Looking for a way to eat more whole grains? Brown rice is a great option! It has a high-fiber bran coating, which makes it more nutritious than white rice. It also has a chewy texture and a pleasant nutty flavor, and it can be a great addition to many types of dishes, from soups to desserts. Brown rice (like most whole grains) keeps best in the refrigerator or freezer due to the presence of healthful fats in the germ that can go rancid over time at warmer temperatures.
Why Eat Brown Rice?
- Brown rice may help control your cholesterol, blood sugar, and body weight.
- It is a good source of fiber, manganese, and selenium.
- 1/2 cup of cooked long grain brown rice provides about 108 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 2 of grams fiber.
- Long grain — long, thin grains that are light, fluffy, and stay separate after cooking. Often best suited for uses such as side dishes and rice pilaf.
- Medium and short grain — shorter, thicker grains that stick together well. Ideal for risotto, sushi, and desserts.
- Parboiled brown rice — this is rice that is partially cooked in the hull before drying and packaging, resulting in a substantially faster cooking time (usually about 10 minutes). Some vitamins are lost, but 1/2 cup still provides about the same fiber, protein, and calories.
- Brown rice pasta — often found in the gluten-free section of the grocery store, this is a more nutrient-dense option than noodles made of white rice.
How Do I Use Brown Rice?
Brown rice can be used almost anywhere you would use white rice. However, because of the outer bran coating, more water and a longer cooking time is needed for brown rice. ‘Quick’ brown rice is also available.
Did You Know?
Brown rice is a versatile grain that can be easily incorporated into many dishes. Try brown rice in:
- Rice pilaf
- Beans and rice
- Rice pudding
- Stuffed peppers
- As a base for stir-fry, curry, or grilled vegetables
If your family’s traditional recipes rely on white rice (like basmati, jasmine, or sushi rice), try substituting just a portion with brown rice. If you’re able to reach a 50/50 split of white and brown rice, you are well on your way to making “half your grains whole”, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.