With a chewy texture and rich nutty flavour, black rice is the newest and trendiest health food on the market. Due to its exquisite burgundy-purple colour and nutrional appeal, expect to see this exotic grain served up in trendy restaurants and cafes across Australia.
According to the Grains & Legumes Nutrition CouncilTM (GLNC), the independent authority on the nutrition and health benefits of grains and legumes, black rice is a healthy alternative for people wanting to eat rice. It’s naturally gluten free, high in fibre and 100 per cent whole grain, making it a simple and delicious way to reach GLNC’s 48g whole grain Daily Target Intake (DTI).
Chris Cashman, GLNC Nutrition Project Officer, said rice is an important carbohydrate which helps to fuel the brain, support working muscles and vital organs.
“As well as being a great source of carbohydrate, it’s the high level of anthocyanin antioxidants in black rice that sets it apart from more well-known varieties like brown and white rice. In fact, black rice contains the same amount of health promoting antioxidants found in blueberries, but with less sugar and more fibre,” he said.
Renowned for centuries for both its attractive looks and perceived health benefits, black rice was once a rare delicacy. Even today the Chinese refer to the ancient grain as ‘forbidden rice’; cultivated for years in very small amounts only for the emperor’s consumption. It was believed black rice helped ensure good health and long life so was only reserved for the nobles. Although black rice was considered rare amongst the general public, today it’s a grain for everyone.
When to use it?
Often served as a dessert, like black rice pudding, most people are unaware of how else to use the ancient grain. Its vibrant colour makes black rice the ideal accompaniment to salads, sushi recipes or a nutritious addition to any grain based dish.
How to cook it?
Black rice can be cooked in the same way as brown rice. Simply add 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water or stock over a medium heat. Bring the water or stock to the boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Where to buy it?
This ancient delicacy is becoming more readily available as manufactures, like SunRice, realise the grain’s nutritional and culinary potential amongst health conscious foodies. Black rice can now be found in supermarkets and specialty stores.
For more information and access to a selection of black rice recipes, visit the SunRice website https://www.sunrice.com.au/consumer/products/gourmet-rice/black-rice/. For more information on the nutrition and health benefits of black rice and other grain foods visit the Grains & Legumes Nutrition CouncilTM website www.glnc.org.au.