Rice is by far the most readily available staple food, derived out of starch. It can be found in homes and restaurants globally. Why? Well for starters it goes with a lot of things, it’s easy to cook, and it has a lot of types such as white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, and many more. In fact, there are more than two hundred types of rice! So you get the idea. Plus, probably the most important thing of all, it is vegan!
Now whether you’re just starting your vegan adventure or have been following it for quite a while now, rice is a common and an obvious player in your diet plans but you might’ve heard that “brown rice is much healthier than white rice”. But why do some vegans stay away from white rice? Is it unhealthy or not vegan? Is brown rice even vegan?
Let’s find out!
White Rice: How’s it made?
We all know and love our rice. It’s in almost every kitchen, grocery store and restaurant due to the fact that it is readily available throughout the world. But how’s it made though? Well at its core, rice is a grain of starch that is grown in the form of brown rice at first. Yes, rice is originally a brown grain which is then processed into white rice.
Brown rice goes through processing to make white rice. Why? Well, there are many reasons why industries do so. White rice is a bit easier to cook compared to brown rice as it takes less time. It is also flavorless which makes it pretty flexible when it comes to cooking.
Another thing to remember is that the shelf time of brown rice is lower compared to white rice. Brown rice usually has a shelf time of six months while white rice is two years because of the processing that is done on it.
So Is Brown Rice Vegan?
Absolutely! Since rice is a plant-based item then all variations of rice whether it may be white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, or any other variety that you can find.
The thing to remember here is that the brown layer is responsible for many key nutrients such as a lot of fiber, vitamins, proteins, and even phenolic compounds. Phenolic compounds are actually good for us as natural phenolic compounds play an important role against cancer and help in its treatment. Plus it also has anti-inflammatory effects along with anti-oxidants.
So brown rice is processed and the brown layer is then removed which only leaves the white portion also called endosperm which is just starch at this point. Although this processing takes a lot from brown rice, white rice is later on enriched with many vitamins but is still a bit behind when it comes to health compared to brown rice.
Veganism with a choice?
Although white rice is vegan but then why do many vegans stay away from it and opt for brown rice? Well, the answer depends on what kind of a vegan you are. There’s nothing wrong with eating white rice but due to its processing and the fact that vegans tend to abstain from processed food, white rice is not really on the grocery list of many vegans.
This is why brown rice is a fan favorite among vegans as there’s no processing being done on it plus it’s also much healthier in comparison to white. It has more fibers, nutrients, and protein compared to white rice. Although it generally takes more time to cook and has a taste nut-like flavor to it with being a bit chewier, many vegans are willing to overlook these compromises and go for the brown rice.So whether you eat white rice or brown, on the vegan side of things, you’re good to go!
Read more about the Benefits of Vegan Lifestyles.
More than just “rice”?
Generally, when we think of rice or in this case brown rice, all the plain old simple rice vegan dishes might come to our minds. There’s no doubt that these dishes are super delicious and healthy but there’s a whole world of variety and excitement out there.
Whether you’re on a camping trip or are enjoying your time at home, there’re a ton of modifications you can try with brown rice such as different types of vegan fried brown rice, brown rice vegan salad, or even brown rice flavor pancakes!
From the looks of things, versatility is surely a strong suit of brown rice or any type of rice as a whole. That’s the beauty of rice. It adds a new spice to your veganism routine. There’re a ton of recipes and if you just even try a single recipe for every day of the year, you’ll still more on your plate!
What should I go with?
Now, for the main event! What rice should you go with? And the “secret” rice choice that you should definitely go with is “your choice”. Yup, it all depends on you and your perspective on things. This journey is yours and yours alone. That’s why any vegan choice you wish to integrate into your vegan lifestyle is up to you.
If you want to eat white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, or even green rice (we made this one up), you can eat it without any restriction. We’re all cheering for you on the sidelines because veganism as a lifestyle is not an easy task. So you should be proud of yourselves if you’re walking on this path. Not every vegan is living a “100% healthy vegan lifestyle”. So it is important to not overburden yourselves with minor details. As long as it’s vegan, the whole sky’s your playground!