What is Wild Rice?

From its name, one would naturally assume that wild rice is a type of rice or just a regular cereal grain. However, this is not the case, because contrary to what its name suggests, wild rice is actually not rice at all. Yes, this “rice” that is full of nutrients is, in fact, the seeds of aquatic wild grass. Wild rice can any of four different species of grass from the genus Zizania. Three of these species are native to North America, while the other one is native to China, Asia. As an aquatic food, it thrives in freshwater lakes, ponds, or even rivers.

How does wild rice compare to White and brown rice?

White rice is usually produced after milling. This process removes the bran, germ, and husk, leaving a refined product with a polished appearance. However, removing these layers has a direct effect on not only the appearance but also the texture and flavor of the rice. This, in return, gives it a longer shelf life. Besides that, milling also greatly affects the nutritional value of the rice, and due to this depletion, white rice is often enriched with nutrients such as niacin, iron, and thiamine.

Brown rice doesn’t undergo milling. This means that the only layer that has been removed is the husk while the endosperm, bran, and germ are intact. This removed husk is the reason why there is a wide difference in the nutritional value between white rice and brown rice; with brown rice having a significantly higher nutritional value. Even if white rice is enriched, some nutrients such as magnesium are not added back. Therefore, while white rice has only 19mg of magnesium per cup, long-grain brown rice contains more than 84mg of magnesium per cup. Brown rice also has more nutrients in terms of phosphorus, potassium, folate, and zinc. It also has more fiber and protein content as compared to white rice.

Even though wild rice is not really rice, its nutritional value is comparable to both white rice and brown rice. From starters, wild rice has a very high nutritional value since it is richer in proteins, potassium, folate, zinc, and most of the other vitamin B complex. It also has more fiber as compared to white rice. However, its fiber content is almost equal to that of brown rice.

Quick and easy ways to use Wild rice?

The most obvious way to use wild rice is to replace rice in soups and salads. Due to its high nutritional value, wild rice comes with a myriad of benefits. It promotes good heart health due to its high fiber content. Moreover, it is also easy to prepare wild rice. The basic ways of cooking wild rice are by either boiling, steaming, baking, or even cooking it in a microwave.

Other benefits of wild rice

Wild rice can boost energy and increase bone mass. It is also good for boosting your immunity as this makes your body stronger enough to fight diseases and infections. Wild rice might help reduce birth defects due to the high content of B vitamins that are also available in green leafy vegetables. It is also noteworthy that wild rice is gluten-free.

Foraging

Because wild rice is a native food and can still be found in abundance in the wild, wild rice is a nutritious food which can be gathered and stored to add real value and nutrition to your families meals.