Meatless Monday … Baked Brown Rice

After you try this recipe for brown rice, I promise you’ll never want to cook brown rice any other way. It tastes that good.

For those who have yet to give up white rice, I understand. Growing up, rice was always white and steamed, unless we were at a Chinese restaurant – then it was fried. Steamed white rice was the low-cal, low-fat side dish … which meant, healthy, right?

Turns out, white rice wasn’t the best option. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids (according to World’s Healthiest Foods). By law, white rice has to be enriched with some of the vitamins that were stripped in that process.

The health benefits of brown rice are plentiful. It’s an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of the minerals selenium and magnesium. It also is rich in fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, one more way brown rice helps prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber also helps out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, so brown rice is an excellent grain choice for people with diabetes. (WHF) I could include a ton of additional health benefits here, but just check out this site for the whole scoop.

And ladies, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women who consumed more whole grains consistently weigh less than those who ate less of these fiber-rich foods. The kicker? Those consuming the most dietary fiber from whole grains were 49% less likely to gain weight compared to those eating foods made from refined grains.

Rice is one of those side dishes that can be quickly made (think Minute Rice) or it can take ages. Each has its benefits – convenience vs. taste – so I can understand the draw of each of them. This recipe takes an hour and 5 minutes and very little effort. It’s well worth the wait.

This was one of my husband’s finds from a few years ago, courtesy of Alton Brown. It came from the Food Network’s website – you can find the original recipe here.

Baked Brown Rice
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.

Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

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About kareiner

I'm an active mom who loves to cook. I'm passionate about health and fitness. I'm no expert, nutritionist, personal trainer or miracle worker. I just like being active and I like good food.
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