Consumer

Quick-cooking brown rice

Thursday, April 26, 2012

If you're always on the lookout for ways to get dinner on the table fast, quick-cooking brown rice can be a nice addition to the menu!

It's smart to choose brown rice over white. It's healthier because it's a whole grain that provides fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients not found in white rice. And Consumer Reports says you can even get those benefits with faster-cooking brown rice!

Testers evaluated eight that can be prepared in 1 to 12 minutes. They compared them with a regular, longer-cooking brown rice that takes almost an hour to cook. With some quick-cooking brown rice, the convenience comes at a price. Consumer Reports did the math, and shaving 40 to 50 minutes off your prep time using some of the rices will cost you up to about $1 per serving!

The good news is the quick-cooking rice was about as tasty as the longer-cooking rice. The best in the tests was Trader Joe's Organic. It is al dente when heated in a microwave for 3 minutes, as directed. And sensory panelists described it as having moderate grain flavors and tasting slightly toasted.

If you don't have Trader Joe's nearby or you want something on the go, try "Minute Ready to Serve Natural Whole Grain." It's among the most expensive, but as the name says it cooks in just 1 minute, in its own ready-to-serve container.

Consumer Reports also tried six chicken-flavored rice mixes that take 20 to 30 minutes to prepare. Though quality varied, there were several worth trying, including ones from Near East and Zatarain's.

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