NEW SERIES: Monthly Product Pick – quick-cooking whole grain rice

Admittedly, this is not new to me. I’ve been writing up a short little “Lauren’s Monthly Product Pick” article for display in the health center here and the two others that I work with telephonically as a way to increase visibility. While I’ve weaseled my way onto several committees for the promotion of wellness at the company that I serve, the fact that I am a contractor means that I don’t have access to all of the company systems and raising awareness that I exist as a resource for employees is tougher than it should be!

I’ll be posting these little tidbits for you on the reg as a quick and easy suggestion to improve your nutrition!

Up first:

RiceSelect Royal Blend Whole Grain with Texmati Brown and Red Rice


WHY: This quick-cooking whole grain takes the pain out of choosing whole grain rice by cooking up in 15 minutes.

HOW: Serve as a side dish.  To make it interesting, toast some slivered almonds in a dry saucepan.  Remove almonds and set aside.  Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, 1T olive oil, and ½ chopped onion and sauté until onion begins to brown.  Once this stage is reached, add rice and water to saucepan and cook regularly.  Stir almonds in once rice is complete.

Leftover rice can be reheated and eaten for lunch, or it can be added cold salad greens along with lean protein, vegetables, and a light dressing for a complete meal!

So that ^^ is all that is on the flyer. Easy, right?

To add a little bit more meat to the discussion for everyone here who isn’t standing in line waiting to fill a prescription, I’ll add some at the bottom. Rice Selects has a wide variety of whole grain options that cook quickly. In fact, a lot of brands do: Minute Rice even has a brown rice option that is a whole grain. A lot of people are surprised when I tell them that these shortcut options are nutritionally equivalent to “regular” brown rice, but all that has been done is that the grain is partially cooked then dried. The bran and germ have not been removed as with white rice. While this particular choice is a great option, there are things to look out for when at the grocery store searching for others:

Fiber content: The easiest way to tell by the nutrient facts panel whether a product is whole grain is by the fiber content, even though there are plenty of other benefits to choosing whole grain other than the fiber. A serving of whole grain rice should have 3g of fiber. If the one you’ve got in your hand doesn’t, find a better option.

Sodium content: Unfortunately, a lot of pre-packaged rice blends are also pre-seasoned and LOADED with sodium. For example, Rice a Roni’s Whole Grain Blend Roasted Garlic Italiano contains 760mg of sodium per serving, which is over 1/3 of the recommended daily intake. We really just don’t need that much sodium! You can flavor your rice at home for way less sodium than that, and I am willing to bet you can make it even tastier.

Saturated fat:The same mixes that include seasonings often include fat to make the product taste better, and instruct that you add more fat to prepare the product. Be aware of this – while you can choose to prepare rice at home using healthy fats, the ones that they put in the box are there for good. Saturated fat raises cholesterol, and while some of it is fine most of us non-vegans get our fill from meat, cheese, and eggs. What you’re looking for is a blend of grains and nothing else.


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