What if you could enjoy a rice that was deliciously nutty, rich in protein, jam-packed with antioxidants, that also boosted your alkalinity, and was completely gluten and grain-free? Friends, now you can -kiss the boring brown rice goodbye and say hello to the amazing wild rice, because it totally rocks!
Now, we’re not talking about those wild rice blends you see with multiple types of rice (which usually just have a few pieces of wild rice mixed into other rices like brown, red, and white rice.) I’m talking about pure, wild rice that grows in the Great Lakes of Minnesota and has the most delicious flavor you could ever dream of (and don’t worry, it’s not even expensive.)
Check out the awesome details on this black-colored rice you’ve probably seen at the store but possibly overlooked:
1. Not a Grain
Wild rice is an aquatic grass, not a grain, though it’s referred to as rice because it looks and cooks like all other types of rice. Wild rice is the easiest rices to digest and contains no arsenic like other types of rice do. It’s also the only rice Native to North America and only two other varieties exist worldwide, which are grown in Asia where they’re consumed as a vegetable, not a grain. Though brown and black rices are incredibly healthy, some people on a grain-free and gluten-free diet may still find rice intolerable, making wild rice the perfect choice.
2. Enhances Digestion
Wild rice isn’t only easy to digest, it also enhances digestion. It’s rich in magnesium, which contributes to regularity and a healthy nervous system (which is largely located in the digestive tract.) It’s also higher in fiber than brown and black rice, but not too high where it causes discomfort. Containing 3 grams in 1/4 cup, wild rice contains more per serving than oats or even quinoa, and all other rice varieties.
Wild rice is also very alkaline-forming, unlike most grains which are acid-forming. This gives it a special anti-inflammatory feature, which contributes to overall health. Whole grains are certainly a wonderful part of a well-balanced diet, but including a rich source of alkaline foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and options like raw almonds and wild rice) never hurts to help balance things out. A healthy acid/alkaline balance is important to not only treat and prevent inflammation, but a wide variety of health issues associated with inflammation.
4. Protein- Boost and Nutrient-Rich
Wild rice, because it’s a grass, is richer in protein than all other rices and even many grains, containing 5 grams in 1/2 cup cooked rice, or 1/4 cup uncooked. It’s rich in amino acids, along with Vitamin B6, which boosts energy production alongside protein. Wild rice is also a great source of folate, manganese, zinc, and iron, which is great for gluten-free eaters and grain-free eaters who don’t get those nutrients in typical grains like oats, rye, wheat, and other types of grains like brown rice. It’s also 30 times higher in antioxidants than white rice, and a wonderful rice to promote a healthy heart, weight, and skin.
5. Delicious and Versatile
Let’s face it – some gluten-free eats are majorly lacking in the flavor department. Not wild rice though; it’s an incredibly satisfying rice to enjoy and has a complex, nutty taste that’s not bitter, but even slightly sweet though it contains no sugar. Wild rice is also easy to cook with and prepare. You can buy it in quick-cook or long-grain form. To obtain true wild rice, look on the box to ensure it’s Minnesota grown, which is often referred to as paddy-grown rice. You can cook wild rice like you would any other type of rice and enjoy it in many different ways.
How to Prepare Wild-Rice:
So you’re ready to try wild rice, right? Great! Here’s all you need to do: Combine 1 cup uncooked wild rice (not quikc-cook) with 3 cups liquid (such as water or veggie broth) in a 2-3 quart pot or saucepan. Bring it to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Put the lid on as you turn the heat down and cook 35-50 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can also do this in your slow-cooker or rice-cooker to make things quicker. If you’re using quick-cook wild rice, all you need to do is boil some water and add the rice (use three times the amount of liquid to the amount of rice you make.)
When the rice is done cooking, it will burst open a bit, which indicates it’s done. It should be light brown with black hues in color and should be slightly soft to the touch. Fluff with a fork, or even let it cool and freeze in individual baggies to pop out for quick meals. You can also make a huge batch at the beginning of the week and have some every morning as a nice, comforting porridge.
Try some of our wild rice recipes today! Here are some to enjoy:
- Wild Rice with Butternut Squash Pilaf
- White Bean Wild Rice Hash
- Wild Rice with Kabocha Squash and Sage Butter (vegan)
- Steamed Sweet Potatoes with Wild Rice, Basil, and Tomato Chili Sauce
- Black Eyed Pea and Wild Rice Soup
- Vegan Wild Rice and Cranberry Nut Pine Stuffing
- Cauliflower Wild Rice Pilaf
Now, look for wild rice near you at your local supermarket where other rice varieties are sold. What will you make with wild rice this week?
Image Source: Wild Rice with Butternut Squash Pilaf