Soaking brown rice, allowing it to germinate and sprout are just a few secrets on how to cook brown rice to keep all its health benefits. Brown rice is popular for all its goodness so let’s find out the best cooking techniques to intensify its advantages.
When it comes to versatility, rice seems to be on top of the list. Rice can be a meal and dessert, and so much more. Among the rice varieties, brown rice seems to be well-renowned for their healthy goodness.
Down with Brown Rice
If you are like me, who plan to keep my body fit and healthy but cannot give up rice, then brown rice should also be your choice. Brown rice has all the amazing benefits we are looking for. It is the best alternative to white rice and safe for daily consumption.
The bran layer of the brown rice is high in fiber. If you notice, white rice is smoother and well-polished while brown rice has only the husk removed. But, these rustic qualities have greater benefits.
Brown rice is a terrific source of fiber, magnesium, and B vitamins, for everyday protection. In fact, brown rice is considered to be the healthiest type of rice.
Experts believe that most of the health benefits of brown rice are attributed to its production and preparation. With this, I made a research on how to cook brown rice to keep all its health benefits intact while munching on its flavor.
Soaking Brown Rice
I bet by now you are very much aware of the various benefits of brown rice and maybe looking for different ways on how to prepare it healthily.
We previously covered that soaking brown rice before cooking actually lessens the entire cooking time. However, apart from the shortened process, soaking brown rice actually helps release beneficial enzymes.
Like most whole grains, soaking brown rice makes it easier to digest and helps in neutralizing phytic acid. But then, soaking brown rice is not a common practice today, because it is actually time-consuming, intimidating, and some find it riskier.
After reading this post, you will for sure try soaking your brown rice to really experience what I’m talking about. 😀
Soaking has been around for centuries and our ancestor practice culturing. It is the act of soaking grains to breakdown the anti-nutrients and the hard-to-digest elements of the brown rice. By doing this, brown rice release more nutrients.
Here’s how to cook soak and cook brown rice:
- Measure a cup of brown rice
- 2 cups of warm water
- Put the rice in a medium-sized bowl and add the warm water.
- Mix it well until well-combined
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area in your kitchen
- Soak your brown rice for about 8-12 hours or overnight
- After the soaking period, drain the water and cook rice normally.
You will notice that your brown rice feels softer yet the nutty flavor is still there.
Germinated Brown Rice or Sprouted Rice
The longer you soak brown rice the more it releases essential nutrients. One of the healthiest kind of brown rice is the GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid.
You can achieve GABA brown rice by soaking the grains in water for 4-20 hours with a temperature of 30–40 °C (86–104 °F).
The process involves a series of water changes to avoid developing a foul smell and soaking longer at lower temperatures.
GABA brown rice is also readily available at the groceries but you can also try it at home.
How to Sprout Brown Rice
Sprouting brown rice is pretty simple. You can follow these steps:
- Measure half a cup of brown rice
- Sprouting container or jar
- Begin the process by putting the grains inside the sprouting jar
- Fill the jar with water, enough to cover all grains. Cover with a lid or a sprouting screen.
- Soak for 12 hours or more
- Drain the water. If needed, invert the jar so the water from the bottom goes out.
- Rinse the grains for about 3 times
- Repeat the above steps for 2-3 days. You will notice sprouts forming
- Wash and drain the sprouts completely
- Cook right away or you can store it inside the fridge for 3 days.
Who would have thought that soaking and sprouting methods are age-old techniques for cooking whole grains? I think after writing this post, I would never look at whole grains the same way again.
Choosing the Right Grain Size
Brown rice also comes in different sizes. The texture and flavor depend on the size, so if you notice, the short grain brown rice tends to be softer and fluffy.
Cooking short grain brown rice is more starchy and stickier. They are often used in making soups and desserts where starch is needed.
Medium to long grain brown rice is the perfect choice for various rice dishes because they have lower starch content and less sticky.
Preferred Cooking Method
Now that you have learned 2 important ways to enhance the health benefits of brown rice, it all boils to your personal preference on how you would like to cook it.
Primarily, you can use any of the following:
- Pot using the stove-top method
- Rice Cooker
- Slow Cooker
I bet you cannot wait to come home and try doing these tips on how to cook brown rice and enhancing its health benefits. Check out these recipes I found and try them at home!
There is no doubt that brown rice is the healthiest when it comes to nutrition. However, there is more to cooking brown rice than just plain steaming or boiling.
If you think you are getting all the richness and fullness of brown rice, think again. Soaking and sprouting are two ways we can all practice so that we can get the most from brown rice wellness.
By doing these methods, all the locked-in nutrients are released and make brown rice healthier than ever. Apart from these nutrients, cooking time is lessened and grains are softer compared to unsoaked and un-sprouted brown rice.
Plus, there are more recipes you can make with soaked and sprouted brown rice!