White, brown, black, or PURPLE?
You guessed it! I’m referring to rice. There happen to be hundreds of different varieties of rice so I certainly won’t cover it all in this post. If you see options for purple rice at some restaurants, it is most likely a black rice combination. Once black rice is cooked, it appears to be deep purple; hence the name. Moreover, black rice is not to be confused with wild rice. Wild rice is a grass and not rice at all!
I made purple rice by accident recently. I always have brown rice on hand but also had a bag of black rice that I wasn’t sure what to do with. So, I mixed half and half of each and cooked it as usual with water in a rice cooker. Result = delicious PURPLE RICE! It tasted terrific with roasted broccoli and later with stir fry. I used equal amounts of brown and black rice but came to realize other home chefs will use mostly white rice then add a small amount of black rice.
Why choose black rice? In short; it is more nutrient-rich. Both brown and black rice are considered whole grains, whereas white rice is not. Black rice has more fiber, protein, and antioxidants than other rice varieties. The dark color provides anthocyanins which are antioxidants found in deep blue and purple fruits and vegetables like blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, purple cauliflower, and more. This is important since eating more antioxidants from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables (and even whole grains) may help reduce cancer and heart disease risk. Black rice does cost more ($2.99/16 oz compared to 0.99 for white or brown rice; minute rice cost $2.50). Remember we are not referring to wild rice which costs over $10 for 16 oz.
Will you try preparing rice like you normally would but include a little black rice in place of some of the brown or white? Experiment and have fun!