Nutrition and Labeling - Seeking Brown Rice Advice Please




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Manick
07-28-2008, 07:52 PM
All right knowledgeable foodies...

What kind of brown rice do you buy?

Is there a more nutritious kind of brown rice?

How do you cook it?

Any sure-cook tips for a rice newbie?

I have just never made rice a big a part of my diet but I'm trying to incorporate more brown rice that I prepare myself without resorting to buying it from the local Thai food joint.

I have tried Trader Joe's brown Basmati rice (which turned out like a big gooey porridge) and Trader Joe's brown Jasmine rice (ditto on the gooey porridge consistency) Therefore I KNOW it is user error. :p I have read a few tips online, but I trust the wisdom of the 3FC nutritionistas....

So...what am I doing wrong?

I am using a copper core bottom steel pan with a tight fitting lid and putting about an inch of water over the level of the rice (one thumb knuckle) which is what several websites instructed. I bring it to a boil and reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes and then turn the stove off and set it to the side for 5 minutes. I have also tried measuring 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. Same result. Too much water? Should I try a new cooking method? :?:

Thanks! :cool:


mandalinn82
07-28-2008, 08:26 PM
My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.

meowee
07-28-2008, 08:27 PM
Buy a box of Uncle Ben's Brown rice and follow the directions on the box -- that's all I've ever done and it comes out perfectly fine every time. Good Luck. :hug:


rockinrobin
07-28-2008, 09:41 PM
My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.

Oh those Lundberg Farms mixes are FABULOUS. Simply FABULOUS.

If you're looking for a great plain brown rice, Lundberg Farms Short Grain Brown Rice is my favorite. I cook it according to the package, adding a chicken boullion cube.

In fact, both of these items are so good, I can't be trusted with it. So, I haven't made em' in ages.

murphmitch
07-28-2008, 09:42 PM
My brown rice takes a lot longer than 20 minutes...my method is much like this:

http://startcooking.com/blog/253/How-to-Cook-Brown-Rice

My FAVORITE brown rice isn't all rice...it's a brown and wild rice blend made by Lundberg Farms...soooo good and nutty all on it's own, amazing under a stirfry. The calories are a bit lower because of the wild rice component...150 calories per 1/4 cup dry.

Love the Lundberg's. Takes more like 45 min to cook. Most rice has directions for the amount of water to cook with rather than having an inch above the rice level. Maybe that's the problem.

musictchr
07-28-2008, 09:56 PM
Buy a box of Uncle Ben's Brown rice and follow the directions on the box -- that's all I've ever done and it comes out perfectly fine every time. Good Luck. :hug:

I even go a step further - I get the boil-in-a-bag instant. Not sure about the nutritional difference, but it comes out great!

Suzanne 3FC
07-28-2008, 10:39 PM
My favorite brown rice is actually black rice :) Forbidden rice, by Lotus Foods. It's really delicious, and high in fiber and other nutrients. I once made a pot full plain, without even salt, and brought it to a dinner with the intention of serving it with another dish on top. But everyone that tried it loved it as it was, and ate it plain.

I also just discovered Lotus Foods Jade rice. It's really a white rice, but it's infused with a special type of bamboo extract. A quarter cup of the organic dry rice contains 10 grams of fiber! Plus it's loaded with antioxidants. It tastes delicious, too :T

Both the Forbidden Rice and the Jade rice can be purchased at www.freshapproachdietstore.com or direct from Lotus Foods.

BlueToBlue
07-29-2008, 01:57 AM
My number one tip would be to stop bothering with cooking it yourself and buy Trader Joe's pre-cooked brown rice. Just pop it in the microwave and it comes out perfect every time. They sell it frozen and in shelf-stable vacuum sealed containers. I like the sprouted brown rice with seaweed (it's shelf-stable, so it's usually in the same section as the dried pasta and rice), but they also sell plain brown rice. With the shelf-stable rice, the package says the entire bowl is one serving and I guess maybe if that's all you were eating it would be, but as a side dish, I find that 1/2 or 1/3 package is plenty.

