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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

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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