Welcome back to my Easy Changes You Can Make Today series! It's been awhile, but I'm back with another small change you can make towards healthier eating! (Did you miss the other Easy Changes? Check them out here.)
If the title of this post just read "Switch to Brown Rice," things would be relatively simple. All you'd have to do is stop buying white rice and start buying brown rice. Allow a little more time for it to cook and you're good to go. That is, if you can get used to its delicious nutty flavor and hearty texture. (It makes ridiculously good rice pudding.)
Unfortunately things are more complicated than that. But not so complicated that we should just throw it all out the window and keep eating nutritionally empty white rice (although I don't think there's anything wrong with indulging in white rice once in awhile, in the context of a healthy diet). As you've heard me mention before, whole grains contain phytates, substances that block mineral absorption. Consuming too many unsoaked whole grains can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which can cause to tooth decay, bone loss and all sorts of other health problems (that's right, folks, a nutrient-dense diet contributes to the health of your teeth!). They also contain other hard-to-digest substances, according to Sally Fallon Morell, the author of Nourishing Traditions:
You can use this method with any rice recipe with a little creativity. If your recipe says to sauté veggies first and then add the rice to them, just cook your veggies in the same pan you used to soak the rice (while the soaked rice waits in a colander) and then add the rice back in at the appropriate time. If your recipe calls for other liquid in addition to stock or water, make sure the total amount of liquid equals the amount you drained off of your rice. (I broke that rule last night when making a rice pilaf, and my rice had way too much liquid. The problem was remedied by boiling it with the lid off for a few minutes.)
As with many real food techniques, this one isn't complicated, it just takes planning ahead. One more reason to start meal planning! :)
What do you think? Will you switch to soaked brown rice? If not, what's keeping you from taking the plunge?
This is part of Fight Back Friday.