If you are going to cook it yourself, I recommend cooking it in the oven. The stovetop method never works for me. The rice comes out undercooked and there's always a layer that sticks to the bottom of the plan. Cooked in the oven it comes out perfect every time and never sticks to the pan. I start it on the stovetop, bring it to a boil, dump it into a casserole dish, cover it, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45 min or so, until it is the right consistency. If all the liquid is absorbed before the rice is done, just stir in some more. You just put it in the oven and forget about until it is almost done (check on it once or twice towards the end of the cooking time).

A couple of other tips:

For more flavor, use chicken broth instead of water. (BTW--I always measure my liquid and use the amount the package calls for, maybe a little more because I like my rice soft. I've never tried that one-inch about the rice suggestion.)
Try to stir it as little as possible. Stirring causes it to release starch, which is what makes it come out like gooey porridge. Whether you are cooking it in the oven or on the stovetop, set the heat appropriately and forget about it until it is almost done.

txsqlchick
07-30-2008, 04:40 PM
My brand of brown rice used to be Sainsbury's So Organic Brown Rice. Since I've moved back to the US, I haven't found another brand of rice that could match it in flavor or texture.

I guess I could hit Whole Foods or Central Market, but both of them are a slog for me and it's a pain to go so far just to get good RICE.

The longer I'm back in the US, the more I realize how crappy our food is here and it makes me sad. And a little angry. I'd kill for decent bread. Our processed food is a nightmare, full of HFCS. I buy Heinz organic ketchup for the simple reason that it tastes like ketchup ought to taste because it's made with sugar and not HFCS, not because I'm precious about pesticides in my food.

Ok, rant over. I don't mean to hijack the thread.

PhotoChick
07-30-2008, 04:52 PM
I bake mine. Super easy and I can make a batch at the beginning of the week that I can eat hot with dinner the first night and then use for lunches cold the rest of the week.

It's actually an Alton Brown recipe - I just leave out the butter:

1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

HoneyMustard
07-30-2008, 05:15 PM
This is a great thread! I was just wondering if I should post my rice questions!

I usually buy Lundberg long grain brown because it seems to have the most fiber, and mix a little of Voyageur wild rice (black). I fill a 3/4cp with the rice(s), add the same amount of water plus about 1tbl. And steam in my steamer for exactly 1 hour. Perfect every time. I think I will try it with my homemade beef stock!

Magpie34
07-30-2008, 08:40 PM
I picked up a rice cooker in Japan that does a kick-a** job on brown rice! It's so easy, and the rice comes out perfectly every time. Any of the Micom or "fuzzy logic" cookers will handle brown rice well.

I mostly use brown basmati rice, because I prefer long-grain rice. OMG, it smells SO good when it's cooking. Like others have mentioned, it's really nutty and delicious on it's own, I don't add anything to it (no butter, salt, etc.).

WaterRat
07-30-2008, 08:59 PM
Wow, some of these rices sound delicious. Neither of the 2 grocery stores here carries anything as exotic! But I have in the past gotten a Lunenberg product - one called red rice (I think) and another that was called a Christmas blend? I'll have to look again when I go to the "big city" (Anchorage, pop ~30,000, about 50 miles from here). There's a large independent/Asian market there, plus one called Natural Pantry that has a lot of organic foods.

And curious re: the recipe that Photochick posted. Why use unsalted butter plus salt, rather than just salted butter???

PhotoChick
07-30-2008, 10:05 PM
The salt in butter is different from Kosher salt .. which provides more salt flavor than salted butter. You can use less salt with the Kosher - getting more bang for your buck so to speak. :)

.

nelie
07-31-2008, 08:30 AM
I have a rice cooker which I think is money well spent. I can put in rice, water and honestly, I've never had a bad batch of rice. It even has a feature which you can put something in the morning into it and set a timer for it to start. I've cooked rice/bean mixtures in it and they've come out wonderfully and I've also cooked other grains like steel cut oats in it.

My current favorite rice is raw red rice which I got from an indian market but my other favorite is brown basmati rice.

I generally cook extra rice and store in the fridge or even the freezer.

crazy4weightloss
07-31-2008, 11:08 AM
We use a rice cooker and get perfect rice everytime. Easy and well worth it. We love Basmati rice!

Manick
07-31-2008, 02:20 PM
This *is* a great thread! ;) Thanks so much everybody for the rice tips and brands and ideas! I am loaded with facts now!

