Rice – the ultimate superfood

Rice is the staple food for half the world’s population, with statistics that will make your head spin. Every year, 468 billion tonnes of rice are consumed around the world – that’s 14,000 kilos every second! It’s an incredible figure, and one that confirms rice as the ultimate superfood. But of course, there isn’t just one variety of rice but thousands of them – from white and brown, to red and black.

Rice Ultimate Food

Around the world in 2,000 rices

There are more than 2,000 varieties of long-, medium- and short-grain rice on the planet. Short-grain rice is the favourite in Japan, where massive quantities of sushi are consumed, and in Italy, where Arborio and Carnaroli rice form the basis of any risotto. If you hop across to Thailand, you’ll find the long-grain variety known as jasmine, or Thai fragrant, rice. While India and Pakistan are the places to go for Basmati – a variety that is both eaten locally, and exported around the world on a massive scale.

White rice is an excellent source of manganese – a dietary mineral that your body needs every day, while brown rice is packed with fibre and nutrients. Meanwhile, the lesser-known red and black varieties allow you to play around with the colours and flavours of your favourite dishes.

Go wild by experimenting with rice in all its forms and cookings – in a spicy sausage paella, cooked with saffron and seafood, in a biryani curry, as a rice pilaf served with fish, or as a delicious dessert with mango and coconut milk.

 

Rice – tasty dishes from across the globe

It would be impossible to list all the rice dishes of every country. In other words, we have an almost infinite number and variety of rice recipes to choose from! The world’s two main producers, China and India, together supply half the world’s rice and are the source of many of our staple dishes. Sweet or savoury, but always delicious, you too can discover the delights of each nation’s favourite rice dishes – from Spain to the US to Japan.

Wow your friends and family with rice dishes from around the world

While India’s many vegetarians prefer their rice served with vegetables and spices, in Brazil they eat it with pork, black beans and paprika, in a delicious Feijoada.  Tasty and satisfying, rice is a round-the-world air ticket in your own kitchen! Whether it’s a Spanish paella, an Italian risotto, an Indian biryani or pilaf, Japanese sushi and maki, or a delicious rice pudding, stock up on the herbs and spices and let your imagination run wild! You’ll be amazed at how much your kids love vegetables when they’re coloured with a little turmeric. And your Asian dishes will taste so authentic that they’ll get the whole family reaching for the chopsticks!

For perfect rice every time, opt for a rice cooker. Easy to use and practical, you can adapt it to your favourite rice (sushi, basmati, jasmine etc) simply by adding more or less water. A rice cooker is also a must for any budding chef, and a pre-requisite for happy house-sharing!

 

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All the tips and tricks for perfect rice!

Say goodbye to soggy rice, and to hours spent scouring the bottom of your pans! Thanks to a few simple tips, your rice will always turn out perfect. Whether it’s sushi, basmati or arborio, simply pick your favourite cooking method for perfect rice every time.

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Pan or rice cooker – it’s up to you

So. You love rice  in all its forms, but you tend to overcook it or find it stuck to the bottom of your pan. For hassle-free rice, you need to equip yourself with either a rice cooker or a good-quality, non-stick pan. Whichever you choose, the next step is to give your rice a good rinse in cold water.

Ultra practical and ideal for large families (and for anyone who constantly lets their milk or water boil over!), a rice cooker does it all for you. Simply choose your rice, add the required amount of water, switch on… then go read your book or watch your favourite TV programme, while your rice cooker does the rest. Once your rice is cooked, just let it rest for a few minutes before serving with a proud flourish and a “Look what I made!”

If you’re using a pan, don’t forget to check the required cooking time since this varies depending on the type of rice used. When the water starts to boil, pour in your rice stirring all the time, then leave to cook over a medium heat. You can add a stock cube or some herbs to the cooking water, or scatter some saffron over your rice after draining.

 methods for cooking rice

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Put your tissues away, and get the lowdown on tear-free onion chopping!

Knife in hand, you’re all set to start chopping your onions. But the mere thought of ending up in floods of tears and with stinging, bloodshot eyes puts you off! And yet, a few simple tricks will ensure
you remain dry-eyed, even if your recipe calls for some fine dicing. Read on…

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Take your pick from our favourite tricks

When it comes to the thorny old issue of onion peeling and slicing, every chef has their own little trick. While some techniques seem both unlikely and convoluted, others have stood the test of time:
- Peel and slice your onion under cold running water
- Place your chopping board directly under the extractor fan
- Keep dipping your knife in cold water
- Leave your onion in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes beforehand.

Now go and experiment! One of these techniques is bound to work for you, so hopefully you’ll no longer need a gas mask every time you want to chop an onion!

 

Whether you’re a foodie, a health-lover or a weight-watcher, grilling is for you! From romantic suppers to family dinners, grilling retains all the taste and all the nutrients, and is endlessly versatile – whether you’re cooking meat, fish or vegetables.

 

Great for parties, great for your figure!

Get the whole family gathered around the grill for fish, seafood, meat and vegetables cooked without any added fat! Needless to say, if you’re watching your figure or your health, opt for lean cuts of meat as opposed to fatty varieties like sausages. Use your imagination and put vegetables centre stage – a platter of vegetable kebabs, for example, will impress all your guests old and young! Grilling helps to retain all the vitamins and water-soluble minerals – even the heat-sensitive ones, like vitamins A, C, B1, B5 and B9.

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No longer do you have to wait for Summer to enjoy a good barbecue! Indoor grills can be used all year round and are perfect for parties and family get-togethers, with everyone gathering round to grill their own choices of meat or vegetables. And don’t forget to throw in a few homemade sauces –your traditional homemade mayonnaise (link to mayo article), for instance, is sure to prove an all-round winner!

 

With its inimitable taste and reduced GI, nothing beats a slice of toast!

What could be better than the smell of hot toast and coffee in the morning? From rolls and baguette to sliced bread and muffins, you’d be hard put to resist the delicious smell of fresh toast emanating from your toaster. And whether you prefer it with butter, jam or spread, toast has some surprising hidden assets.

Toast – your best breakfast companion

Come rain or shine, you prefer your morning bread toasted. Satisfyingly crunchy, smothered in butter and jam, and filling your home with the delicious aroma of hot bread, toast helps you start the day right. Quite apart from being delicious, did you know that your daily toast has another asset that few people know about? Its glycemic index (GI) is lower than that of fresh bread!

When bread is toasted, its water content moves to the surface. This causes something called starch retrogradation, which decreases the GI. If you’re going for foods with the lowest possible GI, choose breads made from semi-wholemeal or wholemeal flour as opposed to white flour. And if you’re watching your figure or want to eat healthier, then toast’s little ‘bonus’ will no doubt get you reaching for your toaster more often, knowing that you can toast away to your heart’s content!

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