I’ve had this love/hate relationship with brown rice for as long as I can remember. I love the taste, however I hate how I makes me feel (bloated with indigestion). Sorry; I needed to get a little personal because I wanted to be clear about my symptoms after eating brown rice. I have a hunch that I’m not the only one impacted in this manner.
Recently, I had stopped making rice because the discomfort was just too much.
Then, I stumbled upon sprouted brown rice, also known as GABA brown rice (for the amino acid gamma-aminobutyric acid). What I have read is that it has a much higher amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (which helps lower blood pressure, improves kidney function, and reduces sleeplessness) and a much lower amount of phytic acid (inhibits nutrient absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium and may cause indigestion).
Sprouted brown rice can be purchased in health food stores, but it’s really expensive. This is just one brand, but you can see the cost.
Or, you can make your own – which is what I did.
I used Lundberg Organic Short Grain Brown Rice. I buy this at a natural foods store in the bulk section.
Steps to Sprout Brown Rice:
1. Measure out how much you want to sprout. (You can cook it all at once and use or freeze, or you can refrigerate it after sprouting, but cook it within a couple days.)
2. Add it to a sprouting jar. I bought mine at a local health food store – Arrowroot in Bryn Mawr for $5.
3. Rinse the rice in the sprouting jar, then fill up the jar with filtered water.
4. Let sit overnight, then drain the next morning. Rinse the rice and turn the jar upside down on a cloth to catch any remaining water at an angle so the mesh lid can still get air.
5. Let sit the entire day (you can rinse at the end of the day if you want, but you don’t have to).
6. The next morning rinse again and by the evening or next day you should see tails on your rice, which means it has sprouted and is ready to be rinsed again and cooked.
When you are ready to cook the rice, you can cook it as you normally would. I used a sauce pan on the stovetop, but you could use a rice cooker or a pressure cooker. Since this rice has been soaked and absorbed some of the water, it requires less water to cook and a shorter cooking time. I had two cups of sprouted rice and used two cups of water. I brought to a light boil, then simmered for about 20 minutes, took the lid off to simmer another five minutes, then let it sit for 5 minutes.
Just-cooked sprouted brown rice with dulse flakes, kelp flakes and gomasio
It turned out nice and fluffy with individual rice grains.
I am no expert in this process. I have pieced together information from a lot of different web sites while I was doing research. I left the rice on my countertop to sprout and had no issues. Everything went just how I had hoped and I think I was successful. My house was probably 70-75 degrees.
Now, here’s the best part: I have eaten the rice three times – once right after it was cooked with dulse flakes, kelp flakes and gomasio, once with a vegetable coconut curry and once in a bean burger.
I did not experience any gastrointestinal upset.
No bloating at all! Victory!!!
I am elated, not only because I can comfortably eat brown rice again, but also because of all the extra nutrients I am getting from the increase in amino acids and reduction in phytic acids.
Reheating Rice Tip: I learned this awesome tip from a fellow 30 Day Vegan “classmate”…use a steamer basket to reheat rice just as if you would steam broccoli. Nothing gets stuck and it provides the perfect amount of moisture and heat to the rice!
I’m excited to move on to quinoa and chickpeas (which also hurt my tummy), but in the meantime all my rice is gone and I need to sprout more!
If you have any sprouting tips, I’d love to hear…or if want to try sprouting your own rice, please stop back and tell me how it goes!