This post has been sponsored by the good people at USA Rice.
Nutrition quiz! What's easy to make; super versatile, packed with nutrition and gluten-free?
Answer: rice rice baby (sorry)
As local as it gets for my Canadians friends, U.S.-grown rice is such a fantastic pantry staple.
A major part of my weekly food prep, USA Rice makes healthy eating a heck of a lot easier for me and fam.
I’ll make a whole bunch of this original ancient grain on Sundays and either throw it in our lunches for the week ahead or freeze it in 1-2 cup batches to pull out on a busy weeknight.
Such a lifesaver (HELLO HOCKEY 3 NIGHTS A WEEK.)
Let’s dive into:
- Why this naturally gluten-free grain rocks
- Answer some FAQs
- And I’ll walk you through how I make my weeknight-complete-meal-making a whole heck of a lot easier
Healthy, whole grain carbs
USA Rice is an awesome way to get some healthy, whole-food carbohydrates in your diet. Rice serves up the complex carbohydrates your mind and muscles need to function at their best. Plus, eating rice triggers your brain to produce serotonin, which boosts mood so really, carbs=happiness????
Man, this superstar is needed to regulate water balance, levels of acidity, blood pressure, and neuromuscular function, including a critical role in transmission of electrical impulses in the heart. Potassium also regulates fluid and mineral balance, assists with muscle contraction and transmission of nerve signals and helps the heart and kidneys function properly.
We need magnesium for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, lowering blood pressure and forming ATP — the energy the body runs on. Insulin secretion and function also require magnesium.
It’s a part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Iron-deficient people tire easily because their bodies are starved for oxygen. Iron is also part of myoglobin, which helps muscle cells store oxygen. Without enough iron, ATP (the fuel the body runs on) cannot be properly synthesized. As a result, some iron-deficient people become fatigued even when their hemoglobin levels are normal.
So now that you know it’s packed with nutrition, here’s some FAQ on US-grown rice:
Is rice gluten-free?
Yep, all varieties of rice, whether enriched, white or brown, are naturally and completely gluten-free. Rice is also one of the least allergenic foods out there, making it a great choice for people with a variety of food sensitivities.
I’m on budget!! Will it fit?
At about 10 cents per serving (1 serving=½ cup), rice fits every budget. On average, long grain white and brown rice (a nutritious whole grain) yield three times their volume when cooked.
How should I store rice?
- Milled Rice– If stored properly, it will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly closed container.
- Brown Rice – Because of the oil in the bran layer, it has a limited shelf life of approximately six months. For extended storage, a cool place such as a refrigerator or freezer.
What about after it’s cooked - how do I keep it fresh?
If not eaten immediately, cooled cooked rice should be stored in a shallow container, covered tightly and refrigerated. Rice can be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days
Where can I use rice?
Versatility of rice as a key pantry staple (i.e. as a snack, in soups, dessert etc.)
If I have leftover rice, I’ll use it in stir-fries, wraps, chopped-style salads or soups. I LOVE rice in soup, you know?
Check out these recipes that are fantastic with US-rice as the fueling-carb source:
And this recipe for Lemony Brown Rice, Broccoli and Feta Salad
Can I freeze rice?
You can freeze cooled rice in a shallow container, covered tightly for up to six months.
This has been a literal life changer you guys. Here’s how I make rice, freeze it and then it’s good-to-go for a weeknight meal:
How I cook my USA-grown rice in my InstaPot:
- Add 2 cups of uncooked rice to the InstaPot
- Pour 3 ¾ cup vegetable or chicken broth and stir
- Select the “Rice” button
- When the timer beeps, do a 5 min NPR (natural pressure release)
- Take the lid off and check the rice - if it's to your liking, you can turn off the InstaPot. If it's a little wet for your liking, put the lid back on the InstaPot and give it 5-10 more minutes to absorb some of the water as the InstaPot is still quite warm
How do I reheat frozen rice?
Reheating - stove top:
For each cup (250 mL) of cooked rice, add 2 tablespoon (30 mL) liquid. Cover and heat on the stovetop or in the oven for about 5 minutes or until heated through.
Reheating - microwave:
Heat frozen rice on HIGH for 2 minutes per cup. Fluff with a fork.
So whaddya think? Is USA-grown rice on your weekly menu like mine?
Here’s a shot of my brown rice + chicken + corn and cherry tomato salad = yum!
If you want more recipes, check out the “Think Rice” Campaign for ideas on how to use rice in snacks, desserts, and all meals here: Rice Info.com