White rice is beginning to make a bad name for itself. Significantly lacking in vitamins due to the removal of the germ, white rice is basically just empty carbohydrates. People have even started touting studies suggesting that white rice could link to diabetes. Whether the link is significant or not doesn’t really matter, because luckily it’s easy to get your hands on both brown and wild rice, which have considerably more nutrition and some would say a better flavor. But can rice be part of a raw food diet? Well it depends a bit on how strict you are about ‘raw’.
Firstly, wild rice is not really a grain like other rice.
Wild rice (which is the black variety) is actually not considered by some to be a grain. It’s mostly grown in North America and is the seed of an aquatic grass. Apart from being local (for those of us in Canada and USA), wild rice also has a much better nutritional profile than white rice. It’s high in protein, iron, lysine, and fiber, and also quite low in fat. It’s gluten free and has a range of minerals and B vitamins.
How do I prepare wild rice?
If you want to keep it ‘raw’, then blooming is the option for you. Luckily blooming rice is easy and mostly fool proof. It takes longer than cooking the rice, but retains more nutrition. Blooming is just like sprouting. If you have a dehydrator, just put the rice into a glass jar with enough water to fully cover your rice. Keep it in the dehydrator for at least 24 hours. Keep an eye on it until it’s bloomed, and enjoy! If you don’t have a dehydrator, just soak the rice for up to 3 days, making sure to change the water every day to prevent contamination.
Why do you keep putting raw in quotes?
Well, wild rice is actually not raw. Just like almonds, even if it’s labeled raw, the rice still goes through a pasteurization type of processing. Depending on the type of rice, it might be heated up in a big vat, or over a fire (the way the First Nations traditionally did it). This makes the seeds sterile (they won’t germinate) but also increases the shelf life. You can still enjoy bloomed rice as part of a transition diet to 100% raw, or make a choice wherever you are on the raw spectrum.
While it does take some extra time to bloom this rice, it is still quite simple. You just add the water and wait for it to bloom. If you are making a dish for friends, it gives a great visual appeal to dishes than might otherwise be boring. Next time your non-raw friends come over, make them a bloomed wild rice dish to tantalize their taste buds!
Do you consider wild rice to be appropriate on a raw diet? Share your thoughts below!