I have tried the Trader Joe's frozen brown rice but they've been out the last 2 times I was there, hence my need to make my own.

I knew there had to be some extra nutritious rices out there and that this was just the place to ask! I will buy and try! The Lundberg Farms and the Lotus Foods Jade rice are next on the list.

I am going to try the oven bake method tonight for dinner! :cool:

BlueToBlue
07-31-2008, 07:15 PM
I have tried the Trader Joe's frozen brown rice but they've been out the last 2 times I was there, hence my need to make my own.

You might look for the shelf-stable pre-cooked rice. I think it tastes just as good and they tend to run out of that a lot less often (and, as a bonus, it doesn't take up room in your freezer). It should be with the rest of the bagged rice.

BabyFatGone
08-05-2008, 10:04 PM
I am from south India and rice is staple part of my diet. I steam my brown basmati rice. I measure and add requisite amount of water to the rice and steam it for about 35 minutes. No sticking to the bottom ever.

Sometimes I also use a pressure cooker to cook the rice.

zenor77
08-05-2008, 10:49 PM
I use a rice cooker. I love the fact that I can set the timer and the rice will be ready when I get home, or shortly there after. I have had good luck with cooking rice on the stove as well, I think the important thing is to use a heavy bottom pot with a tight lid.

Brown rice always takes 45-50 minutes to cook on the stove top (at least for me it does.) This will also vary depending on the elevation of where you live. It may take longer at a higher elevation (and you may need to add more water.)

Lundburg is my favorite brand of domestic rice. I usually buy it in bulk at my local health food store. Nothing beats a good basmati for a nice fragrant pilaf though!

WebRover
08-05-2008, 10:52 PM
Just wanted to say I tried Photochick's baked brown rice recently and it was very good! I should have frozen what we didn't eat that night. That's what I'll do next time.

lizziep
08-06-2008, 01:14 AM
another vote for lundenberg farms rice- i love the brown jasmine rice but its hard to find where i live.

i always had a hard time cooking rice until i figured out a couple of things.
1. i never ever use minute rice anymore.
2. i use a liquid measuring cup for the water and a regular measuring cup for the rice- before i'd just use the regular cup and i think it threw off the ratios.
3. the type of rice really seems to make a difference. i have no trouble now with the long grain rice- sometimes i still can't get short grain to come out right.
4. when in doubt- TJ's frozen cooked brown rice really is delish! :)

now that i finally mastered rice- i just need to figure out why i ruin every single soup i ever try to make. lol.

txsqlchick
08-06-2008, 07:43 AM
With every type of rice except basmati I put in 2x as much water as I do rice plus about 1/4 cup extra for whole brown rice. With basmati I just boil a pot and toss it in, then drain the excess through a sieve. I never have a prob.

One trick an old friend from South America taught me was to heat up a little bit of oil (doesn't matter what kind) in the pot, then pour in the rice and fry it for a little while; then when the rice is starting to change color, pour in the water. It boils quickly...reduce heat, simmer, and you're done. Throw in an onion wedge for flavor and it comes out delicious. He taught me how to make rice that way almost 15 years ago and I still cook it that way sometimes.

havoc
08-14-2008, 07:54 AM
I buy POSB (plain old store brand) brown rice and use a fully excellent rice cooker I bought in an Asian grocery store. I can't imagine trying to cook brown rice on a stovetop with that cooker around! Viva technology!

Now, I'm not talking about a cheap $20 cooker with a lightweight aluminum pot you see at Wal-mart. Those things are junk - they scortch something fierce, and the only control is an on/off switch. They're practically useless for anything other than plain white rice (which scortches).

If you're going to invest in a rice cooker, sink your money into something of quality. Get a cooker with a HEAVY bowl that uses "fuzzy logic". They'll usually have several different settings including white rice, brown rice, and rice porridge. A timer is nice, and most of these have a "keep warm" feature which kicks in automatically after the cooking cycle is done. I've actually cooked rice in my Sanyo cooker in the evening and forgotten about it - only to find the cooker on "Keep Warm" in the morning - with perfect rice at a safe temperature.

I've also figured out that a rice cooker cooks steel cut oats flawlessly on the porridge setting. They look a bit thin when the lid is opened, but as the bowl cools down, they thicken up beautifully.