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. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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44 Comments:

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

There is brown basmati rice, being Indian we eat it all the time.

If I'm making western dishes I sometimes boil the brown rice in chicken broth, or do it in tomato juice then throw in a bunch of black beans for a tasty side.

Love this post and thank you snack girl for all of your hard work!

on April 23, 2012

Do you have any ideas why brown rice and white rice both have 5 points plus? I like brown rice just as much as white and the rice cooker makes it easy to make either but I am discouraged by the 5 points per serving for either. Thanks.

on April 23, 2012

awesome! never would have thought to cook it in the oven. thanks for that tip! i love alton brown... he's "bill nye the science guy" for the kitchen. ha ha. on another note, i'd love to hear your thoughts and research and insights on quinoa (or however you spell it). i've seen it mentioned more and more lately and recipes for it are popping up on pinterest but have never been brave enough to buy it and try it out.

on April 23, 2012

Trader Joe's sells bags of fully cooked brown rice in the freezer section. No, it's not as economical as making and freezing your own, but it's great for when you're pinched for time!

on April 23, 2012

I discovered brown rice a few years ago, and haven't bought white rice since (except to make "magic bags") One of the ladies in my old WW group told us her tip for cooking rice without burning or other issues. She boiled it like you would pasta. Works like a charm. I make a huge batch (because it takes a while longer to cook) and freeze it in useable portions (usually 1-2 cups for the two of us). Then, on a night when you're in a rush, you can take it out of the freezer, add a Tbsp or so of water and thaw/heat it in the microwave. I find my big bags (about 2 kgs) at Costco. Lasts the two of us forever.

on April 23, 2012

Believe it or not, Basmati rice now also comes in brown. It's not cheap but it's definitely good quality, long grain rice.

on April 23, 2012

I make brown rice all the time. Usually use the instant just because it's faster. Like the nuttier taste better than white rice.

on April 23, 2012

i usually cook it in either chicken broth, water with chicken cubes or powder, or beef cubes. The flavor that it adds is incredible, especially when eaten with fish. You could also use vegetable broth too :). Use 1-3 cubes, 1-2 packets, or 1-3 cups of broth depending on quantity and how strong you like it.

on April 23, 2012

I don't mind brown rice, but I don't generally buy it because 1) I'm no good at cooking it and, 2) I wouldn't know how to adapt my own recipes to using it. A big one for us is Spanish rice. For that, I'd saute some onions and garlic and white rice, then use water or broth and some seasonings and then simmer it for 25 minutes. Can you do that with brown rice??

on April 23, 2012

I have come to love brown rice. Tonight I sauteed some onion, red and orange peppers in a tiny bit of EVOO, then added my already cooked brown rice. Yummy!! I like it when it gets a little crunchy too.

on April 23, 2012

Great post! I make brown rice probably 85% of the time, saving my must-have-white times for basmati or jasmine when making Indian or Asian meals that really cry out for it. One tip: regardless of how you make it - baked, rice cooker, or my preferred method, made like pasta - use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. Really adds a great depth of flavor.

on April 23, 2012

brown rice is way better than white rice, but i've been cutting back on grains a lot recently and feel better for it.

on April 24, 2012

I used to eat brown rice when I was at uni. The first time I cooked it in my trusty little rice cooker I followed the machine's instructions of one cup of water to one cup of rice. It came out much too chewy. I don't recall who suggested it to me, but I upped the water to 2 cups of water to one cup of rice and after that I had no problem eating it at all.

on April 24, 2012

mmmm i like the taste of brown rice, and i've been making the minute rice that comes in little handy cups, they have 2 now, both brown rice, and one has other whole grains added, and it's wonderful. takes one minute in the microwave, you can't mess it up!

on April 24, 2012

I get the brown/black rice combo in bulk and I enjoy it a lot. I have a recipe where I make Italian rice like a casserole and though my mom usually used white rice when she use to make it. The brown/black rice combo was just as good to me.

on April 25, 2012

Try sauteing the rice in butter, gently turning it as it roasts to a golden brown in a pan on the stove over low heat.
This will give it a nutty taste and enhance the flavor.
Also try cooking it in 1/2 water and 1/2 low sodium chicken broth, add some grated ginger and some orange rind using a zester.

Yum!

on April 25, 2012

I've come to adore brown rice but its very, very bland. When I do make it I usually make vegetable fried rice with it, after freezing the plain rice in (flattened) 1 cup ziploc bags. Quick and easy.

on April 26, 2012

Crysta said you can't find big bags... I buy them in 15 pound bags--or is that still too small for you? I buy the brand on Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Sukoyaka-Genmai-Cooking-Whole-Grain/dp/B002WFZC6I locally. It's only available in small bags on amazon. People talk about rancidity on amazon so I buy it at Japanese food stores (I live in California--they are abundant here). FYI brown rice DOES go rancid and white rice pretty much stays okay forever. Why? The rice bran has oil in it--which can go bad. White rice is devoid of everything but starch.

I like sukoyaka genmai rice--it takes off the very outside layer of the hull (making it quick cooking and similar to white rice) but leaves around 70% of the hull, so you get the fiber and the vitamins. Japanese stores also carry "Hatsuga genmai" which is sprouted before it's dehydrated so it has the extra nutrition of the beginnings of a sprout inside although you can't see the sprout. There are also rices that have 50% of the hull left and 30% of the hull left for those who really prefer white rice flavor and texture but it leaves some of the natural nutrition.

You can also buy small bags of brown rice basmati and jasmine rices at Trader Joe's. They are both tasty--a chewier, drier texture because the basmati is long grain but it's very good--and the jasmine smells heavenly.

on May 4, 2012

I love brown rice and have been trying to convert all I know to the delicious, nutty goodness that is brown! My best tip - rather than water and butter, use fat free chicken broth - it adds that extra flavor without any fat! I also like to use saffron for another flavor level.

on May 9, 2012

I love Trader Joe's Brown Jasmine Rice people! If you are looking for a great rice, this is the one. I eat it with almost every meal and I don't feel guilty about it, :).

on June 5, 2012

I switched my family years ago to using just brown rice, but now in the news there is concern about the high levels of arsenic in brown rice. This is true of organic brands, as well. I have stopped using brown rice for the time being. Even Lundberg Farms has arsenic in their rice, apparently. They are working to figure out a way to mitigate it.

on January 24, 2013

I'd tried to make the switch to brown rice so many times. I was like you, extremely disappointed in the results from cooking it. I was thus relegated to Minute Rice. Yuck. And then, the internet coughed up Alton Brown. I have to agree, this is the best way in the world to cook brown rice. It always comes out perfectly with no effort! Highly recommend!

on March 29, 2013

The easiest way to cook brown rice (I do it at least once a week): Put one cup brown rice in large microwavable container (I use Corningware). Add 4 cups water. Do not cover. Microwave for 35 minutes. I drew a line with a thick black marker to show one cup on a plastic one-quart container (from Chinese soup) and that's what I use to measure the rice first, and then the 4 cups of water. Quick and so easy!

on June 28, 2013

Brown rice has more arsenic than white rice. The rice patties are contaminated from pesticides. I read where organic white basmatic from India has the least amount of arsenic. Who knows? I'm over rice, period.

on March 19, 2015


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I'm Snack Girl and my website is devoted becoming healthier. I create recipes, review food products, and support those on a healthy journey.


 

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