Five years ago I started my journey of attempting to get the family to eat brown rice. I was never successful because they didn’t like the chewy al dente texture. In this Nourishing Traditions recipe, you soak the rice with whey or an acid for at least 7 hours before cooking it with salt and a bit of fat. The result is a texture more like white rice, and a much more digestible grain, but healthier than eating white rice. The brown rice ‘flavor’ is even a bit more muted.
I made this yesterday morning. Before work I put the rice in the rice cooker with the whey and warm water and just left it on the counter. An hour before dinner I had my husband turn on the pot and add the salt and butter. The family ate this rice and actually commented at the table “remember when she made us eat that nasty brown rice?” as they were shoveling in mouthfuls of brown rice (with chicken gravy, so they didn’t notice the light brown color of the rice). I didn’t say anything but chuckled to myself knowingly. Prior to this, they could detect brown rice in a heavily flavored casserole and turn their noses up at it! I can’t believe that I didn’t try this method three years ago when I first read Nourishing Traditions! Thank goodness for Sally Fallon!
For more information on why you should soak your rice prior to cooking it, please see this article from the Weston A Price Foundation. It describes how to soak, sprout, or ferment grains to neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that can cause digestive problems.
Kim’s Tips on Preparing Brown Rice:
Your future batches of brown rice will get better and better (fluffier and easier to digest and utilize nutrients) if you follow this simple method:
- Soak the dry brown rice per the recipe below. Save one quart of the soaking liquid in a mason jar (leave no air space at the top) when draining the rice prior to cooking. (This soaking liquid will last months in the fridge).
- Cook your rice per recipe below.
- The next time you make brown rice, soak the dry rice in the previous soaking liquid from your quart mason jar (add a little more water if necessary to cover).
- When draining the soaking liquid off, be sure to capture another quart of soaking liquid in a clean mason jar.
- Cook your rice per recipe below.
- You could basically do this process FOREVER. My current soaking liquid is over two years old, it smells like a good cheese and the rice it makes is fluffy and digests very well. The rice does not taste sour because I always drain the soaking water (and capture it again) and rinse the rice before cooking. It takes about 10 cycles to get a really good rice, but it gradually gets better every time. Very easy and worth it to make this wonderful grain more palatable! Even my white rice lovers LOVE brown rice prepared this way.
- PLEASE NOTE: you only need to add they whey the first couple cycles. After the first two, the soaking water does the job and no more whey is needed.
Soaked Brown Rice
Rating: 4 forks (key)
Page in NT: 467
Yield & Notes:
Serves 6. Make sure to do the full soaking time, it makes a difference
- 2 cups brown rice (See Resources)
- 4 Tablespoons whey (only needed the first couple times you make this – see the Tips above)
(to make this recipe casein/dairy free, use lemon juice or vinegar in place of the whey)
- 4 cups warm filtered water (plus 2 1/2 cups water)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (See Resources)
- 2-4 T butter, ghee or coconut oil (See Resources)
Place rice, whey and warm water in a flameproof casserole [TNC: I just put it in my rice cooker] and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours. Drain soaking water into a quart mason jar (see Tips section above), and replace with 2 1/2 cups fresh water. Bring to a boil [TNC: I just turned on the rice cooker to the brown rice setting], skim, reduce heat, stir in salt and butter and cover tightly. Without removing lid, cook over lowest possible heat for about 45 minutes.
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