Dave lived in a house with 3 guys at Michigan State University his senior year. It was Dave, Dave, Joe and Joe living in the Cozy Cottage, how cute . When he moved in, my mom bought him this rice cooker as a housewarming gift. What a wise mother; planning ahead by giving a good gift that we’d use over and over down the road as a married couple. Don’t be fooled by the size, this little guy can make 6 or 7 cups of cooked rice.
Rice is so versatile and can be used in a wide array of dishes from desserts (rice pudding) to main entrees. If the question is brown rice vs white rice, brown rice always wins for me. While white rice is dirt cheap, brown rice isn’t too far behind in terms of price. I also think you get a way better bang for your buck since white rice is depleted of nutrients.
After the inedible hull is removed, you are left with the endosperm, germ, and bran. The bran is on the outside and is a tan color, hence the name “brown rice.” White rice is made by stripping the bran and most of the germ layer, leaving the starchy, white endosperm… white rice.
The bran layer is an arsenal of fiber that helps aid digestion and lower cholesterol. Brown rice also contains heart-healthy fats, but during the refining process the bran is removed and the rice is then polished to remove a layer of the grain that contains the good fats in order to prolong shelf life. Not only are the fats removed, but many other beneficial nutrients are stripped out as well. I found these numbers on the Whole Foods website: The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. You might as well just eat a spoonful of sugar if all you’re going to get from white rice is refined carbs.
Since rice takes about 30-45 minutes to cook it’s helpful to make a big batch, use what you need, and freeze the rest. It’s much cheaper than buying the 1-minute pre-cooked rice. All you’ll have to do is add a sprinkle of water to your frozen rice and zap it in the microwave. I love Alton Brown’s show Good Eats, but I do have to disagree that some uni-taskers are worth having. Maybe my avocado slicer was a silly purchase, but a rice cooker is wonderful because I can set it and forget it. The cooker even turns itself off when the rice is done, so I don’t even need a timer! I think ours was only $15 at Meijer, well worth my mom’s investment 😉
Do you use a rice cooker? What are your favorite dishes with brown rice?