10 April 2013

So many to choose from

Posted in Blog

Nowadays supermarket shelves display many different types of rice and grains. It can be confusing to decide which one to buy.

Brown Rice
This rice is less processed than white rice; only the outer hull is removed. When cooked, it is chewy with a nut-like flavour. Brown rice has a light brownish colour due to the bran layer. These bran layers are rich in B complex vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Brown rice is a healthy option. It also has a low glycemic index (GI).

Black Rice

Black Rice is a wholegrain, and now on the “superfood” list. It contains essential vitamins and minerals including niacin, thiamin, and magnesium, as well as being a source of dietary fibre. Its deep purple colour is due to natural anthocyanin, which also gives blueberries their colour. It is low in salt and sugar, and has a distinctive nutty flavour.


White Rice

The husk of this rice is removed and the kernel is milled and polished until the rice is white. White rice loses much of its nutritional value due to this process and therefore contains less Vitamin B, minerals, and fibre and it also has a higher GI than brown rice.


Basmati Rice

This is a long-grain, non-glutinous fragrant rice, grown in India and Pakistan. When cooked, it swells lengthwise in slender grains and is dry, separate, and not sticky. It is available in brown or white.

Jasmine Rice

This rice originates from Thailand. It is more sticky and moist and is a shorter grain than Basmati. Available in brown or white, it has a higher glycemic index than Basmati rice.




Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah)

Quinoa is one of the most nutrient-rich grains available. It has high protein levels, fibre, iron, phosphorous, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. It also has a low GI, beneficial for keeping blood sugar levels stable.
There are four main varieties of Quinoa available: white, sweet, red, and black. It can be eaten hot or cold, sweet or savoury.

Page 69 Babytastes and page 186 Toddlertastes for Quinoa recipes.


Couscous is made of semolina wheat that is moistened and then formed into small grain shapes. It is also made from whole-wheat flour. This food is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. It is also a very good source of selenium. It can be served in sweet or savoury dishes.

Page 25 Babytastes, fruity couscous.


Freekah is a smoked green cracked wheat. The grain is wheat that is still green as it has been harvested before ripening. It is especially high in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It has a distinctive smoky, nutty flavour.

Bulgur wheat

Bulgur wheat is a whole-wheat grain that has been crushed to make bulgur and then partially pre-cooked. As a whole grain, it is naturally high-fibre and low fat. It requires little, or no, cooking.

The glycemic index, or GI, rates foods that contain carbohydrates on a scale of 1 to 100. Foods on the lower end are considered low-glycemic foods, while foods closer to 100 are high-glycemic foods. The theory behind the glycemic index is that foods with a rating closer to 100 cause your blood sugar to spike suddenly.


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