Tuesday, January 9, 2007

No more "rice-rocket" pots

Aren't you tired of all those rice recipes, really instructions on laminating your pot-bottoms with black carbohydrate polymers that look like space shuttle heat tiles after re-entry?

I know. Buy a rice cooker and be done with it. And I might just do that, but I cannot bring a rice cooker with me on real camping trips. And, I cannot bring a rice cooker with me in any real Emergency in which FEMA intervenes, because you know (you may not, but I do) their appearance on scene transforms dire, urgent, serious but human-manageable emergencies into a "get the hell out of town now cluster-fuck!". In other words, in an emergency, rice is a great food to bring along, because it is easy to pack, also medicinal, but not so the rice cooker.

If you know how to use Rice the way they do in Ayurvedic Asia, then you know that rice is a food and a medicine. This is good to know especially in situations where the water supply is questionable, or the state of health and hygiene of the dishwasher, cook, waiter, manager at your local 5 star restaurant is questionable. Did anyone say "norovirus"?

So here's the scoop on really, really and truly, how to cook rice, and it isn't in any Western cook book, or on those corporate food racketeering blogs. Also a baseline XYZ note on "bio-medicine" and bio-medicinal uses of rice.

Healthy Way to Cook Brown Rice - SOAKING

Note: Rice is always BROWN as in BRAN BROWN.
SOAK the rice in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.

(Dear me, what an obvious concept, especially if you've ever cooked beans, or anything hard and dried; who took the soaking out of rice cooking - and what happens when you don't soak? Therein lies the answer as to why corporate recipe-heads took the soaking out).

The point of this soaking is so the rice grains can absorb some water. Long, pointy grains need more soaking. Now drain off this soak water, and let the rice breathe for about 10-15 minutes. This is an easy-going way to do things, because right about now you're preparing the other stuff for your rice dish.

The rice just isn't going to get mushy or burnt this way, which is more often the result with the ubiquitous corporate recipes: "bring to a boil, stir once, and leave undisturbed for 30,40 or 50 minutes". Here are pictures of how this method ends up, even with my spiffy All Clad top of the line cookware. (have to post pictures)

NOW combine the soaked, drained, aired rice with fresh water, salt and lemon juice. Why the lemon juice? It prevents oxidation yes, but also prevents sticking, so no butter or oil please. Fats change the pure taste and health values of the rice. Lemon juice synergizes health benefits of the rice. Rice is healthy for your intestines; the lemon juice aids digestion. Rice specifically soothes inflammation left by e.g., undigested food festering in your alimentary canal. I know it's not "done" to talk about what happens to your food once it leaves one set of expensive China on the table on it's way to the other expensive China on the floor. But hey, it's me. It's what I do.

Lemon juice just might do something for acid reflux. This makes sense because the detox program that save my life - part of the process used vinegar mixed with apple cider to cure our stomach problems, including acid reflux. I haven't done the research with lemons, but here's what I'm going on. An extreme version of acid reflux, which is a sort of "stomach acid regurgitation" is called "rumination". It's sad because severely developmentally disabled children can suffer from this, where bits of food are constantly regurgitated.

...Long-standing rumination in a profoundly retarded girl was treated using lemon juice as a consequence of the rumination. Rumination was nearly eliminated and weight was increased as a function of the use of lemon juice while the child was in a daycare center. "...

The lemon, malum medicum or the "medicinal fruit", was originally cultivated "in the hot, semi-arid Deccan Plateau in Central India". In the book, Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss writes, "The medicinal value of the lemon is as follows: It is an antiseptic, or is an agent that prevents sepsis [the presence of pathogenic bacteria] or putrefaction [decomposition of tissue]. It is also anti-scorbutic, a term meaning a remedy which will prevent disease and assist in cleansing the system of impurities.” Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently thus controlling constipation and diarrhea.

Seems that rice and lemons were always meant to "go together", ask every healthy inch of your alimentary canal. So, what do you eat with meat to enhance complete digestion? Veggies or rice? Food combining requires a little more thought than "separate carbs and meat", though there is a time and place for that.

Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Test for done-ness because you're close, depending on the type of rice. Lower the heat and simmer for 5, 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the grain of rice. See chart.

Note: there are three stages. 1. Soak and drain 2. Boil 3. Simmer.

Three different stages, three different heat settings, plus lemon juice. Does this make it more difficult, no, it makes it easier. What if you left it soaking for an hour, not a big deal! What if you left it airing for an hour? Not a big deal. And when you boil and simmer, it will likely be for a mere 10 - 30 minutes at most even with the hardest grains of rice. No more rice-rocket pots.

Healthy Way to Cook Brown Rice - TOASTING
Rice: Fluid about 3 :1 depending on the type of grain

Heat a heavy skillet over a moderate flame.
Add 2 cups rice and toast lightly.

In a separate pot, bring 2 cups water and 1 cup tomato puree to a boil. Or 2 cups water, 1 cup coconut milk, or 1 cup water, 2 cups broth, even 2 cups of water and 1 cup of pure lemon juice - with something to take the edge off, I don't know, coconut and honey? Am I making myself clear? The corporate food nazis will scream "chemistry", "you need a PhD in chemistry and a license from us before we let you near your stove". I say, bugger off, this is personal body alchemy.

