So let’s start our grain series with rice! I know, I know, it sounds boring, right? We couldn’t be more far from the truth! Rice is such an amazing grain that I had a lot of trouble trying to fit all I wanted to say in this blog post… This little grain is the main source of nourishment for about half the world’s population!
There are numerous types of rice and it is known that the species oriza sativa is native of the tropical and semitropical India, Southern China and Southeast Asia and at around 7000BC, it was probably already being domesticated in several places simultaneously.
There are more than 100,000 varieties of rice in the World and most of them belong to one of the two subspecies of oriza sativa: Indica (longer, firmer grain) and Japonica (shorter, stickier grain).
Nutritionally speaking, rice:
- Is naturally gluten free;
- Is rich in carbohydrates, with small amounts of protein and virtually no fat;
- Is low in proteins, but the ones present have a relatively high biological value (animal products and pulses or nuts help complete the amino acid profile);
- When un-milled, is rich in dietary fiber;
- Is rich in a type of starch, called resistant starch, which helps feed beneficial bacteria in our intestines and stimulate their growth (both white and brown rice);
- Contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals: Manganese, Selenium, Vit.B1, Vit.B3, Magnesium, Copper (generally concentrated in the bran and germ of the wholegrain).
Bottom line: Rice is awesome and tastes great! The great availability of varieties available make it very versatile. Clearly, wholegrain varieties are more nutritious, but who can deny that there are some occasions when just white rice does the trick? Like a nice risotto…
At the grain grocer, we sell a broad selection of rice varieties, both white and whole grain, as well as some of the more mysterious ones, like wild and red rice.
Are our readers ready to start cooking rice? Don’t miss next week’s post about how to cook all our white rice varieties!
Thank you and hope to see you next week! ;)