not the case. I rarely use brown rice because it is harder to digest. For so long I didn’t think I tolerated rice…until I switched to white rice.
Although white rice does not have much in the way of nutrients on its own, it does provide a simple starch for energy. It is also a great medium for other nutrient dense food like butter, coconut oil and broth. So combined they create a balance of nutrition and energy (I learned how important that is when reading The Nourished Metabolism).
A word of caution – as odd as it sounds rice is a pretty common allergen (my son has been rice free for about a year now). So if you eat a lot of rice because you are gluten free, make sure you aren’t eating it every day in order to avoid creating an intolerance or allergy.
Rice can be used in so many ways. It is great as a breakfast porridge with cinnamon, raisins and maple syrup. It makes a great side dish cooked in broth. Rice works well in soups. It is also a great base for things like stir fry, meatballs, stroganoff and tacos.
Let’s not forget that rice even works as a dessert in rice pudding!
One of the best things about rice is that it is so cheap! Bulk up a meal with rice to stretch your meat and veggies without stretching your wallet. A simple meal for pennies is rice cooked in broth. Add a little butter or coconut oil and you have a perfect balance of protein, starch and fat that is easy on the tummy. Not to mention it tastes great! It’s even a good meal for when you are sick.
No matter how you like to use rice it’s best to properly prepare it. Then add some nutrient dense components and dig in! What is your favorite way to serve rice?
- 3/4 cup organic white or brown rice
- 3 cups warm water + 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, whey, kefir or yogurt
- 2 1/2 cups broth and/or water for white rice, 3 1/2 cups for brown rice
- 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
- seasoning to taste (optional - salt, pepper, garlic powder, herbs)
- Combine the rice, warm water and soaking agent in a medium bowl.
- Cover and let sit 7-24 hours.
- Drain and rinse the rice.
- Place the rice and the broth/water in a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes (white rice) or 60 minutes (brown rice).
- Add extra liquid during cooking if it gets too dry.
- This works well as an oatmeal replacement. Simply add any sweetener, milk, dried fruit, nuts, fat, flax seeds, etc. you like to the cooked rice.
- White rice is lower in nutrients, but easier on digestion. It is also great for energy when combined with the nutrient dense components like broth, fat, etc.