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‘’Forbidden Rice’’, it was called back in the day due all the black rice in the land being reserved for the Chinese emperor and the royal family. Anyone else caught consuming it would be put to death! Fortunately, we no longer live in times of Black Rice prohibition and you can get yourself a bag in Wholefoods, Cheltehham, online or at good health food stores nationwide.

In ancient times, Emperors reserved this wonderfully nutty rice for their own consumption because it was thought that it would extend their lives; actually, it seems they weren’t that far off the mark. Black rice does provide many health benefits that we are just finding out about now; including prevention and treatment of very serious ailments. Avoiding diseases and conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and others is surely a great way to extend the length and quality of your life.

In addition to its healing and nutritious qualities, it would seem that Black Rice was also considered to be somewhat of an aphrodisiac at one time.

Black Rice is surely ‘one of the’… if not ‘the most’ special breeds of rice that are cultivated on Earth. Its special, near medicinal values are truly stunning, even today with all of our medical knowledge and tools Black Rice is the kind of food that can add vibrancy and nourishment to your life.

Interesting rice facts:

  • Around half of the world’s population (China, Indonesia & India) depend on rice for sustenance.
  • Rice cultivation may have started at around 5,000 BC.
  • Large portions of the world’s population spend up ¾’s of their incomes on rice alone.
  • Most of Asia’s Rice production comes from the enhanced assortments of rice that are planted on ¾ of Asia’s rice farming land.
  • There are around 250 million rice farms in Asia.
  • The words used for “Food” & “Rice” are the same in several Asian languages.
  • Every year at least 65 kilos of rice are produced per every single person on Earth.
  • The exact number of different types of rice is unknown, but there are around 140k known types.
  • Rice can be found everywhere except Antarctica.
  • At least half of all the Rice produced is consumed within 10 miles of where it was grown
  • Rice can be grown in almost any environment, and is the highest yielding cereal grain. You can more than 3,000 grains of rice from a single seed.

Cooking black rice:

  • Soak the rice overnight
  • Rinse well in a strainer and put back in a clean pan
  • Add 3 parts cold water to 1 part rice.
  • Add a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle simmer
  • Simmer gently for 12-15 minutes
  • Strain excess liquid through a colander and serve straight away, keep warm or cool for use later.

Chef tip: It’s always good to have some cooked rice available, either in the fridge or freezer. A quick vegetable and rice stir-fry or black rice coconut porridge is relatively quick to throw together in times of sudden hunger!

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