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Why Choose Basmati, Wild, or Jasmine Rice?

What's the 411 on rice?

White rice vs. brown rice is an age old debate, while wild rice has the most nutrients it also has a higher potential to contain arsenic but cooking any rice by repeatedly flushing it through with fresh hot water can remove much of the grain's stored arsenic – White rice may seem the most common, but it is the least nutritious. This is because it is actually brown rice that has been stripped of its bran content and bleached, thereby eliminating most of its nutrients.

Unlike Jasmine rice...The best basmati rice isn't pearly white—the grains will have a slightly golden hue, but shouldn't be gray. That's because quality basmati rice is actually aged, sometimes for as much as a few years, which helps to dry the rice fully and keep those grains fluffy and separated in a pilaf. White basmati, however, is more processed. The hull, bran, and germ are all removed. With brown basmati, only the hull gets removed. Both types make for a delicious and healthier addition to your diet than most American brands. Basmati is gluten-free and low in fat. In addition to containing all eight essential amino acids and folic acid, it's very low in sodium and cholesterol-free.

Basmati, jasmine and pre-cooked “instant” rice -- tends to have lower concentrations of arsenic than brown rice because arsenic accumulates in rice bran. Rice varieties grown in California or imported from Southeast Asia are often lower in arsenic than white rice grown in other parts of the U.S. The obvious exception is wild rice from the Carolina's. Wild rice is a significantly healthier choice than white rice. It not only contains fewer calories, but also has more fiber and protein and many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Wild rice grown in areas outside the Carolinas still takes up a lot of arsenic from the environment. Growing it in an arsenic polluted area will cause it to have high levels of arsenic. Studies show soaking rice overnight reduces arsenic levels by 80 percent. Wild rice is alkaline, which helps to maintain a healthy alkaline balance in the body and reduce inflammation. In addition, the consumption of wild rice decreases fatigue by providing essential nutrients to the body, and it's high in magnesium, which helps you feel more energized.

When it comes to Jasmine rice whole-grain varieties of jasmine rice, which range in color from brown to red to black, may be a healthier option than white rice. That's because they contain more fiber, nutrients, and beneficial plant compounds. Varieties of brown rice such as Jasmine or Basmati still contain their germ and bran layers, meaning they provide fitness buffs with a range of important nutrients including B vitamins, bone-building phosphorus, and magnesium.

Brown jasmine rice especially tends to be lower in calories and carbs than white rice. It also offers calcium, iron, and potassium. Furthermore, red, purple, and black varieties of whole-grain jasmine rice contain varying amounts of beneficial phytonutrients.

Jasmine rice hails from Thailand, while basmati comes from India and Pakistan. They’re both long grain varieties, which means they cook up fluffy and not very sticky. Their grains also remain distinct, although jasmine is plumper, softer, and a bit more moist than basmati, which has a firmer chew and drier character. Basmati grains are extra long and thin, and some people say they benefit from soaking, whereas the shorter, wider grains of jasmine rice just need a few quick rinses to remove excess starch. To highlight the specific character of each grain, you might showcase basmati in a pilaf or salad and jasmine in a pudding. But both are well suited to underpinning rich, saucy dishes like curries, and you can often use either variety you prefer.

It really just depends on whether you want something firmer and drier (that’d be basmati) or a softer and slightly more luscious base (hey, jasmine). As for wild rice it is actually a semi-aquatic grass that is has a nutty flavor and firm chewy texture and is packed with nutrition. depending on how it is prepared it sometimes has a buttery and earthy flavor, and it has a strong flavor compared to brown or white rice. The black grains are long and slender, and cook to a chewy texture with a pronounced nutty, earthy flavor. It pairs well with hearty flavors.


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