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Rice is a grain enjoyed by most people around the world and there are so many ways to prepare the many different kinds of rice. Rice can be a part of the main course, as a side dish or even as a dessert. There are over 40,000 varieties of rice world wide, but only a few of these varieties are grown in the United States.
Rice is a cereal grain and is the seed of the monocot plant - oryza sativa and is the most important staple for for a large part of the world's human population especially in East, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the West Indies. It is the grain with the highest worldwide production after corn.
Rice in its natural state is called unpolished rice or brown rice and refined rice is rice which has had the bran removed. Rice is easily digested in the body and is a good source of nutrition for people with certain allergies. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Rice In The United States
Rice has been an important part of production in the United States since the late 17th Century. Six states produce rice here in the United States with Arkansas being the largest producer of them all.
Rice is good for you and has many nutritional values:
- Rice is low in calories
- Rice is a non-fat food
- Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates
- Rice is cholesterol free
- Rice is naturally low in sodium
The following info is from Riceland.com
Short Grain Rice
Because of its flavorful and stick together properties, short grain rice is excellent for puddings, rice balls, croquettes, paella and risotto. Short grain rice is great for smooth textured recipes.
Medium Grain Rice
Medium grain rice has a length that is about 2 to 3 times its width. When medium grain rice is cooked, it tends to remain moist and tender with a moderate stickiness, clinging together more than long grain rice. Medium grain rice is available in different varieties such as aromatic, white and brown. This rice can be steamed or baked and is good for desserts, casseroles, breads and stir fries.
Long Grain Rice
Long grain rice is usually 4 - 5 times as long as it is wide. The famous delicious indian basmati rice (one of my favorites) is an example of a long grain rice. The grains of this type of rice stay separate and fluffy after cooking which makes it a good choice to serve as a side dish or as a bed for sauces.
Sticky rice is a glutinous rice that is especially sticky when it is cooked, it is well known for its gluey texture. This type of rice is used in a wide variety of Asian desserts. This rice can be hand formed into a variety of shapes, rolled in sushi or served with savory or sweet dishes, where it will absorb juices. It's tastes great when molded into balls and is then dipped into spicy sauces!
Converted Or Parboiled Rice
Converted or parboiled rice has been prepared from brown rice. It has gone through a process where it is soaked and steamed under pressure which forces water soluble nutrients into the starchy endosperm (grain) which is then dried and milled. This type of process causes the rice to be separated and firm when cooked.
Enriched rice is white rice that has been coated with nutrients such as iron, niacin, thiamin and folic acid. When rice is processed, it loses a great deal of nutritional value. Some companies add vitamins and minerals back into the rice after it has been processed. But, even after enrichment process, enriched rice is still not as nutritious as brown rice.
Instant rice is rice that has been precooked and then dehydrated so that it cooks more rapidly. Instant rice can be ready in as little as 5 - 10 minutes, whereas regular rice requires approximately 20 minutes.
Try Incorporating Rice Into Your Diet
So if you're not a fan of rice, try incorporating it into your diet. With so many varieties available, there bound to be one that suits your fancy. The nutritional value of it is great and the wellness it brings to your body can't be beat
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