Just Rice Is Nice but Germination Is the New Sensation

Posted on February 7, 2011

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Having healthy alternatives to white rice on hand is a VERY exciting (and until now, rare) circumstance in my daily life. Sometimes things get really freaking busy day to day, and on days like these I’ve found that rice or pasta taking longer than 10 minutes to prepare becomes a frustrating waiting game; a situation that either keeps me from incorporating a good whole grain source into my meals at all, or leads to the breaking of my little piggy bank to, my chagrin, pay 10 times as much for someone else to make it (silly).

Sound familiar? If you’re interested in slowly dabbing away your starchy rice addiction, even you might enjoy trying these two body beautiful rice alternatives that I have recently discovered and am giddy to tell you about!

Aim for foods that are low on the glycemic index; the lower the GI number, the less impact they will have on blood sugar

Last week when my love of all rice like dishes, and my lack of having the time during the day to prepare such fare, became a reoccuring problem (umm every day), I decided that it was time I learn from the absense of reasonable meal preparation in my life and make next week one filled with easy breezy, nutrient packed, complex carbohydrate, high protein sustenence. I resolved to flip the script and make opening my fridge this time around (in a week packed with due dates and deadlines) a serene element of each of my days. With 2 diverse pre-cooked rice options ready to go in the fridge I have the perfect nutrient dense canvas at my disposal (no pun intended, of course) for at least one meal each day.

If you’re like me, brown rice might not be something you’re always enthralled with, especially if you’re not used to eating it. It usually takes some easing (or should I say seasoning) into with its more wholesome texture than the common white rice; which to me is just another excuse to get fancy… Even Phat Chow has a bone to pick with the plain old boring brown stuff; enter: Sprouted Mung Beans and Germinated Brown Rice.

In order to say good-bye to my days of just dreaming of having wholesome rice on hand and ready to go, I made a bunch of this stuff so I all I had to do was dish up, add a sauce/vinaigrette, maybe another protein source (see upcoming posts for what I came up with!) and shamefully consult my microwave.

Pre-Germinated Brown Rice

If there’s one most important purpose of this blog post, it’s to share my new-found passion for this germinated brown rice. You all, I’m excited about this stuff. Even though research has only just begun in the past decade, studies in Japan and the United States are indicating that the substances in germinated brown rice improve brain function, can reduce cholesterol, improve kidney function, regulate blood sugar levels, stabilize blood pressure, lower the risk of colon cancer, may be beneficial for diabetics, and may act as a preventive for Alzheimer’s disease.** WOAH. And ok, seriously, it’s SO GOOD. I rest my case.

Why we should be jammin’ for Germinated Brown Rice:**

  • Gluten Free
  • Whole Grain
  • High in fiber
  • Ten times the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid; acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter that appears to regulate anxiety, sleep, the immune system, and fat metabolism) than that in non-germinated rice
  • Triple the amount of Lysine (the essential ‘for health but cannot be produced by the body’ amino acid, lysine)

Ingredients needed for Germinated Brown Rice:

  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth* for every 1 cup of rice.

*I LOVE this Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth and Seasoning…(it gives ANYTHING the taste of ramen and uses nutritional yeast as it’s base ingredient; YAY) To use it you just add 1 teaspoon of the stuff for every 1 cup of water you’re using…easy breezy vegetable broth any old time…

To prepare the Germinated Brown Rice…

  • Bring your water (or your vegetable broth if you dare to be prepared) AND rice to a boil in pot (now is the time to add your broth seasoning after boil has ensued).
  • Turn down heat to Medium/Low and simmer rice for 25 minutes with lid on tight
  • Then take off the heat and set aside with lid on for at least 10-20 minutes (I took the opportunity here to achieve extra flavorful and outrageously puffy rice by letting it sit for 45 minutes)

Sprouted Mung Beans

If you’re wondering why in the world I’m plugging beans when I’ve been rambling on about rice, it’s because these Mung Beans are an AWESOME substitute for rice AND offer up some serious nutrition. “Tell me more”, right!? You got it…

Why we should be manic for Mung Beans:**

  • Good Source of Iron, Calcium, B vitamins, Vitamin C (and you thought this was only in oranges…)
  • Low Fat
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Glycemic index
  • High Fiber
  • Good Protein Source
  • Easily Digested (brought to you by sprouting)
  • Are tasty served up plain or with any sauce/dressing you put on them
  • Super easy and quick to make

Ingredients needed:

  • 3 cups Vegetable Broth (GO Seitenbacher!) for every 1 cup of Mung Beans

To prepare the Mung Beans…

  • Bring your water (or your vegetable broth if you dare to be prepared) to a boil in pot (now is the time to add your broth seasoning after boiling has ensued).
  • Cook for just 5 short minutes, then take off the heat and set aside with lid on for at least 5-10 minutes, drain excess water if desired. *I let mine sit for around an hour so they could really soak up the flavor in that broth. I then put them in a Tupperware container and sealed it up tight so ensure freshness throughout the week (even though Mung Beans are known for their long shelf life; BONUS!)

Be sure to check out this week’s upcoming blog posts where I’ll be showcasing how I’ve fancified two uber satisfying meal times with these rice alternatives (and I’ve only just begun)!

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**According to Tru Roots website
*Genuine tried and true tips brought to you from phat experience
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