Sunday, March 14, 2010

Healthy Brown Rice


My mother in-law had been telling me to eat brown rice for couple of years but had been ignored. But slowly I did manage to incorporate some brown rice into our diet by mixing it with white rice. Recently I have been seeing the light on brown rice in the United States, brown rice finally got his fame and recognition after all these years of preferring refined white rice.  Brown rice was a poor people food back then because only the rich can afford to buy the refined, processed and fragrant white rice.  When people have more money, they expect a better quality and refine food.  But by doing that, they are actually eating a less healthier food because refine food means a lot of the naturally good for you thing has been taken away by further processing.  Processed food has added coloring, preservative, trans fats and terms that I don't know how to pronounce in it.  So, now we learned that the minimally processed food is still the best for you, the best is to cook the food yourself at home with fresh grocery.  Avoid refined food and go for whole wheat, brown rice, lots of different colors of vegetable, beans, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, fruits, herbs and spices.  It is easy to eat healthy and healthy food can be delicious.  I am switching to brown rice because it is the right time to do so but I still keep some white rice for cooking my nasi lemak and porridge.  As I don't think the nasi lemak (Malaysia fragrant coconut rice) would taste like nasi lemak if brown rice is used.  The trick in cooking brown rice is you need to add more water, almost like double the white rice water amount.  For my rice cooker, for 2 cups of white rice, I used 2.5 water level.  But for cooking 2 cups of brown rice, I need to use 4.5 water level.  Then, your brown rice will be soft and more easily digested (this is for cooking short grain brown rice).  For long grain brown rice, for 2 cups of rice, I used 3.5 cups of water.




Trust me, you will adjust to liking brown rice.  Even my girls have no problem switching, they like their brown rice.  So, what say you?  Be healthier and switch to brown rice or keep eating the expensive refined fragrant Thai white rice that is not so good for you?  You can read about all the benefits of brown rice here.  It might take some getting use to, but you will get use to it, your body will adapt to your new taste bud.  Start eating for your heart and health, just 1 cup of cooked brown rice would do the trick for a healthier you.  Some of the restaurants here have a choice of brown or white rice, I really applaud  the restaurants that took the initiative to serve healthier choice of food to its' customers. Of course, considering you have been eating healthy food along with the brown rice.  Fried chicken wings with brown rice can't really help you much when compared to stir-fry skinless, boneless white chicken with broccoli, carrot, garlic and red bell pepper and brown rice.  You know the math!

16 comments:

Tricia said...

We started to eat brown rice bcos both my husband & I are diabetics.

At the beginning we both hated it. It tasted terrible - hard and has a very yucky taste. Plus, I always have to soak it in the morning for dinner.

After a few trial and error, I found out the type of brown rice you get is very important.

We like the Japanese California Brown Rice. The next thing I learnt by accident was when we had to buy a new rice cooker. Our new rice cooker came with a "Brown Rice" option.

With this option I didn't have to soak my brown rice prior to using.

Now our brown rice comes out soft and tender and it didn't have the 'Yucky' taste anymore.

Stephanie from Juicy Fresh Bites said...

I totally agree with you!
Switching to brown rice really just requires a willingness to try new flavours. And once you do, you can really start to appreciate the nutty flavour of brown rice and the chewiness of it too.

I started off mixing half brown rice and half white rice and eventually I made the switch to brown rice once and for all, so far I'm loving its taste and texture.

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Is brown rice expensive in the US? It's getting very popular here in SG, especially a particular brand from Thailand (with an elephant logo). The brown rice is not too hard, very fragrant and cooks fast. Good to know you are going on the healthy path! :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

My friend told me this too, but I have yet to add into my daily meal, I should consider to give it a start.Thanks for sharing.

tigerfish said...

I love brown rice! I even cook plain porridge with brown rice now. Hee heee....but agree with you that if I were to ever cook Nasi Lemak, I will use white rice...kekekeke....so that explains why I never cook Nasi Lemak for such a long time cos I don't have white rice in my pantry. My parents still like their white rice and refuse to change to brown despite us telling them many times. What to do....

Sook said...

I'm going to get some brown rice this week!st

Joy said...

I actually like brown rice but unfortunately, my husband is not a big fan of the stuff. I have trying to push us to eat it more than the regular rice. I like the favor better than the regular jasime rice.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Hi Tricia, I didn't know brown rice is good for diabetics, I should let some of my friends know but I have to agree with Stephanie from below, it must take the willingness to change. My rice cooker is 10 years old so the white/brown rice is the same button unlike the latest one where it comes in two separate buttons. I'm still waiting for my 10 years old Zojirushi to go "kaput" so that I can go and get a new one.

I agreed Stephanie, we will grow to like it especially it's so good for us. I will add chopped ginger and garlic into it to make it even healthier. ;P

Ju, at least it's not really cheap. On average, it's slightly more than a dollar a pound, unless it's on sales, can get 89 cents a pound. Frankly I am not sure about rice from Thailand especially it's fragrant and cook fast. My MIL told me the fragrant rice from Thailand has fragrant added into it (told from worker who worked in the factory) and if it's cooks fast or not too hard, do you think it has been processed before? Ju, I'm always try to eat healthy lah. :P

You are welcome Sonia. You should start now!

Tigerfish, I know what you mean. It must take the willingness to change. I don't know how many people I talked to regarding this but they still prefer the Thai fragrant rice. What can I do? At least I did try right, the decision it's up to them.

Hooray Sook! I am so glad you are taking the step to eat healthier. :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

Joy, print out the benefits of brown rice and ask him to read it. Hope he will be willing to try to switch after that.

ICook4Fun said...

I am slowly switching to brown rice too but my husband it not a fan of it. I guess I have to cook it more often so he can get use to it. Yes brown rice is good for diabetic.

Food For Tots said...

We eat brown rice most of the time even though we do try basmathi rice, par-boiled rice, Japanese rice and Jasmine rice once in a while. I also add some millets to cook with my brown rice. As I don't have a rice cooker, I steam my rice.

mycookinghut said...

I love brown rice! Apart from that, I also love wild rice.. :)

Anh said...

We are on the same wavelength. I was thinking to make something with brown rice :D

noobcook said...

I think brown rice here is more expensive than white rice coz it's marketed as a health food :P perhaps I should buy a small packet to try :D

Tricia said...

BTW ... brown rice makes VERY GOOD fried rice.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Gert, cook more often and let him get use to the taste. It actually took me three years to convert completely. :P

F4T, you are eating healthy too. :)

Mycookinghut, I love wild rice too, I think it tastes better.

Anh, looking forward to it!

Noobcook, brown rice here is also marketed as health food. I got mine in farmer market on sales for less than a dollar and more than a dollar/pound at Asian market (But the one at the Asian market looks cleaner).

Thanks Tricia, since I just switched, I don't think I have fried rice with it yet. Waiting to collect the leftover rice. Hehe...