Pour all liquid over the rice.

Mix in the amounts your heart desires from this list: minced fresh garlic, medium chopped onions, minced cilantro.

Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for about 25 or 30 up to 50 minutes depending on the type of rice grain.

The term Bio-Medicinal and the Bio-Medicinal properties of Rice
I've invented the word "bio-medicinal" to distinguish from the "corporate-medicinal" world as legislated by the Corporate FDA. Oh, did you say FDA was a Government Agency? Well, never mind, you'll get over it, but here's the real scoop: there's no difference.

Now, with the word "bio-medicinal", I'm not in their world, and they're not in mine. Their corporate FDA world treats my body and your body as their legal entities, and have succeeded in legislating over our social security bodies as though it were their property. Through insurance companies of course.

Here's the point at which I'm supposed to put a disclaimer. You know, you see all these "holistic medicine" Internet sites, and articles and books, with the required disclaimer "This is not REALLY good medical advice; for that, you have to check with your legally FDA sanctified physician for proper corporate medicine, the only intervention the government allows you to take for your corporate body with a corporately recognized malady".

Right, what I have isn't corporate medical advice. Duh, hardly anything that makes common sense is, now is it? We shall publish the disclaimer with pride and in words we the people understand: "Not the sort of propaganda you'll get from those numb-nuts".

Rice as Medicine
An ancient food, rice cultivated 10,000 years ago too. The oft-overlooked humble rice bowl. “Archaeological findings of the Indus civilisation reveals that wild rice was eaten in advanced Mesolithic or pre-Neolithic (c 8080 plus/minus 115 B.C.) period Prolific use of rice husk and chaff as pottery temper ... 5440 plus/minus240 B.C ..."

Rice Water cures intestinal maladies
A decoction of rice, which we call Rice Water is used to re-balance your intestinal activity. A long time ago and so very far away I was in the foothills of the Himalayas on my 11th sequential giardia attack. Stubborn as always, I was going to teach my intestines a thing or two about adjusting to the local diet, as I was going to be there for a year, and did not have the time or inclination, to be a full time American Princess foreigner for that year.

Taking pity on my state and total ignorance at how to manage the wondrous biosphere known as "my own gut", my hosts whipped me up a decoction of rice water. Where those blue, liver-destroying pills had failed, the rice water worked in 10 minutes. Grate some apples (yes, with the deadly skin washed in the same deadly water too) and put in the rice water. I was eating, better yet successfully drinking lots of water again, within the hour.

(Blue, liver-destroying pills: Flagyl, prescribed ahead of time by my corporate doctor among other prescriptive items I had spent a few thousand dollars on, just in case).

What else is Rice good for? Everything!
Source: http://www.ipgri.cgiar.org/pgrnewsletter/article.asp?id_article=11&id_issue=122

"In Ayurveda the medicinal values of rice have been described: rice is considered to be acrid, oleaginous, tonic, aphrodisiac, fattening, diuretic and useful in biliousness (Caius 1986)...Rice water is recommended as an excellent demulcent, refrigerant drink in febrile and inflammation diseases and also in dysuria. " [Febrile means fever].

Rice has cooling properties and is used to soothe all kinds of tissue inflammation. Do you hear me, "all kinds" from the deep internal to the external.

Rice and their sprouted greens are used as an eye tonic. Dried, powdered rice is used on many kinds of skin flare-ups. Again, rice sprouts are used to cure a wide variety of digestive ailments of course, because indigestion and weak alimentary canals are usually due to crud, left-over, undigested, rotting and festering bio-substances, unwisely combined; eventually our intestines become sewers, gassy, bilious, fatty, eventually spilling and toxifying our systems, leading to degenerative diseases.

What specific type of rice do you get if you need to be serious about this? Njavara. Or red rices.


“These researchers too mention about the medicinal properties of not only the Njavara variety but also Cbhmennelu and Rakhtashali saying that “it is believed that the Njavara variety, which matures in sixty days, has the medicinal property of redressing tridosha (the Ayurvedic term for imbalance in body humors) the root cause of body ailments. This rice has the unique capability to enrich body elements, to exclude toxic metabolites, to strengthen, regenerate and energise body, to regulate blood pressure and to prevent skin diseases and premature ageing…

That be said, you've got to these people who have put out this web site, and work so very hard to bring this to the rest of the world. http://njavara.org/

Saffron also has tridoshic properties, which makes saffron rice pretty special if you know what you're doing. Speaking of tridoshic trump cards in another entry, I should mention here, that...

1/4 teaspoon dry ginger plus 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

...is a tridoshic mix. Hence the raison d'etre of X+Y+Z recipes. When you make your saffron rice, add those spices in those combinations and that's the rice rocket that will help you balance your system. A balanced body experiences those much sought after mind miracles. Happy space travels.

Taste Values:

Health Values:


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