Take a little time to prepare brown rice now. It will save time and effort at dinner preparation and you’ll have healthy rice on the table in as little as 15 minutes.
We have a fair amount of brown rice in our food storage because it is healthier for us than white rice. Unlike white rice, brown rice still has the bran and germ layer intact giving it a nutty flavor and rich texture. That’s the nutritious part. The process that produces brown rice removes only the outermost layer, the hull, of the rice kernel and is the least damaging to its nutritional value.
There are two drawbacks to brown rice that I’m trying to overcome.
First, it takes a long time to cook. Even with my rice cooker, a batch takes 40+ minutes from start to finish. That means I have to plan ahead if it’s on the menu and I’ll gladly admit, dinner planning is not at the top of my favorite things to do list.
I need a plan to get healthy rice into our meals on a regular basis.
Second, the shelf life of brown rice is short. Only 3 to 6 months on average. Even with proper storage practices, you need to use that grown rice within one year or the oils will go rancid and you’ll waste money.
Storage life can be extended to 24 months if you package and store it in the freezer. Learn more about storing rice in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer in our post ‘How to Store Brown Rice.’
Homemade Quick Brown Rice
Ultimately, taking a little time to prepare your rice now will save time and effort at dinner preparation time. You’ll have healthy rice on the table in as little as 15 minutes and will save money by doing it yourself.
Cook the rice according to package directions; make sure all liquid is absorbed. I used my rice cooker and cooked it in half pound increments.
Using a dehydrator, cover the trays with parchment paper or Paraflexx liners and spread the cooked rice in a single layer. Dehydrate at 125°F for 5 to 7 hours. The rice should be completely dry and click when dropped on a tabletop. I used my Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator (Amazon) for this project but my Nesco Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator (Amason) would work just as well.
Midway through the drying process, break up any rice that is stuck together and rotate trays.
Store in in canning jars with 100cc oxygen absorbers or remove oxygen from the jars with a FoodSaver attachment. Due to the high-fat content of brown rice, quick brown rice should be used within 6 months.
To use homemade quick brown rice
Measure 1 cup of dried rice, place in a saucepan and cover with 3/4 cup of cool water. Stir and soak for 5 minutes to begin rehydration. Bring to boil over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Makes 2 cups of rice.
Yield: 1 cup uncooked rice = 3 1/2 cups cooked rice = 2 cups dehydrated rice.
5 Recipe variations to try
- Add chicken or beef bouillon to the water for more flavor.
- Add cinnamon and brown sugar for a morning treat.
- Broccoli and cheese make a complete meal.
- Peas and egg whites for an oriental flair.
- Lemon zest and nutmeg is refreshing.
For more ideas try this post from TipHero – 33 cheap ways to spice up your rice. What
What time-saving strategies do you use to make brown rice part of your regular diet?
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