There comes a point in everyone’s life when they realize one thing: white rice can be boring!
In my house, we like to mix up our grains but they all have one thing in common. We predominantly cook them in a rice cooker. We have some serious rice cooker love!
If you do not have a rice cooker, I strongly suggest that you invest. I paid a whopping $9.99 for mine and it is one of the best investments that I have made. If you are worried that you have limited kitchen counter space and the last thing that you need is another appliance, you are probably right but that is why contractors build cupboards. Take it out when you need it and then put it away. Simple!
Now that we have the rice cooker itself sorted, you can move on to grains. I have yet to come across a grain that did not cook well in the cooker. The key is to get the ratios right for each one to water and the best way that I have found to do that is to google it every time I go to make them.
My personal favourites are barley and quinoa (or a mixture of the two) or even some wild rice mixes. Farro is hot right now and so definately worth a try! The mix in the pictures is brown rice, black barley and daikon seeds (seriously yum) and I have recently started playing around with forbidden rice because the dark colour makes it fun for big and little kids alike.
My best advice is to treat the rice cooker like a little flavor pot. Add the grain and the water but then add anything else that you want to cook into it. When in doubt, stick to a grain to water ratio of 1:1.5 or 1:2. I almost always throw in garlic and then there are some green onions, garlic, dried herbs ginger, some coconut milk, spices (you get the point). Throw them all in, set it and walk away. Let the cooker work it’s magic. Have you ever wondered how such a cheap machine knows exactly when things are ready even though you add different amounts and types of grains and water? Me too…if anyone knows, I would love an answer. For now though, I am going with magic!
Want to try it out tonight? Dust off the old rice cooker, grab some grains and go for it!
Don’t forget about breakfast! Since the rice cooker is probably still sitting on the counter from last night, throw in some oats, water and even some raisins. In 20-25 minutes, you will have a hot brekkie!