Brown rice versus white rice: does it matter? Short answer: of course. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. While they’re both from the same grain, white rice has been stripped of its nutrient-rich outer bran and germ. Brown rice also contains more fiber — no surprise there. It’s better not to peel apples and potatoes, right? That’s like peeling off fiber. Same for rice.
On the other hand, white rice is typically enriched with iron and B vitamins (folic acid, niacin, and thiamine). Brown rice doesn’t need man-made enrichment — it naturally contains B vitamins, plus magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, manganese. Touche.
White rice has a higher glycemic index (meaning it is quickly digested) and can shoot up your blood sugar levels, which in turn raises insulin levels. Brown rice has a lower glycemic level (it takes longer to digest) and can actually help regulate blood sugar levels.
From a culinary standpoint, it’s a matter of texture and taste. Brown rice has a denser, chewier texture while white rice tends to be light and fluffy (unless it is short-grain rice, which tends to be sticky and clumpy). Brown rice tastes slightly bran-ish, mildly nutty, and exudes with a good-for-you’ nuance. (i.e. what a whole grain should taste like.) On a positive note, white rice is a blank canvas and readily absorbs the flavor of a dish — think jambalaya, paella, pilaf, risotto.
When properly cooked, brown rice can be substituted for white rice in almost any recipe. The key is properly cooked. Brown rice takes 35 to 40 minutes — over twice as long as white rice. You can’t rush it. Unfortunately, chefs can wax poetic about curating heirloom veggies at farmers’ markets and foraging for ramps in the forest, but home cooks have like 15 minutes max to get dinner to the table. White rice is a time saver — I get it.
However, if you crave brown rice but are pressed for time, do not despair. This is where JAYS2GO comes in. Every week JAYS2GO features brown rice on their weekly menu. Not just brown rice, but other nutrient-dense grains such as red rice, red quinoa, barley, and black rice. All are healthy, life-affirming, and delicious. Best of all, JAYS2GO dinners are fully cooked and delivered to your door. So it’s easy to enjoy the benefits of brown rice — just let JAYS2GO do the curating, foraging, and cooking. All you have to do…is the dishes.
- Jay Solomon is the owner and chef of Jay’s Gourmet 2 Go, a Denver based dinner delivery service. For more info and a peek at their seasonally inspired menus, visit www.jays2go.com