Brown Rice Revolution

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Virgil Evetts

I’ve had an epiphany, of sorts: I’ve found a healthy addition (well, substitution) to my diet that I genuinely enjoy. Actually I think it might be love. Brown rice. My mother’s been banging on about it for years, but I paid her no heed. A Japanese acquaintance was forever scolding me for my attachment to white, or ‘polished,’ rice. She ate only brown rice, grown in her home town and sent over by her mother. I ignored her too.

It’s not that I’d never tried brown rice- obviously; I’d just never stopped to properly appreciate it.  It took my doctor’s comment that I could ‘afford to lose 10 kilos’ to finally force the switch. And believe me, I didn’t go down without a fight – but my health-conscious best beloved jumped on the bandwagon with bolshie glee, especially when a fitness freak she’s friendly with told her about the miraculous, low GI properties of brown rice. This is exactly why I steer clear of truth-speaking spoilsports – I’m notoriously argumentative and contrary, but I have no comeback for sound logic.

So I capitulated. My hunting around various health and whole food outlets (thus my run-in with the allergy hobbyists a couple weeks back) turned up brown versions of both basmati and jasmine rice, as well as a number of varieties I’d never heard of. I’m yet to encounter brown Arborio, but with all the starch locked up, I don’t think it would work properly in risotto anyway.

It took me a couple of nights to get to grips with cooking brown rice. It takes a less water than the packet suggests, and longer in the pot than I’m used to, but after some slightly gluggy hiccups, I had it sorted.

Turned out, I rather liked it. We both did actually. The next time more so, and the time after that we were both stopping every few mouthfuls to mutter appreciatively. Neither of us can now imagine going back to white rice as staple. Brown is just so much more interesting and flavourful. The individual grains burst in the mouth, rather than just mushing, releasing little bursts of mild, nutty flavour. Due to that famously low glycemic index rating, it keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer much longer than high GI (i.e. rapidly converted into glucose) white rice. On rice nights (every second night on average) I’m no longer hounded by late night hunger pangs, which are my downfall on the waist measurement front.

As I’m sure you will know of me by now, I don’t follow fads, or jump on nutritional band wagons. At all. But in brown rice I’ve found a food that I genuinely adore that just so happens to be holier-than-thou healthy.

So if you’re of the healthy body/healthy mind persuasion, or just enjoy a tasty mouthful, I urge you to try (or as is more likely re-visit) brown rice. It’s bound to be better than you remember.

But I’m sure I’m slow off the mark here. Most of you have probably been converts for years. Pray tell what other delicious-and-incidentally-healthy foods have I been thus far dismissing in my usual narrow minded way?

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3 thoughts on “Brown Rice Revolution

  1. I now have a Tiger rice cooker which makes perfect brown rice, but before that I used to cook it in the microwave. It seems less gluggy than stovetop brown rice.

  2. Virgil I too am a recent convert to the Brown Beauty but I’m having some serious issues cooking it. I’ve got a rice cooker that gives me perfect white rice every time but I end up a with a rather gluggy mess bubbling out through the steam vent when I try it with brown rice.
    Any suggestions and also the ratio’s that you use of water to rice??

  3. Welcome to middle-age and the metabolic slowdown…

    Brown rice also makes a tasty rice salad; far more interesting than its pale counterpart. Now you need to try red rice.