Cooking in a hurry – the many uses of brown rice

Homemade in minutes, economical and good for you.

Hungry, in a rush and trying to stay healthy? Brown rice and vegetables is a delicious, economical and quick meal choice. A warm bowl of brown rice tastes great on steamed, sautéed or raw vegetables. This meal can include three food grounds: Whole grains, lean meats and vegetables. Make the meal even faster by using frozen prepackaged vegetables, such as chopped carrots, onions, squash, sweet peppers or anything else on-hand. Leftover brown rice can be microwaved in less than one minute with the same outcome as prepackaged instant oatmeal.

Brown rice is a whole grain. Whole grains are beneficial for a variety of reasons including weight management and lowering cholesterol. Michigan State University Extension recommends making half of the grains you eat each day a whole grain product. Whole grains contain dietary fiber which is important for proper bowel function and reducing constipation. Whole grains promote fullness during meals and will leave you feeling full for longer. For more foods that are good sources of fiber read the list called fiber content for foods.

Why are whole grains so important? Whole grain benefits include:

  • Good source of magnesium minerals for building bones. Magnesium also releases energy from muscles.
  • Selenium protects cells from oxidation and aids the immune system.
  • Iron is found in whole grains. Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood.
  • Folate (Folic acid) is a nutrient found in whole grains this is important for women who plan on getting pregnant or are at the age where they can still have children. This nutrient reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spinal bifida and anencephaly during fetal development.

To enjoy brown rice as a snack add extra flavor and nutrients by topping with raisins, fruit, honey, milk, butter, pecans, walnuts or apples. Leftover, warm brown rice can be enjoyed this way as a breakfast.

There are many uses for brown rice. For more information on healthy weight management visit www.msue.msu.edu.

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