Each month the Whole Grains Council spotlights a different grain. The first Thursday of every month we will be featuring this grain on the blog. These blog posts will include fun facts, nutritional information and health benefits, and storage and cooking tips about the grain.
September is National Whole Grains Month! This month, the Whole Grains Council is also featuring rice as the Grain of the Month. Rice is a versatile gluten-free cereal grain that is consumed widely across the globe. It’s whole grain form is commonly known as brown rice, and it gets its color from the bran and germ of the grain. The refined version, white rice, is stripped of these parts, leaving it with the endosperm. This is why brown rice is richer in nutrients than its stripped down counterpart.
• There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice.
• Rice provides about half the calorie intake for up to half the world’s population. That’s a lot of rice!
• The tradition of throwing rice at weddings stems from the belief that rice is a symbol of life and fertility.
• Archaeologists have traced the consumption of rice back to 5000 BC, making it the oldest known food still widely consumed today.
• About 90% of the world’s rice is both produced and consumed in Asia.
Nutritional Information and Health Benefits
• The bran and germ of the rice grain contain many vitamins and nutrients, which makes brown rice far more beneficial to your health than white rice.
• “Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B6, and an excellent source of manganese, with 88 percent of your daily manganese in just one cup cooked.” – Kelly Toups, registered dietician with the Whole Grains Council.
• Manganese is an important mineral in the digestion of fats and it also helps us get the most out of the proteins and carbohydrates we eat.
• Studies have shown brown rice may reduce risk of diabetes, lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure and help with healthy weight maintenance.
• Although rice cookers are commonly used to cook rice, all you really need is a saucepan with a lid to make fluffy rice!
• Heat one part uncooked rice to two parts liquid in a saucepan, heat to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for 45-50 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
• Avoid stirring rice while cooking unless you’re trying to achieve a stickier rice!
• If the rice is sticking to the pot, add a little water, turn oﬀ the heat and steam it for a few additional minutes. The steam will release the rice from the sides of the pot.
• Rice flour can serve as the basis for a gluten-free flour blend. You can make your own simple and versatile blend by combining half your desired output of brown rice flour, finely milled in your Nutrimill Grain Mill, 1/3 potato starch and 1/6 tapioca starch. The additional starches help bind your baked goods together. Find weight conversions at King Arthur Flour.
• Grind rice twice for a truly fine grind and to avoid a gritty end texture of your baked goods.
• The gluten-free rice flour blend above can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a month or longer in the freezer.
• Uncooked brown rice can be stored at room temperature for up to six months, or in the refrigerator or freezer for longer periods.
• Store cooked rice in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer for several months. We suggest making large batches of rice, freezing the perfect portions and simply reheating at mealtime!