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8 Surprising Health Benefits of Wild Rice

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nutrition-wildrice1. Wild Rice is Not Actually Rice

Wild rice is called rice because it has a similar appearance and cooking style to other rice varieties.  However, it is actually a semi-aquatic grass native to North America and Asia.  In Asia it is actually consumed as a vegetable.

2. Wild Rice is Gluten and Grain Free

Because wild rice is actually a grass and not a grain, it is naturally gluten free. Unlike other varieties of rice it has not been contaminated with arsenic.

3. Wild Rice has 2x the Protein of Brown Rice

With around 8g of protein per cooked cup, wild rice is a great source of vegetarian protein.

4. It has 30% more Antioxidant Activity than White Rice

Researchers at the University of Manitoba analyzed 11 different variations of wild rice and when compared to white rice, the antioxidant activity blew it out of the water!

5. It Can Improve Digestion

The combination of high levels of fiber and magnesium can help relieve constipation and improve digestion.

6. It Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Researchers in China found that wild rice was effective in lowering cholesterol in animals. It is believed this is mainly due to its high level of fiber, which helps transport the bad cholesterol from the body.

7. It Has a Rich and Nutty Flavor

Beyond the health benefits, the flavor profile of wild rice is fantastic! It has a deep nutty flavor and adds a complexity to even the simplest of dishes. It also combines well with brown, black and red rice to create a nutrient packed blend!

8. It’s as Easy to Prepare as Rice

You cook wild rice in much of the same way that you would prepare other varieties of rice. The main difference is that wild rice calls for a 3:1 ration of water to rice rather than a 2:1 ratio.

 

How To Prepare Wild Rice Recipe

– 1 cup wild rice

– 3 cups water or broth

Directions: Combine rice and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and cover for about 40 minutes. The wild rice is done when it bursts open and is cooked to your desired tenderness.

Here are some other of my favorite wild rice recipes from around the internet:

Wild Rice with Mushrooms – NYT Magazine

Harvest Wild Rice Skillet – Pinch of Yum

Wild Rice & Veggie Dish – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Do you have any favorite wild rice recipes?  I’d love to hear about them!  Share them in the comments below!

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