February 20, 2013

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.
Lesson learned.
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
filtered water

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?


sarah {on the brightside...} said...

Yumm! I will definitely have to make my rice in broth next time!! And thanks for the great tips... I learned a lot from reading this! :)

Jackie Norris said...

I'm actually so glad you did a post about rice! The more I'm cooking the more I realize I don't know a lot of basics.

I do have a question for you... how do you store your cooked rice? Every time I have kept rice in the fridge it ends up being really dry. How should I store and/or reheat it? Does rice freeze well?

summer said...

Hi Jackie! Thanks so much- I was hoping it would be helpful to somebody! :) I typically just put my leftover rice in a glass bowl, cover, and keep it in the fridge. Yes, I know what you mean. If I took it out and tried to eat it straight out of the bowl it would be dry. But I'm almost always re-using it in a way that would put moisture back into it. (soup, stir fry, homemade salad dressing, or adding butter/coconut oil) I reheat a serving of rice in a small saucepan with a spoonful of butter/ghee/coconut oil over low heat. That works great! I have heard that rice does freeze well, although I always want the convenience of mine being right in the fridge :)

summer said...

Thanks, Sarah! :)

Miranda said...

First of all, LOVE the new header. It looks like the iPad Paper app. I've been using that to write out the 50 Promises and use them as wallpaper on my iPad.

Second of all, I kid you not, the day you posted on Instagram about cooking your rice in broth I had discovered the exact same thing! So of course I love this post.

Did you know you can freeze cooked rice? I do that all the time if I think we're not going to be using rice for a week or two.

erin elizabeth king said...

Thanks for the tips! I love my rice cooker for jasmine and basmati--makes my life a lot easier and I could never get it right in a pot : ) We usually have burrito bowls once a week or some type of curry, so I always keep cooked rice on hand!

Laura @FoodSnobSTL said...

I had NO idea about soaking brown rice! Thank you for the tips.

Anonymous said...

This is great! A friend just suggested an easy meal...rice with cooked veggies, and some homemade lemony vinaigrette :)

Anonymous said...

before trying this recipe, we hardly ever ate rice. now we eat it all. the. time.


any recipe where you bake the rice in the oven is amazing. i think it's the best way to cook rice.

on the stove (which i still do sometimes for a quick dinner for my daughter) i use a 1 part rice, 1.5 parts water ratio (so 1 cup rice:1.5 cups water), bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Summer :-) I really liked your tips on soaking brown rice... thank you! For clarity, are you saying that you don't need to you then use an acidic medium... only water?(like I was originally told to use raw apple cider videgar). Also, you don't have to "rinse" your rice after soaking either?

Lastly, you don't have to soak just organic jasmine or basmati rice at all?

Thanks so much for the clarity around this as I want to be sure before feeding my whole family this way :-)
Warm appreciation,

summer said...

Hi Pam! These are great questions!! Ok, let me see:
1. From the online class I took on soaking whole grains, the method I learned was to soak rice with water and then keep re-using that same water over and over on each batch of rice you soak. The rice water becomes a strong fermented liquid! So, no acidic medium needed. It seemed funny to me too, because nearly every other grain calls for an acidic medium for soaking!
2. I don't think you have to rinse the rice, but you can.
3. No soaking necessary for any kind of white rice! :)



about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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