You might know about the polished white rice, Basmati rice, brown and red rice, but what if I ask you about black rice? Black rice is an incredibly flavorful magical grain. It has a nutty, earthy flavor from the outer husk and a very subtle and slightly sweet interior with a delicious taste. It has gained enough popularity nowadays. There are a couple of things to know about the grain and to learn about how to cook black rice.
The secret of intriguing terminology goes back to ancient China, where the Chinese kin consumed a black variant of rice for the betterment of the Kidney, Liver, and Stomach. Soon after, the wealthy Chinese noblemen took possession of every grain of black rice and restricted the ordinary people from cultivation and consumption. Thus black rice became the property of elite classes, and hence it earned its name Forbidden Rice.
When it comes to starting consuming black rice, a few questions tickle in our minds. The list includes is black rice healthy? or should I include black rice in my meal? This post explores all that that’s involved. Keep reading!
What is Black Rice?
Grown more than four thousand years ago in China, black rice – has high nutritional value. When it comes to talking about its health benefits, it merely has a lot to offer! Since its production was limited, it could be consumed only by the Chinese Emperor and his family. These days you can easily find this healthy grain on supermarket shelves these days, offering its fantastic health benefits to everyone.
Black rice is a grain that belongs to the Oryza Sativa family. It’s an essential part of the Asian palette. You will likely find it at supers as a whole grain with the outermost layer of bran intact. When it’s raw and uncooked, it’s black while upon cooking; it turns purple. A pigment known as anthocyanin is responsible for its unique color, and its texture can be described best as nutty. This secret’ forbidden rice’ is a favorite of millions because of its exceptional food value.
Is black rice good for our health?
Well, now is the time to answer one of the most frequently asked questions is black rice healthy?
Black rice is very rich in antioxidants, anthocyanin, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers. The deep black purple hue signifies the presence of high antioxidant property, which helps to clean the body toxins. Anthocyanin prevents cardiovascular disease restricting free radical movements, which can cause Diabetes and even Cancer, reduces inflammation, and also improves brain function. Furthermore, black rice consumption even reduces the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is bad cholesterol contributing to heart diseases.
The presence of Vitamin E maintains eye, hair, and skin and improves the immunity of a human body. As it is a good source of fiber, it prevents obesity, thus aiding weight loss and maintains consistency in the sugar level. High protein content helps in building muscles and reduces excess weight. Following is a detailed list of the benefits of consuming black rice.
Reasons to Include This Exotic Grain in Your Daily Menu
Rich in fiber and protein
Black rice is an excellent source of protein and fiber. Each portion of the grain offers 20% more protein and 30% more fiber than white rice.
A portion of 50gm black rice has 169 kcal, less than white rice, 177 kcal, and brown rice, 180 kcal. Apart from being less caloric, the grain helps to prolong the feeling of satiety and regulates the intestine’s functioning. These are the factors that can be allies of those who want to lose weight.
Has antioxidant properties
Compared to other grain varieties, black rice has the highest antioxidants level, with a profile comparable to that of fruits as famous for this property, such as cranberry and raspberry. The grain is rich in anthocyanin, which helps prevent various types of cancer, inflammation, and heart disease.
Source of minerals
With high iron content, black rice is a good option for those who follow a vegetarian diet. This type of rice is also rich in magnesium, which helps fix calcium in the bones.
Chinese legends attribute the title “forbidden rice” to the aphrodisiac power of the grain. Myth or truth is that black rice is an excellent combination of seafood preparations, which are famous for this effect. The grain, which has a brownish flavor, also goes well with more robust meats, such as lamb and pork.
Contains Anthocyanin – A plant Compound
You can find anthocyanin in black rice. Anthocyanins are rich in antioxidants. Also, it carries anticancer and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, different animal, population, and test-tube studies have confirmed that foods containing a fair amount of anthocyanin are effective in preventing obesity, cardiac diseases, some forms of cancer, and several other chronic diseases.
Is Black Rice Gluten-Free?
Yes, it is!! While almost all other whole grains contain some percentage of gluten, black rice is organically gluten-free. So, if you’re someone who follows a gluten-free diet, count on black rice unhesitatingly! Also, if you have any celiac disease, then again, you can add black rice to your diet. Since its gluten-free, it won’t cause any harm to you!
Is Black Rice The Same As Wild Rice?
Not really! Wild rice is from the family American and Canadian semi-aquatic plants, and you can’t consider it as a rice variety. Generally, you can find these plants in the shallows of slow rivers or lakes. They are known for their culinary uses, and recently, many firms have started to grow wild rice. So, it’s fair to conclude that black rice is nowhere similar to wild rice.
What’s the Glycemic Index of Black Rice?
Black rice comes with the Glycemic index of 43 and a Glycemic Load of 14.
What Is The Best Way To Serve Black Rice-?
You can serve it with a simple side dish as you do with brown or white rice. Black rice goes well with turkey meatballs, vegan mushroom goulash, and pan-fried rainbow trout. It creates a fantastic base for veggie or grain bowls as well as grain salads. Besides, you can consider adding it in wraps and burritos. Moreover, its sticky attribute makes it perfect for cooking sushi. Apart from the said ones, you can also cook pudding and deserts with black rice.
Should I Pre-Soak Black Rice before Cooking?
When it comes to cooking hard-grains like wild or brown rice, pre-soaking is quite common practice. However, black rice is an exception to the fact. Although it’s a hard grain and the cooking time is naturally a bit long, if you go for pre-soaking it, it will start clumping together once cooked. So, the only way to cook perfect black rice is to keep a little patience and plan things accordingly while cooking black rice.
Things That You Should Not Forget While Cooking Black Rice
Black rice is way different if compared to wild rice. So, never apply the same cooking methods. The purple pigment of black rice is quite intense. It can stain anything! For this reason, it’s always a wise idea to cook black rice in a glass or metal cookware. Besides, don’t miss to wipe your countertop right after spilling the purple liquid on it. Remember, if you are cooking black rice with any other food, it can also get stained.
The Process Of How To Cook Black Rice
All you need to do is pour 6 cups of water in a large pot, add a cup of rinsed black rice into it, and add salt. If you would like to cook more black rice then simply keep the 6:1 ratio, which is the main difference to most of the other grains (eg. millet) Now keep put it on the oven and leave for boiling. It may take up to 30-35 minutes to turn tender and chewy. Once done, take a mesh colander and strain the rice. It’s ready to serve!!
I hope you’ve found this post useful! What are you waiting for? Go ahead and try out the fantastic recipes of black rice. It will give your taste buds a significant boost. Make your diet healthier!! Stay well!