Learning how to cook brown rice is one of the most valuable kitchen skills (ranked just behind making a great smoothie) to have whether you are on the 21-Day Clean Program or just trying to live a balanced, healthy life.
Why is Brown Rice Best?
When stacking up the benefits of white rice vs brown rice, there’s no competition -- brown rice wins hands down in terms of nutrient density and healthy benefits.
Brown rice can be broken down into three parts -- the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran of brown rice is rich in fiber, B vitamins, and other valuable trace minerals. The germ is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Both the bran and the germ are removed to make white rice, leaving only the endosperm which is the energy-source AKA calories for all rice. Unless you are eating the beneficial bran and germ found in brown rice, you are consuming empty calories in the truest sense.
Don’t Miss this Critical Step When Cooking Brown Rice
Most recipes on how to cook brown rice miss one essential step that can make all the difference in the health value of this whole grain staple. Soaking your rice for at least eight hours is crucial to break down anti-nutrients that can leach minerals from your body. Grains and legumes contain a valuable enzyme called Phytase -- soaking your brown rice releases these essential enzymes making your rice easier to digest, helping your body assimilate optimal amounts of the nutrients found in brown rice. Soaking also makes brown rice tastier and closer to the texture of traditional white rice.
Learning How to Cook Brown Rice Will Transform Your Diet and Health
Once you learn how to cook brown rice, it will become a kitchen staple in your family. A large pot of this nutrient-dense grain can feed a small army while allowing for personalization. Stock up on healthy condiments such as liquid aminos, pesto, nutritional yeast, nut butters, and healthy oils so each person in your family can discover a way they enjoy to consume this healthy grain.
Brown rice is the base for some of our favorite dishes -- buddha bowls, porridges, stir fries, veggie sushi, hearty grain salads -- the possibilities are endless. For better digestion, we suggest pairing your brown rice with leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, and a generous dose of healthy fats such as avocado.
How to Cook Brown Rice
Prep time: 8-12 hours (for soaking)
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 cups short or long grain brown rice
4 cups warm spring or filtered water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Place the rice in a large bowl then top with the water and apple cider vinegar. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the rice stand for 8-12 hours. A good habit is to do this process in the evening so it can soak overnight and into the morning.
When ready, strain the liquid into 4 cup measuring container. Note how much liquid is left as that is how much you need to cook the rice.
Rinse the rice then add to a pot along with a fresh batch of water.
Cover, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
Enjoy hot, or spread out on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and chill. This helps prevent the brown rice from getting gummy as it cools.
Store the cooked rice in an airtight container and use within 4 days. A piece of parchment directly over the top of the rice will help keep the rice from drying out
Recipe by Frank Giglio
Photography by Lynn Karlin