As any product information label will inform the buyer, wild rice is hardly exotic to North Americans. Sometimes called Indian rice, wild rice is just a grain harvested from a type of grass grown largely in the USA and Canada. Wild rice has a nuttier flavor and grittier texture than white rice. It's probably not a breakfast rice, but it is known for its many nutritional benefits that white rice doesn't share.
Wild rice is protein-rich and high in dietary fiber. It's also low in fat and has a lower glycemic load than many other types of rice. It's full of manganese, thiamine, iron, potassium, niacin and other vitamins and minerals. It is one of the best side dishes that a health conscious consumer can prepare. Best of all, it's often inexpensive, tasty and easy to prepare.
First, one must wash wild rice thoroughly. There are four different primary methods for rice preparation. The conventional rice cooking methods are stove top, microwave and oven. It's not difficult to retain most of the nutritional value of wild rice during any cooking process. It's important, due to taste reasons, to carefully test the rice before serving it. Underdone rice isn't a taste treat of any kind. The cooking period is followed by a sitting period where the water is redistributed throughout the rice. This gives the rice a more consistent texture.
While there are several methods of rice cooking, the popularity of rice cookers has made the cooking of a proper pot of rice a lost art. There are definite benefits to the stove top method. It's easier to more carefully control the consistency of stove top rice. It's also easier to gradually season it.
Cooking good tasting and healthy wild rice is a matter of knowing how and when to use spices. While plain wild rice is preferred by many, the addition of seasoning and broth during cooking can heighten the natural wild rice flavor for those who like the taste, and improve it for diners who don't like the wild rice flavor.
Wild rice is also perfect for combining with many other foods. It improves the consistency of many less palatable vegetables, for instance, and becomes a complete meal when combined with a protein. Chicken and fish are especially good meal additions to wild rice. Many vegetarians combine it with tofu and similar products. With wild rice, anything is possible.
Content provided by Becky Wilcox.