Long-grain brown rice is a delicious and healthful variety of whole grain rice, packed with complex carbohydrates and essential nutrients important for the maintenance of healthy bodily tissues and the prevention of chronic diseases. Long-grain brown rice is an excellent source of dietary fiber and minerals like thiamine, riboflavin, maganese and selenium, and contains all of the essential amino acids required by the body to function properly.
What is long-grain brown rice?
Long-grain brown rice is a variety of whole grain rice that still has its nutrient-rich outer layer intact, called the bran. This layer must be milled away to become white rice, but long-grain brown rice is harvested and processed without removing the bran, resulting in higher levels of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. Long-grain brown rice has a mild nutty flavor and firm texture – the grains are four to five times longer than they are wide, and hold their shape even after cooking. Its most common use is as an accompaniment to savory dishes, but it can also be used to make pilafs, sweet rice puddings, and even sushi.
The biggest difference between brown rice and white rice is the presence of the bran layer. Brown rice is higher in fiber, B-vitamins, minerals, and protein than polished white rice. The increased fiber content of long-grain brown rice makes it the perfect choice for people on a low-calorie diet, as the fiber helps to fill the stomach quickly, curbing the urge for snacking between meals. Additionally, the increase in fiber can help to lower blood cholesterol levels, regulate blood sugar, and even reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Long-grain brown rice also contains a significant amount of thiamine and riboflavin, both of which are essential for nerve and brain development, as well as aiding in the production of energy from food. The magnesium present in long-grain brown rice can assist with issues such as arthritis, diabetes, and migraines. It’s also an excellent source of manganese, an essential trace mineral which supports healthy bones, teeth, digestion and energy metabolism. Selenium, another trace mineral found in long-grain brown rice, can help to protect against free radical damage in cells and boost the immune system.
Cooking with Long-Grain Brown Rice
When cooking with long-grain brown rice, it's important to note that it takes significantly longer to cook than white rice. Most varieties require around 45 minutes of boiling after soaking, while some may take up to an hour. To achieve the best texture, long-grain brown rice is best cooked using a ratio of two parts water to one part rice. This will allow the rice to absorb all of the water during the cooking process.
When it comes to adding flavor to long-grain brown rice, the simplicity of cooking it with just olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some herbs is hard to beat. Alternatively, it can be cooked with a vegetable, including mushrooms, diced squash, leeks, or onion. Broth can also be used to cook the rice and make a flavorful vegetarian meal. Additionally, long-grain brown rice is the perfect base for cold salads, such as Spanish-style Tomato Rice, as it does not become mushy after it has been cooked.
Long-grain brown rice is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, essential nutrients and dietary fiber. It is versatile, with a mild flavor and firm texture. Including this delectable grain in your regular diet can provide numerous benefits, including weight loss, the promotion of heart health, and reduced risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. So give long-grain brown rice a try and reap all of its nutritious benefits.