Since I’ve had to make significant dietary changes to accommodate Hashimoto’s appearing in my life, rice has been a sticky subject (pun intended!).
As an Earth constitution, digesting sweet tasting things can be challenging as well. Because of rice’s intensely tonifying nature, it tends to be a bit heavy for my particular constitution and digestion.
It’s a bit sad really, rice has been a great food-love of mine for as long as I can remember. I spent many months being grain-free, and my energy suffered for it. Now that I’ve learned and know more about me, my body, and keto/paleo diets, carb intakes, and so on, I’ve since reintroduced grains in small amounts to my diet. My energy levels have improved greatly, my Hashi’s hasn’t flared, I’m not puffy all over, and I take great care to monitor where I am at, why I am ready to make the choices I’m going to make, and so on..
Let’s talk about brown rice…
Brown rice contains minerals such as selenium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium, it is high in fiber thanks to the presence of the bran and germ, and has a lower glycemic index than white rice. However, due to the high fiber content, digestive conditions which are exacerbated by high fiber foods will be, well, exacerbated from eating brown rice – be mindful of this if you have such a condition.
“Consumption of unsprouted grains can lead to poor absorption to nutrients in the grain. The incompletely digested proteins can irritate the intestines, leading to inflammation and allergic reactions. Neutralizing the phytic acid, releasing the proteins, vitamins, and enzymes allow these important nutrients to be absorbed during digestion.” (Source) By sprouting the brown rice, first through soaking in water for several hours, then following a process of letting the rice germinate (sprout) with a series of rinses and rests, the nutrients become more bio-available, and the phytic acid is neutralized. This means that the grain’s goodness is more easily digestible.
I also think sprouted rice tastes a lot more interesting than unsprouted rice!
Enjoyment of what I eat is very important to me, as I’m sure it is for you too. If you can make an otherwise “restrictive diet” (that is physiologically and medically necessitated) taste it’s best, you’ll be less apt to miss the things that made you sick to begin with.
Place 1 cup of brown rice in a bowl, cover with cool water and stir.
Allow to soak for 12 hours.
At the 12 hour mark, rinse seeds in a fine mesh strainer with cool running water for a good 15 seconds. I use a stainless steel tamis for this.
Place rice in strainer (tamis) or sprouting tray. Place tamis on a plate, then cover with another plate. (My tamis fits perfectly between two salad plates.)
Let set for 8-10 hours.
Rinse in cool water for at least 15 seconds, drain, then cover with plates again and set aside for 8-10 hours.
Do this for at least 2 rinse/drain/set for 8-10 hour cycles.
My brown rice, in this hot/humid weather in my top floor city apartment, takes one 12 hour soak, and 2 rinse/drain/set cycles to sprout to 1mm.
Sproutpeople.com recommends that you soak the rice for two 12 hour cycles before beginning the rinse/drain/set process. They also recommend that you sprout with plenty of air circulation (no plate covering) however my rice tends to dry out too much between rinse/drain cycles to sprout effectively – likely because I prefer to soak for 12 hours and not 24 hours. You’ll have to use your best judgement on this one, and experiment with what works (and tastes) best for you.
Now that your rice is sprouted, you can cook it!
I use a 1:1.5 (and sometimes 1:2) ratio, even though my rice has already sprouted, and cook in the Instapot on high pressure for 22 mins. After the program runs, I let the pressure release naturally then open, stir and let sit with the glass lid for another 20 mins on “keep warm”. Then, I transfer to a storage dish, eat, serve, what have you!