Rice – Low-Fat, Nutritious and Filling

Over 100,000 different types of rice exist. However, our plates are usually heaped with husked, white basmati and jasmine rice. After harvesting the grain of rice is covered by a layer of fruit and seed husk, endosperm and an aleurone layer, which is rich in vitamins and minerals, fat, protein and fibre. Thanks to its high content of complex carbohydrates, rice makes you feel fuller for longer and also serves as a great starch addition to portions of vegetables, meat or fish for a balanced meal.

 

Food Facts Food Facts

Rice

Class

Oryza

Calories

roughly 115 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

26g carbohydrates, 0.5g fibre, 0.2g fat, 2.2g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store dry and hermetically sealed

Shelf life

up to two years

Rice the All-Rounder – Origin and Cultivation

Rice is a type of grain derived from the Oryza sativa and Oryza glabberima rice plant. Especially in Asia, the grain is a dietary staple and accompanies almost all meals. Consequently, rice has been cultivated in many parts of Asia for more than 5,000 years. Even today 90% of the world’s rice is of Asian origin.

Rice is predominantly cultivated in paddy fields, which are flooded parcels of arable land, because the rain and river water helps to defend the rice plants from weeds and pests. After years of agronomical adaptation, the rice plant is now an aquatic plant, so the high water levels do not damage it.

Next to rice cultivated in paddy fields, dry rice is also available. It is obtained by cultivating a sub-type of rice, which has not adapted to the constant state of flooding. Dry rice is predominantly cultivated in areas where the paddy field method is not possible, but with high humidity, like in mountain regions.

Countless Rice Types for Endless Variety

If a nutrient rich, healthy diet is important to you, you should reach for brown rice. Although brown rice too is husked, the layer of endosperm is left intact and, as this layer contains most of the nutrients, brown rice is the more nutrient-packed option. It also has a more intense taste than husked rice, is more firm to the bite and has a slightly nutty flavour. It must be cooked for twice as long as white rice. However, although nutrient-rich, brown rice still does not contain enough vitamins and minerals for a fully balanced diet, so it should always be enjoyed in combination with vegetables, meat or fish.

The aforementioned white rice on the other hand is more heavily processed. Here the endosperm layer is separated from the grain of rice, which is then polished using talcum and glucose. Next to white and brown rice, there is also red, black and green rice. Black and red rice are whole grain rice, making them very nutritious with a nutty flavour. Green rice is harvested when it is not yet ripe and dried in the sun. It is used as a coating or for the decoration of sweets.

Along with differentiations in colour, rice is also divided into long grain, round grain and medium grain rice. Long grain rice is narrow, long and remains grainy once cooked. Basmati and jasmine rice are both types of long grain rice. Round grain rice on the other hand is small and wide and loses a lot of starch during cooking. Once cooked it has a sticky texture, making it perfect for risotto or sushi. Medium grain rice is a mixture of the two other types, but is soft and sticky once cooked. Black rice is an example of medium grain rice.

Easy Ways to Cook Rice and Enjoy Numerous Recipes

There are many ways to cook rice, but the easiest is to boil it using a rice cooker. Simply put the desired amount of rice in the rice cooker and add 1.5 times the amount of water. The rice cooker does the rest of the work. Rice can also be prepared in a saucepan with boiling, salted water and left to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Whichever method you choose to cook your rice, the first step should always be to wash the rice thoroughly. This not only cleans the rice of any dirt, but also removes excess starch. It also prevents the rice grains from sticking to each other and gives it a loose consistency. This excludes paella, risotto and rice pudding rice, as the sticky texture is desired for these dishes.

The cooked rice can be combined a number of ways. For an Asian inspired meal, add it to vegetables cooking in a wok or to a curry. For a more nutritious take combine rice with fresh salmon and steamed vegetables. Rice goes well with almost any meal and can even be turned into a sweet treat as a rice pudding. Why not try rice soup for breakfast? Thanks to the rice and its complex carbohydrates this breakfast will keep you full until lunch.

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Rice Recipes

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