It may seem counterintuitive, but despite the benefits of whole grains, there are times when it’s actually better for you to eat refined white rice. When your stomach is upset through chemo, or if you’ve undergone abdominal surgery or your intestines are irritated, foods rich in fiber can be difficult to digest. This is when your doctor may recommend you eat a bland diet. A bland diet consists of poached chicken or fish, steamed vegetables, and white rice, with no raw foods or whole grains. In these circumstances, you’ll find white rice to be a boon. Not only is it a quick source of energy, it’s easy to digest. My favorite choice is super long grained Basmati rice. Not only is it slightly lower on the glycemic index than other white rice (ref. The American Diabetic Association), it has a distinctive and deliciously aromatic flavor. When you’re feeling better, it’s great as an occasional accompaniment to a tasty curry or stir-fry.
1. Place the rice, water, and salt in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a rolling boil. Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer the rice gently for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid.
2. Turn the heat off. Keep the rice covered and leave the rice to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. No peeking! Fluff with a fork and serve.
Ann’s Tips and Tricks
Plain boiled rice is good to have on hand when you’re feeling tired and ill. It freezes well, so make a cup or two ahead of your infusion or surgery to bag and freeze in small portions. You’ll have frozen rice to break off chunks to quickly bulk up a soup, or to defrost either under cold water or in the body of the fridge. Heat the defrosted rice covered in a dish over hot water or in a mircowave for a side, or once you’re feeling better, use it to make some yummy fried rice.
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