Did you know that adding whole grain foods to a heart-healthy diet is recommended to help reduce risk of heart disease, some cancers, and may even help with weight management? I’ve been incorporating a variety of grains into my diet and decided to go wild! 😉 I challenge you to have a little fun and go wild next time you are choosing a rice option. Below is a list of benefits you will find after becoming a wild one:
- Wild rice is a gluten free food.
- It does not contain sodium: good news for your blood pressure and your heart.
- It does take about an hour to cook, but rewards you with a lovely nutty flavor.
- It contains twice as much protein as brown rice.
- Wild rice can be eaten by diabetics, since it is actually a grass, and the grains are not polished or refined. Of course, small quantities are recommended.
- It is very rich in antioxidants—containing up to 30 times more than white rice! Which means regular consumption of wild rice protects you from disease and ageing.
- Because of its high fiber content, wild rice keeps your digestion smooth and helps lower cholesterol.
- Wild rice is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and folate, which give you energy and nurture your bones.
- Vitamins A, C and E are essential for overall health and immunity. Wild rice contains these vital vitamins.
- A serving of wild rice is lower in calories than other rice varieties, so you can enjoy it without worrying about weight gain.
Will you take a walk on the wild side? If so, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of chicken soup to warm you up on a cold night. Add plenty of veggies and wild rice to make this a one-pot dinner.
Here’s my recipe:
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups fat free half and half
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
(I like to bulk it up with more veggies…it originally called for 1/2 cup of each..up to you!)
1/2 cup all purpose flour (the not so healthy part of this recipe…but it’s minimal)
2/3 cups uncooked wild rice (You can also use the instant kind like Uncle Ben’s to save a LOT of time! Long grain & wild rice by Uncle Ben’s works great.)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1) Cook rice according to package directions.
2) In a large saucepan, cook olive oil, onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Stir in the broth, pepper, and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
3) Add chicken & drained rice into the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4) In a small bowl, mix half and half & flour together until smooth. Gradually stir the cream mixture into the soup.
5) Cook & stir for 5-8 minutes or until it thickens up.
If you want to add more spices to it or add salt, do so as desired!