I try to mainly just post recipes on this website. The clue’s in the title. Just lately I’ve been feeling a bit like going off piste though. The first post in this line is today. And yes, it’s about food, but no, it’s not a recipe as such. (Kind of… more later). Anyway, it’s something I think you ought to know about. It involves eating something you usually eat, adding fat to it and then it being lower in calories.
Yes, you did just read that right. And the food in question is rice. In case you hadn’t seen it, the article is here in the Washington Post. The idea is that in order to make rice lower calorie you have to increase the amount of starch in it that’s resistant to digestion. And the best way of doing this? Adding fat. So you boil your rice with some fat (coconut oil was used in the experiment), then cool the rice. That’s it. You can either eat it cold or warm it back up. (Careful chilling and warming rice though; for details of how to avoid food poisoning see here).
The reduction in calories is at worst 10%, though scientists (who are these people who go around chucking coconut oil into rice all day?) think they could reduce the calories by as much as 60% with some varieties.
Enough of all this science. Here’s my husband’s recipe for the best, fluffiest basmati rice ever. And it doesn’t involve the absorption method which I know a lot of folk find stressful.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available exclusively in Iceland stores and through their website) which is just £2.99 at the mo! And no, the recipes are not just about frozen food. Every recipe has instructions of how to make with chilled ingredients too.
Perfect fluffy (and lower calorie) rice
- 250g white basmati rice
- 1 tsp salt
- 8g coconut oil (the amount should be roughly 3% of the rice weight according to The Kitchn, so multiply the weight by 0.03 on your phone)
First off put the rice to soak in a pan of cold water. You don’t need to swish it about, just leave it for 30 minutes. Boil the kettle, drain the rice and then pour boiling water over the top – at least 6 times the amount (ie/ fill the pan to near the top). Place on the hob, add the salt and oil, then boil until the rice starts to swell and float to the top, all without a lid. With the brand of rice I use this only takes about 10 minutes, but it depends on the rice. Try a grain if you are unsure.
Once cooked remove from the heat and drain in a sieve over the sink, then rest the sieve, with the rice still in it, in the saucepan and place the saucepan lid over the top. Pop the whole thing onto the cooker (not on the hob ring you used – you’re aiming to leave it in an area with residual heat) and leave for 10 – 15 minutes. I know this seems like madness but if you cover it with the lid it WILL NOT lose heat. What will happen is it will drain properly and when you uncover it it’ll be ready to be fluffed up with a fork. At this point you need to cool it and chill it as fast as possible. The speediest way is to lay the rice onto a large place in a thin layer and allow to come to room temperature. Then spoon into a container, cover and chill. This all needs to take place within an hour to reduce the risk of food poisioning.
Consume within 3 days, either cold or hot. Ensure the rice is piping hot if reheating.
NB: If you’re not bothered about the caloie content in the slightest then simply omit the oil and instead eat the rice after the 10 minutes draining.
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