Brown Is Beautiful: Making The Switch To Brown Rice

Easy Brown Rice

April 23, 2012   44 Comments

Hey, we all want to be beautiful. How about trying some brown rice to aid your efforts?

Why brown rice? It is a cheap way to add whole grain to your diet and a bunch of essential nutrients. It makes white rice look like candy!

The main difference between white rice and brown rice is the processing. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice the bran and germ layer are removed leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.

The processing 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. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.

NO! You don't want to lose all those nutrients, do you? But, white rice is so easy to cook and eat (which is why we love it so).

Does brown rice taste like cardboard? It does take a little getting used to - but you might start to crave its nutty flavor. I add a little butter in the recipe for flavor as well. If you think you will hate it - try 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 white rice to start. Then, slowly, use just brown rice.

I NEVER cooked brown rice until I met my husband. He is great at cooking it in a pressure cooker.

My attempts at brown rice cooking have been...well...sad. I burn the pot, my rice comes out soggy (yuck), and many of my attempts have made it into the trash can instead of the waiting mouths of my family. So, I just let him make it.

BUT, I write this website and I am thinking that being dependent on someone else to make something so important is LAME.

I have tried a bunch of methods and now I am sharing with you my favorite. It was inspired by Alton Brown of The Food Network and it is so EASY that I can't mess it up. I am super busy so what I want is to cook a bunch of it and freeze the rest for a fast rice addition to any meal.

This recipe allows me to easily cook a ton - hardly any stirring, no watching the pot, no draining, etc. AND, the pot is super easy to clean (no burnt, caked on rice to scrub off!).

Eat it for breakfast mixed with raisins and nuts, add it to your packed lunch, or make a "rice salad" or "fried rice" with it. The only limit is your imagination.

Have you tried brown rice? Please share!

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Easiest Brown Rice Recipe For A Crowd

(makes 6 cups of rice)

3 cups brown rice
5 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a tea kettle or pot heat the water to boiling. Put rice into a casserole dish with a lid or use a baking dish that will hold it and use aluminum foil. Dot the butter into the rice and add the salt.

Add the boiling water, stir, and put in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork.

Serve or put in containers for freezing and save for later use.

For 1/2 cup = 143 calories, 4.6 g fat, 22.9 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 1.8 g fiber, 179 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only.
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First 20 Comments: [ see all 44 ]

I also love long grain wild rice... Go healthy or go home!!

on April 23, 2012

Love Brown Rice! I never thought I could make the switch, but I did and I love the flavor so much better than white!!

on April 23, 2012

Just did this for the first time last week! Gave my family a speech about I know it's not white rice, and you're not going to like it, but tough, it's what we'll be eating from now on...and... they liked it! Couldn't be easier :)

on April 23, 2012

I love Brown rice for my fried rice because of it's firmness. I wonder if I can get used to the idea of brown rice and fruit for breakfast? I have gone gluten-free but struggled with a filling cereal that also needs to have fibre. Like oats used to be );

on April 23, 2012

A few months ago I bought an inexpensive ($13) rice cooker from Walmart and now I use it all the time. You just need to add a little extra water for brown rice or any of the specialty rices and it cooks up perfectly. Sometimes I let it go a few extra minutes because I like the bottom layer to get a little crispy (but not burned). It goes off automatically, so you don't have to worry about keeping time. I don't think I'll ever cook rice on the stove again. Plus, on the back of one of my rice packages there was an offer for a rice cookbook which I received - lots of interesting recipes, including breakfast. Brown rice has now become a staple for me.

on April 23, 2012

Uncle Ben's Ready Rice is super fast and easy--ready in 90 seconds in the microwave!

on April 23, 2012

I love brown rice. I shared the post on my facebook wall, twitter and I pinned it on my pinterest.

on April 23, 2012

I love this recipe and use it often! It is the absolute best way to prepare brown rice. I, of course, have to add a bit of my middle eastern flare to it. Right when I mix in the hot water, oil and salt, I also had some minced garlic, dry dill and edamame beans (or baby lima beans). It is my version of Persian dill rice and comes out delicious each and every time. It goes great with some broiled salmon. Give it a try. You'll never look at brown rice the same way again! :)

on April 23, 2012

I love whole grains, whole wheat breads, etc. But the one thing I can't stand is brown rice. It's very difficult to cook correctly, even in a rice cooker, and I just didn't like the taste.

My husband grew up in Indonesia, so he'll only eat white rice anyway, because that's the only kind of rice they ate there. So I cook it once or twice a week, and indulge myself, and don't feel guilty about it. I always make exceptions for nostalgia.

on April 23, 2012

Lisa,
I love brown rice but just don't cook it because like you it just wouldn't come right. So I am happy to try this recipe of cooking it.. never thought to cook it in the oven..
Thanks,Annie

on April 23, 2012

Lisa,
Is INSTANT brown rice just as good for you?

on April 23, 2012

And what about basmati rice, which I've heard is better than white?

on April 23, 2012

I love brown rice! Unfortunately, it's hard to find a big bag (which is cheaper than buying small ones). :(

Basmati rice is a little better for you than white, but it's also more expensive. At Sam's Club where we got our 50 pound bag of white rice (they didn't seem to have brown), the 20 pound of basmati was the same price.

on April 23, 2012

@kathie - I have not tried instant brown rice - I checked it out and the nutritional info. looks extremely similar. I think it is probably a better choice than white rice - I will try it!
@Gina - I think that Basmati is just a different type of white rice and (with the nutrients removed) so it would not have all the added benefits of brown rice.
Great questions!

on April 23, 2012

brown rice is amazing in sushi & sashimi.
snack girl...what do you think about black
rice?? supposedly higher nutrient values
than brown...

on April 23, 2012

Like ResuMAYDAY, I use my rice cooker ALL of the time (it's also pretty handy for making quinoa). Brown rice is so simple, I use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice. Sometimes I will fry up some onions and garlic and add that after the rice is cooked. Super yum!

on April 23, 2012

I love brown rice. I steam my rice in a steamer and when it's done I let cool. I divide the rice in half a cup servings, put it in a small plastic bag and freeze them.

on April 23, 2012

I also think Brown rice just tastes better -- great article, SG

on April 23, 2012

Since there's been so much talk about Chipotle here I feel the need to throw in that they added a brown rice option awhile ago and it makes the Burrito Bowl so hearty and delicious! Thanks for your breakdown of exactly *why* it's more nutritious. Makes it an easier decision now :)

on April 23, 2012

I'm not that fond of regular brown rice and absolutely hate instant brown rice, but I love the mixtures of brown rices from Lundberg Farms. http://www.lundberg.com/Products/Rice/Gourmet_Rice_Blends.aspx The Countrywild and Jubilee are great. I usually saute onion, celery and carrot and then add that during cooking. It is fantastic, we have been eating that for years. I do hate hour cooking times because dinner is usually an afterthought for me, but it is so good that I really need to do it more often.

on April 23, 2012

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