Tuesday, March 24, 2020


Life as we know it, has changed. Social distancing, homeschooling and quarantine have become our new normal. While we make the best of our circumstances, let us make the best of our shelf stable food options. A great nutritious, shel-stable food option is rice. There are numerous uses rice can become the star of your family meals. Being inexpensive and versatile rice is a staple for your home pantry in this season of life.

Brown rice has some big advantages over white rice. Brown rice is a whole grain, meaning all parts of the grain are whole and intact, which provides increased nutrients. It is a bit higher in caloric count, but those calories are attributed to increased fiber, protein, vitamins/minerals AND antioxidants. Eating brown rice can lower your cholesterol, and decrease blood sugar levels. SO many benefits, and so worth the switch!

Brown rice can easily be substituted for white rice in any recipe. The only difference in cooking, is the water to rice ratio. Because brown rice has the outer bran intact (whole grain), it takes longer for the water to penetrate the grain, slightly increasing the water measurement and cooking time ratio. 

  • A basic WHITE rice to water ratio is 1-2-3        
    • (1 c. rice + 2 c. water = 3 cups rice) 
  • BROWN RICE on the other hand, increases slightly...                                                                
    • (1 c. rice + 2 1/2 c. water = 3 1/2 cups rice)

Notice, brown rice produces more rice per dry cup serving! (1 c. dry BROWN rice = 3 1/2 cups verses white rice which produces only 3 cups.)
Another bonus, brown rice has more flavor than white rice, allowing for decreased salt, butter and flavoring need when cooking. Cutting empty calories without sacrificing flavor.

Here are some simple stir-ins to make your rice unique and tasty for your next meals to come!
  • Butter and parmesan cheese
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Peas
  • Creamy gravy
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar (for breakfast)
  • Sautéed garlic, mushrooms, peppers, onions
  • Broccoli flowerets and cheese
  • Toasted peanuts or cashews
  • Black beans
  • Cilantro
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Tomato chunks
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Soy sauce
  • Pesto sauce
  • Fresh spinach

Taking the add-ins one step further, create a recipe from a few add-ins. For each recipe, combine ingredients listed (remember to increase liquid for brown rice, see package above) bring to a boil, then add a cup of whatever raw rice you’d like to use. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes for white and 40 for brown):
Image result for coconut rice
  • Coconut Rice: 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of coconut milk, 2 tbs chopped and shredded coconut, 2 tsp honey, 1/2 tsp salt and a pinch of allspice.

    Image result for ginger soy flavored brown rice
  • Curried Rice: 2 cups of chicken broth, 1 tsp curry powder, and 3 tbsp of dried currants.

  • Ginger-Soy Rice: 2 cups of water, 2 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp grated fresh ginger and 2 whole cloves.

  • Lemon Rice: 2 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 strips lemon zest and a pinch of nutmeg.

Check back weekly! I will be posting weekly recipes to help you make the best of your food storage ingredients!

Email me with discussion topics or recipe requests at Brittney.johnson@usu.edu

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