Cheat Sheet for Cooking Grains

by HCHC on July 16, 2014

Grains, and grain-based foods are rich in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are your body’s best energy source and provides your brain, heart, and nervous system with a constant supply of power to keep you moving, breathing, and thinking. Grains supply B vitamins and iron as well as other beneficial phytonutrients, not to mention a satisfying supply of fiber.  Its soluble fiber can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, while its insoluble fiber may reduce the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.

Speaking very generally, cooking grains is usually a ratio of one part grains to two parts water.  The denser the grain, the higher the amount of water, and longer cooking time.

brownriceWhite rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 ¾ cups of water.  Combine, bring water to boil, lower heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and steam for 5 additional minutes.

Brown rice:  1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. Combine, bring water to boil, lower heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes.  Turn off heat and steam for 15 additional minutes.

Wild rice:  1 cup of rice to 4 cups of water. Combine, bring water to boil, lower heat, cover and cook for 45 – 60 minutes, or until rice splits open.  Drain excess water in colander.

Barley:  1 cup of barley to 3 cups of water. Combine, bring water to boil, lower heat, cover and cook for 30 – 45 minutes for pearl barley and 90 minutes for hulled barley.

Millet and Quinoa:  Both of these grains must be washed thoroughly before cooking.  It’s easiest to rinse grains first in a colander lined with cheesecloth.  For either grain, the ratio is 1 cup of grains to 2 cups of water.  In this case, however, the water is boiled first and the grain added once the water has come to a boil. Then, lower the heat and cover.  Cook on lowered heat for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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