New in the Market: Grains – Texmati Rice, Freekeh & Rice n Simple

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on April 28, 2014 · 1 comment

 RiceSelectTexmatiBrown-300We love to try new foods. Some are great. Some don’t measure up and some become staples in our kitchen. See what you think.

 More than 33 years ago, RiceSelect introduced Texmati the first basmati rice successfully grown in the U.S. Texmati combines the qualities of basmati and American long grain rice. It is available in white, brown and light brown versions. All three are non-GMO (not genetically modified) and kosher (Star-K).

 When you cook basmati rice, first combine the water and rice, then bring to a boil, stir once, and let simmer covered on low heat until cooked. Stirring during cooking releases starches into the water and the cooked rice will be gummy rather than fluffy.  One-quarter cup dry rice equals ¾ cup cooked rice.

The basmati white rice cooked in 15 minutes with 150 calories in a ¾-cup serving. It has no sodium, unless you added sodium containing ingredients, such as salt to the cooking water.

The basmati brown rice needs 45 minutes to cook with 170 calories in a ¾ cup serving with 2 grams of fiber and no sodium.

The light brown variety, which we did not test, cooks in the same amount of time as the white rice. It has 160 calories in a ¾-cup serving, 1 gram of fiber and no sodium.

We tried Texmati as the base for dishes, cooked in broth with fried onions and mushrooms and as an ingredient for a stir-fry dish. It was delicious in each option with a lovely fluffy texture and light nutty flavor.

organicfreekeh-300Freekeh is whole grain, cracked, roasted green wheat. It is available in Original, Rosemary Sage, and Tamari varieties. All cook in 20 to 25 minutes and have a similar nutrition profile. One serving (1/4 of the cooked package) has 130 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. Original has no sodium and the other two varieties have 150 milligrams.

We tried the Original and Rosemary Sage varieties. The cooked results are a chewy grain which benefits from the addition of other flavors. The cooked grain can be used as a rice substitute, in soups, pilafs, salads or even warmed and topped with fruit for breakfast.

Freekeh is USDA Organic and Non-GMO Certified.

Rice n Simple 300Rice n Simple is a new brand of instant rice bowls that cook in 1 minute in the microwave. Rice n Simple is available as Jasmine Rice or Brown Rice with Shoyu (Soy) Sauce, Shitake Mushroom Glaze, or Teriyaki Glace. A bowl offers 2 servings. The jasmine rice is sourced from Thailand. All flavors are gluten free.

The nutrition information on the packages we tasted did not include the values for the added sauce which would change some of the nutrient profiles, most notably sodium. The company is in the process of updating their labels and website and this information should be available soon.

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horton1950 April 19, 2017 at 10:46 am

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