How to Cook Brown Rice

Brown rice is a fiber-rich, whole-grain food that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Brown rice is the same as white rice, although it still has its high-fiber covering. It’s that covering that requires a longer cooking time.

Benefits of Brown Rice

Those who eat whole grains, like brown rice, typically have lower body fat percentages and usually eat far less than those who consume starchy, processed foods. Conversely, many women avoid carbs altogether thanks to years of hearing about the benefits of low-carb/no-carb diets. However, carbs are necessary to metabolize other nutrients and keep all of the body’s systems firing. Eating whole-grain and fiber-rich foods can prevent heart disease, diabetes, asthma, gallstones, certain cancers, and metabolic syndrome, among other diseases.

Make the most of the carbs you consume by choosing a complex carbohydrate like brown rice. There are a lot of different methods out there for cooking brown rice, but the following recipe is one of the best ways to yield perfect rice each time.

Step 1: Boil Brown Rice

Grab a pot with a tight fitting lid. Fill the pot with 2 cups of water and 1 cup of brown rice. Reduce the water to 1 and 1/2 cups if you prefer rice that is not too chewy. Crank the heat up to high and bring the rice and water to an uncovered boil.

Step 2: Simmer

When the pot comes to a boil, put the lid on it and reduce the heat to low, bringing the water down to a simmer. Let the rice cook for 20 minutes, covering or closing the steam valve if there is one.

Step 3: Let it Sit

Turn off the heat after 20 minutes, but leave the lid on and let the rice sit for no less than 10 minutes. Feel free to let it go longer, but be sure to let it continue to steam for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Other Options

Rice Cooker: If you do have a rice cooker, the 2:1 ratio–that’s 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rice–will yield fluffy rice in about 40 minutes.

Sweet Rice: Bring 1 cup of skim milk to a boil on the stove top, adding 1/4 cup of sugar or honey, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 cup rice. Boil until the consistency is what you’d like and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few raisins.

Using Leftovers: With the leftover rice from last night’s dinner you can make an amazing rice pilaf. Chop 1/2 an onion and brown it in a little cooking spray in a pan. Add 1 chopped carrot, 1/2 cup of thawed peas, a few tablespoons of chicken broth and a pinch of saffron threads. Add 1 cup of the leftover brown rice and stir until mixed thoroughly and warmed through. Delicious!

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