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The Truth About Black Rice

By Cook's Illustrated Published January 2012

What is black rice?

Like brown rice, black rice is unpolished, meaning that the hull of the grain—a rich source of insoluble fiber—is still intact. But only black rice contains  anthocyanins, the same antioxidant compounds that make blueberries and blackberries such valuable additions to our diets. These compounds are what turn the rice a deep purple as it cooks.

Many varieties and brands of black rice are available; we cooked up Forbidden Rice by Lotus Foods, adding 3 1/2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to 2 cups of rice and cooking it covered over low heat. The grains were tender in just 30 minutes (about half the time it takes to cook brown rice). The cooked grains remained distinct and firm to the bite, with tasters describing the flavor as pleasantly nutty and slightly sweet. As an even more nutritious, quicker cooking alternative to brown rice, what’s not to like?

IS BLACK THE NEW BROWN?

Like brown rice, black rice is highly nutritious, plus it cooks in about half the time.