Benefits of Black Rice
What really makes black rice a nutritional powerhouse?
Anything called “forbidden” automatically peaks my curiosity. So of course when I first heard about black rice, I was intrigued! And after learning about all of its benefits, I eventually became obsessed. So of course I have to share with you what I found and one of my favorite recipes!
I’ll start with a quick history of why black rice is known as “forbidden rice.”
The story is that in ancient China, black rice was reserved for royalty and wealthy because it was believed to be the healthiest of all rice varieties, meaning it would ensure longevity.
So common people were not only forbidden to consume it, they were also forbidden to grow it. Sound familiar?
Well it’s not forbidden anymore, so why not reap the benefits! And there are so many, including being a good source of iron, fiber and protein. But the main thing that makes it a superfood is a pigment also responsible for its black-purple color – Anthocyanin. It’s one of the most powerful types of antioxidants and has also been found to have potent anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. In fact, I learned that when it comes to antioxidants, black rice is 30 times more effective than white rice.
So why is it so nutrient rich compared to other types of rice? Basically it’s sold as a whole grain. That means black rice isn’t stripped of its nutrients during the milling process.
I haven’t found any reasons not to eat the nutritional powerhouse, other than it is a little more expensive than traditional brown and white rice. I pay $3-$4 per pound for organic black rice, compared to about $2 for organic brown rice. Please let me know if you find a better cost for the same quality of course.
For me, it’s worth the extra cost to give my body the royal treatment. Plus, I love the nutty flavor.
Below is a yummy recipe for the Fried Black Rice that you see in the photo.
What you’ll need:
* 1 cup black rice
* 2.5 cups veggie broth or water
* 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
* 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
* 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)
* 1 carrot (finely chopped)
* 1 lemon for juicing (1/3 cup)
* ¼ cup Tamari or soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon salt
* ½ teaspoon pepper
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
* 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 2 tablespoons green onions
How to Make It
- In a saucepan, add black rice and cover with broth or water. Bring it to a boil, then cover and cook for about 35 minutes. (When I make it in my Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker, I use 2 cups of black rice to 3 cups of water for 18 minutes. You can also make it in a solar oven)
- In the meantime, add oil to large skillet or wok and stir-fry your veggies (onion, garlic, carrot)
- Stir in the black rice and Tamari or soy sauce and season with salt and pepper
- Add fresh basil, cilantro and green onions
Remember, our goal is self sufficiency so keep it simple. Use what you already have at home if possible to create your nutritional masterpiece. You can add tofu or meat for protein. Get creative and share your photos and recipes!