Brown rice and white rice both weigh in at 200 calories per cup, but the sturdy bran coating on brown rice packs a walloping 4 grams of fiber compared to 1 gram of fiber per cup in white rice. Why do you care? Brown rice keeps you feeling fuller longer, plus its lower glycemic load means less crashes, too. Blood sugar stays steadier.
But cooking brown rice takes an hour or more. It’s practically a commitment. My efforts tended to cook unevenly with some grains underdone and others overdone. In theory, I liked brown rice. In reality, I hated the gummy overcooked mess I made each time I tried steaming it stovetop.
Enter The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook and its simple recipe for baked brown rice. What a difference. No more gummy brown rice. I’ve converted.
Once the rice is cooled, I pack it in portions from half a cup to one and a half cups. Some go in the freezer. Throughout the week, I’ll mix rice with beans and vegetables for a quick lunch, or enjoy a bowl with berries and milk for breakfast. Pre-measured portions keep me from mindlessly munching a tasty favorite.
Easy and Basic. Baked Brown Rice
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
Yield: 5 servings (3/4 cup each)
The Test Kitchen healthy cookbook recipe is for a more savory rice baked with sautéed with onions and chicken broth. Enjoy this basic version as a breakfast cereal, added to soups, or baked in casseroles both savory and sweet. Baking produces an evenly cooked, fluffy brown rice.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-1/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed and drained (see note)
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven until the oil just shimmers. Add salt and water. Stir. Bring to a full boil.
- Remove from heat. Stir in brown rice. Cover and bake until rice is tender, from 60 to 70 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven, uncover and fluff rice with a fork. Lay a clean folded dishtowel across the top of the pot. Replace the cover and let stand 10 minutes. The towel absorbs excess moisture to produce fluffier rice.
- Fluff rice with a fork. Serve, or store in the refrigerator for later use.
Note: Rice should be rinsed under cold running water to remove excess starch. The swish helps keep rice from turning into a sticky, gummy mess. Place your pre-measured rice in a fine strainer and rinse, turning the rice lightly with your hands. Place the strainer over a bowl to drain.