Are you surprised that I'm doing a post about rice? I'm surprised that I'm doing a post about rice. But wait a sec, because this is not a throw-away post. Rice can be so awesome when it's done right! I've learned a lot about it in the past year. Real rice, that is, not Minute Rice. Mostly how to soak it, cook it, and make good things out of the leftovers. But the other day I learned something new! Something I will pass down to my daughter. Something that changes everything.
I cooked my rice in chicken broth.
It was the best rice of my life.
Stop cooking rice in water.
Now that we've established the importance of trying rice cooked in broth at some point in your life- hopefully sooner rather than later- I wanted to share some other ricey things. I've been asked what kind of rice I buy and whether or not I soak it, so let's start there.
1. I usually keep a bag of both white rice and brown rice in my cupboard. I like to have white rice (Jasmine or Basmati) on hand for a quick throw-together meal, because it takes less than 20 minutes to make. It's also easily digestible. And I like brown rice because it has such a nice nutty flavor and as it's a whole grain, it has more nutrients! I do buy organic rice when I can. (because it is one of the most highly pesticide-sprayed crops)
2. Unless brown rice is sprouted or soaked, it is harder to digest (the bran in brown rice contains phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that prevents your body from being able to get the vitamins/minerals in the grain) so I do soak it every time before I cook it. I soak brown rice in my special rice soaking water. Oooh! Fancy, right? It's super easy. I'll explain how I soak and cook it in just a minute!
3. Rice is great hot and fresh out of the pot, of course, but I also keep a bowl of leftover in my fridge all the time to whip up fast meals. Here are my favorite ways to use leftover rice... in a stir fry, with this sausage & kale soup poured all over it, cilantro rice salad, sweet cinnamon vanilla rice, or even as a base for a gluten-free quiche!
How to Soak Brown Rice
1 cup brown rice
Add 1 cup of brown rice to a glass bowl. Warm some filtered water to body temp. Cover brown rice with the warm water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and soak for 24 hours. Strain the rice and save the soaking water in a mason jar in the fridge. The next time you are ready to have some rice, just warm your soaking water to body temp again and combine it with rice, and soak for 24 hours. Repeat as often as you like! Each time you use your soaking water, the brew will become stronger and more effective for reducing phytic acid and increasing enzymes. *Never heat the soaking water above body temp (burning to the touch) because you'll kill the live enzymes.
How I Cook Rice
White Rice: Combine 1 cup of rice with 1 3/4 cup of broth or water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Set timer for 17 minutes. When timer goes off, remove rice from heat and fluff with a fork.
Brown Rice: Soak 1 1/2 cups of rice overnight. (see above) Put the soaked rice and 2 cups of broth or water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and cover the pot. Cook rice for 45 minutes (or as long as 60 minutes), until all the broth/water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Serve hot with sea salt and some healthy fat!
What's your favorite way to enjoy rice?