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How to Cook Brown Rice Like a Chef

How to Cook Brown Rice Like a Chef

Brown rice is much healthier than white rice because it is a whole grain, but cooking brown rice intimidates a lot of home cooks because it takes so long and seems so fussy. But have no fear: with these tips you’ll know how to cook brown rice like a chef and you’ll have no excuse to eat the nutritionally inferior stuff ever again.

What’s So Great About Brown Rice?

What makes brown rice a better choice? Because it is a whole grain, it can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s high in fiber, which can aid in good digestion, and it releases its sugars slowly, which helps you maintain a healthier blood sugar level and may even help reduce the risk of developing diabetes if you eat it regularly.

In addition, brown rice is considered one of the most nutrient-rich foods in the world. It’s full of antioxidants and important but sometimes-difficult-to-find minerals like manganese and selenium. Manganese supports the production of healthy cholesterol in the body, while selenium is thought to be helpful for preventing heart disease and certain forms of cancer.

It can also be an aid to weight loss because of its high fiber content and ability to help control metabolic function and make you feel full longer than you would if you’d eaten white rice.

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How to Cook Brown Rice

If you want to know how to cook brown rice like a chef, you need to ignore the package directions. These instructions have you cook the rice longer than is needed, often leaving you with a mushy end product that is not all that appealing.

You need to take a different approach, and it starts before the rice hits the pan.

Take the rice you want to cook and rinse it in a strainer for about 30 seconds, and drain.

Then, forget you’re cooking rice. Cook it like pasta instead.

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Add a generous amount of water to a sauce pot and bring it to a boil. I like to add a little olive oil and a good pinch of salt, too.

When the water boils, add your rice.

Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Drain the remaining water and put the rice back in the pot.

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Cover and let sit off the heat for about 10 minutes.

I know this sounds crazy, but I’ve done it, and it really does work. I don’t know if this is really how to cook brown rice like a chef, but if I were a chef I would do it this way. The grains come out distinct and soft but not mushy—perfect for rice salad or anything else you might want to use it for.

Cooking Rice Under Cover

If you feel better cooking brown rice in a more traditional way, you can also cook rice in a covered pot. Use a 2:1 ratio of water to rice (so, say, 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice).

Put the rice and water (and salt, if you want) in a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer about 40 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

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Take the pot off the heat and let it sit a further 10 minutes, covered, before serving.

Of course if you have a rice cooker its easy to cook brown rice perfectly, because you let the machine do the work for you. It will automatically sense when the rice is cooked and continue to keep it warm until you’re ready to use it. But there’s no need to go out and buy new equipment when you can easily cook a good pot of rice on the stovetop.

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Sarah White

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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