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Blooming Wild Rice

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Bloomed-Wild-Rice12Wild Rice is a not a raw ingredient.  But it comes with many health benefits.  Wild rice is high in potassium and phosphorus, it compares favorably to the nutritional content of wheat, corn and oats.  It is gluten-free, high in fiber, high in protein, folate, B vitamins (niacin, riboflavin and thiamin), calcium, iron and vitamin E.  Wild rice is actually the seed of aquatic grass and considered a pseudograin, similar to quinoa.

What do I mean by blooming?  What I mean is that the rice kernels open up like a beautiful flower, which makes them more palatable.   If you have a compromised digestive system, I recommend actually cooking the rice, breaking it down even further.  Bloomed rice is fluffy and chewy – very similar in texture to the cooked “grain”.   It may be used in a salad or for a pilaf.  Mix or match it with your choice of fruits and nuts, or take it in a savory direction by adding grated or chopped vegetables, seeds and your choice of dressing.

From the research that I have done,  wild rice is not considered a “raw” product due to the processing stage that takes place.  Below I have pulled together from various companies,  the heating procedure that takes place after they harvest it.  For more details,  I included their web links so you can delve deeper into it.

Living Tree Community Foods: (source)

“…Real Wild Rice is parched by Ojibwa native Americans. They take the wet,green rice and put it into a stainless steel drum that they turn over an open fire.  It is heated to 280 degrees Fahrenheit for one to two hours.”

Northern Wilds Rice Company: (source)

“…Most commercial rice processors parch rice in big tumblers heated by gas or LPG. Cathy Chaver hand-parches the rice over an open fire.”

“…Parching destroys the rice germ, which prevents the seed from sprouting, allowing the rice to be stored for long periods. Parching also hardens the kernel and loosens the hull (to be broken off and discarded in the hulling part of the process).”

“….Parching over a wood fire imparts a unique, slightly smoky taste to the already nutty flavor of wild rice.”

 Wilderness Family Naturals Rice: (source)

“…Once the rice is harvested it looks just like large green grass seed. These seeds are then parched to remove the husk. We currently offer 2 types of wild rice. There are several different types of parching and there is some natural variation in the size of the grains:

The first type of wild rice uses a method that gives you a nice even dark grained “rice”. It has been parched with modern equipment giving a high quality grain. The largest of the wild rice kernels we call, “Canadian Jumbo,” because it only grows in Canada and we consider it the “cream of the crop.” It is the largest and the plumpest of all wild rice in North America. It takes approximately 70-80 minutes to cook.  The second type of wild rice we offer is a “Hand Parched” wild rice which has been parched by Ojibwe Indians in a wood fired parcher using their traditional methods. This wild rice results in a lighter colored wild rice than the Canadian Jumbo above. This rice also cooks much faster (15-20 minutes).”

Indian Country: (source)

“…After the rice was cleaned of extraneous material-twigs, pieces of stalks, small stones, and worms-it was spread out on sheets of birchbark, blankets, or canvas to dry in the sun. When it was dry enough, the women put several pounds of rice in a big iron kettle or galvanized iron washtub and parched it over an open fire. To keep it from scorching, they stirred it constantly with a wooden paddle. This parching process cured the rice and also helped loosen the outer husks.”

Pinewood Forge: (source)

“…This is second key to getting high quality rice. There are very few people left who do the wood-fire hand processing. We take it to a older White Earth Ojibway fellow called Sunfish. His skill and care is beautiful to watch – constantly monitoring the wood fire, sniffing and feeling the rice as it parches. (Parching is the slow heating of the green rice until it is separated from the husk and thoroughly dried.)”

Bloomed-Wild-Rice1Blooming the wild rice: Dehydrator Method (24 hrs)

Yield Measurements:  1 cup = 3 1/2 cups bloomed

  1. Place 1 cup of wild rice in a container with  is at least 3 cups of water.
  2. Fill the remainder of the container with fresh, purified water and cover.  If necessary, remove all of the trays in the dehydrator to make enough space, and dehydrate the wild rice at 105 degrees for 24 hours or until bloomed.  The rice kernels will have opened and softened to a fluffy texture.
  3. After dehydration use a colander to drain and rinse the wild rice thoroughly.  Gently squeeze any excess water from the wild rice, using a towel to absorb as much moisture as possible. The wild rice should display a nice dry, fluffy texture.   If you are unsure whether the rice is ready, open up the jar and look for unbloomed kernels.  Taste one to see if it is still hard.  If it is, you need to continue the soaking process in the dehydrator a little longer.
  4. If you are not ready to use your rice in a recipe, return the bloomed rice to a glass jar and add enough water to cover.  Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Blooming the wild rice: Without a Dehydrator (3 – 5 days)

  1. Place 1 cup wild rice in a container with at least 3 cups of purified water.
  2. Soak for 2-3 days, changing the water twice daily.
  3. Once it’s bloomed, rinse it, change the water again and store it in the refrigerator in water.  You can change the water every two or three days once it’s in the refrigerator and you can leave it in there for a couple of weeks.  So you can always have wild rice if you want it at a moments notice.

 

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12 thoughts on “Blooming Wild Rice

  1. Kimmi says:

    I had no idea that wild rice wasn’t raw! Thanks for this post. What do you say about those who claim wild rice is not really a grain at all? I’ve heard it called a psuedograin… Thoughts?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Kimmi. I don’t have much to say about those claims right now. Some claim it is, some claim it isn’t. My question to a person is how does it make you feel when you eat it? Does your body digest it well? Do you feel good after eating it? Does it upset your digestive system? Do you eat it in moderation? …. Boring answer but one that I feel pertains to all the foods we eat and how our bodies react individually. Have a great evening! amie sue

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful information! This is my first time blooming rice and I’m using the non dehydration method. I seem to have bought the wild rice “blend” at the store, and although the actual wild rice has bloomed beautifully, the other kinds in the mix did not. Are other types of rice bloom-able?

  3. Chris says:

    I’m very interested in your wild rice, you sell them? Where can I buy?

  4. Carina says:

    Hi there! Im just curious. Is there a point to eating bloomed rice over boiled rice if its not raw to begin with? Also does brown rice also go through a heat process? Thanks so much!
    Carina

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Carina… Good question. Some people do it for the texture (more chewy), the taste (tends to take more nutty), to save electricity, convenience and some believe that is it more nutritious. From what research I have done on brown rice, it goes through a heat process too. I have tried to bloom it before and it didn’t work. Personally, I cook my rice due for digestion reasons. But many people love bloomed wild rice. :)

  5. Hi guys, I think there may be a little confusion about wild rice and whether its raw. Actual wild rice is a raw food. Wild rice, is in fact a type of grass, which is why you can treat it differently to other types of rice. If the wild ‘rice’ grain is not long and black, its not wild rice. There are many packs of rice labelled wild rice when really they’re a mix of usually; brown, red and wild rice. If you try to bloom this type of mix, you will notice that only the black grains will open (some say flower). Wild rice can be difficult to find but its out there and better yet, just buy it online. If you’re in the UK, Tilda do a nice pack of wild rice, which is available in Waitrose. Hope that helps everyone.x

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