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Black rice offers all of the same health benefits of brown rice but it also packs some serious antioxidants. Because of its dark color, black rice bran contains the same anthocyanin antioxidants found in blueberries or blackberries. The bran is the outer coating of the rice kernel.
White rice is stripped of this which also strips away the nutrients. So always look for whole grain rice. Black rice is often referred to as “purple rice,” because when it’s soaked or cooked it changes from black to a deep purple or burgundy color. When you sprout or cook the black rice, it brings a nutty, sweet flavor to the rice and softens the overall texture.
By soaking the forbidden rice, it will split open, make it soft and make the inner nutrients available. If you have a compromised digestive system, I recommend cooking it, thus making it easier to digest. But only you can make that judgement call. But just like any other grain, seed, or nut… it needs to be soaked prior to eating. This is help release the physic acid that lurks within, which makes certain important minerals such as zinc and iron calcium and magnesium un-absorbable. Soaking it will also speed up the cooking time if you choose that route. In fact it will cut the time in half, which can be nice.
Grains can be acidic to the body, so to help with the acidity-alkaline balance, I added in a small piece (1″) of kombu (sea vegetable) during the cooking process. Kombu contains the amino acid glutamine, a naturally sweet, superior flavor enhancer known as Umami. One the dried sea veggie is soaked, it expands in size and feels a bit slimy. It is very beneficial as it cuts down on gas and improves digestibility. After the rice is through cooking, you can remove the kombu or you can diced it up and eat it along with your rice.
Yields 3 cups