Rice is Nice! Varieties, Nutrition and Cooking Tips for Rice

For those who haven't completely ditched carbs, in this all-things-rice episode, we go completely "delicious dish" over this starch.

White Rice

White rice has been processed (no it's not naturally like that!) so that the husk, bran, and germ are removed leaving you with a refined product. The rice is polished giving it a white, shiny look. While this helps keep it from spoiling longer, nutrients are removed during the processing. White rice is typically then enriched back with vitamins like iron and B vitamins. One cup of cooked white rice has 206 calories, 4 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrate and about 1/2 a gram of fiber.

Brown rice

Only the husk layer is removed to process brown rice. This leaves the layers that contain the most nutrition- the bran (the fiber) and the germ (the protein and vitamins). This is why you often hear it's healthier to eat brown rice over white rice, similar to the advice to eat whole wheat bread instead of white. One cup of cooked brown rice has 215 calories, 5 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrate and 3.5 grams of fiber.

Wild rice

Each one-cup serving of cooked wild rice has 166 calories, 6.5 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. It also contains small amounts of iron, potassium, and selenium. It's often found in mixes with other types of rice but you can buy it separately and use as wanted. Read more about wild rice here.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is very similar in nutrition to white rice, so when it comes to health, you're not getting any extra benefits by switching to jasmine rice. It is a long grain, aromatic rice, so you might notice it fills your kitchen with a light, sweet scent while cooking.

Black rice

Also known as forbidden rice, this rice gets its black/brown color from anthocyanins—the same family of antioxidants found in other foods with a similar hue like blueberries and blackberries. It cooks up a deep purple color. It is slightly higher in fiber and protein and lower in calories than brown rice. It’s similar to cooking brown rice but takes about ten minutes longer.


Is it rice, a grain, what? Quinoa is a seed that cooks like other grains, like rice. It’s good in both hot and cold dishes. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies can't make on their own. It's also a great source of calcium and is high in B vitamins and iron. It has a natural soapy coating that helps protects the seed from pests but there's no need to eat it. To clean, just place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for a minute or two before you cook it. To cook, use one part quinoa to two parts liquid. Plain water works fine or a vegetable or chicken broth. Place both the quinoa and the liquid in a saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let the seeds cook for 10 to 15 minutes — or until the water is absorbed, the seed is translucent and the germ is partially detached (it will look like a little feather or spiral).

Coming soon, chickpea rice! The bean pasta maker, Banza, has put out a chickpea rice. What do you think? Worth it or waste?

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