By Wikipedia definition, white rice is “the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed, altering the flavor, texture, and appearance of the rice, helping to prevent spoilage and extending its storage life.” The refining process that white rice goes through actually ends up removing some of its naturally occurring nutritional factors. If you are looking to replace your white rice with something a little more nutritional, than look no further. Here is a list of 9 different grains that you can use to substitute for white rice:
1. Wild Rice
Wild rice is not actually a grain but the seed of a North American marsh grass. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture. It goes best with autumn-time foods and dishes. Wild rice is also high in protein and fiber (twice that of brown rice), as well as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B.
2. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain in which only the husk is removed. (White rice is in fact brown rice in which the husk, bran, and germ have been removed.) Brown rice has a mild, nutty flavor and has a chewy texture, similar to that of wild rice. It pairs just as well with foods that white rice goes well with. Brown rice is high in protein and fiber, but also contains manganese, which aids in energy production, and selenium, which is a mineral that has been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Millet is a seed known to some Americans as a component to bird and livestock feed. However, with increased interest in gluten-free diets, millet is now packaged for human consumption. With its nutty flavor, millet goes best with winter-related recipes (like squash dishes, for instance), but goes well with a variety of foods. It is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamin B, manganese, and is highly alkaline, which makes it easy to digest.
Quinoa is a grain-like seed. It has a mild taste and a creamy texture. It can be eaten as a breakfast food, pairing well with almonds and cinnamon, but can also be used in other dishes as well. Quinoa is considered a complete protein, is high in manganese, is high in fiber and niacin, and is gluten-free.
Bulgur is a cereal food made from the groats of different wheat species, most notably durum wheat. It is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has a nutty flavor. Bulgur is pre-cooked, which makes it very simple and easy to prepare, and goes great as a breakfast item. It is high in fiber, and in contrast to other grains, bulgur is lower in carbohydrates and calories.
Couscous is considered semiola, which are granules of durum wheat. It is traditionally used in soups, stews, and as a pasta, and due to its naturally bland taste, it is very versatile. Couscous is high in protein and potassium.
Barley is a whole grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture, similar to that of brown rice. It is used most popularly in soups, but can be used as rice, and is used in many dishes worldwide. Barley is high in fiber and protein, and is naturally fat-free and cholesterol-free.
Farro is a type of hulled wheat. It has a notably roasted, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Farro is widely used in Europe, most particularly in Italy. It is high in protein, fiber, vitamin B, and magnesium. Farro is not suitable for those with gluten intolerances or allergies as it is a type of wheat.
Buckwheat is a plant that is cultivated for its grain-like seeds. It has a nutty taste and can be used in breakfast foods or used as a grain, like rice, in cooking. Buckwheat has been seen to significantly lower cholesterol, is high in protein, and despite its name, is a gluten-free food.