Rice 101

May 29, 2012

There are many different types of rice in the supermarket; find out the basics here

What is Rice?
Rice is a seed from Oryza sativa cereal plants. It is a staple food for about half the global population and is used in both savory and sweet recipes.

How To Buy:
Rice is sold in bags, boxes or microwavable packages (frozen, refrigerated or shelf stable).
What to Look for on the Label: If sodium intake is a concern, read the label and select lower sodium flavored rice mixes, or plain rice and add the spices at home yourself.

Check ethnic foods aisles for varieties like China or Indonesian Black, Indian Basmati, Italian Arborio Italian, Thai Purple, or Jasmine rice. In the U.S., Long grain rice is most common and is used for most dishes. Shorter grain rice has a higher starch content that allows it to stick together and is ideal for sushi. Sprouted rice can be purchased in some stores and has a shorter cooking time.

How To Use:
Rice should be rinsed before cooking. White and brown rice can usually cook with two parts water to one part rice. The heavier and more densely colored the rice, the more water it will take, usually 3 parts liquid to 1 part rice (but always read labels). Rice absorbs seasonings: use garlic, onions, and fresh herbs; a little butter or oil during cooking also adds flavor. To cook, use water, juice, broth, tea, or a mixture. Use cooked rice to make fried rice or Spanish rice.

How To Store Rice:
Place opened packages of rice (or rice purchased in bulk) In a jar with a tight-fitting lid a cool dry cupboard - up to six months.

Health Benefits:
Whole grain rice, such as brown rice, contains more nutrients; the darker the rice, the better. Rice is a gluten free option.

Smarter Shopping:
Wild rice is the seed of a water grass; it looks like rice kernels and cooks in a similar way.

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