Previous to our GAPS diet, my family ate grains that had been traditionally prepared, such as brown rice that had been soaked before cooking to remove anti-nutrients. Now that we are transitioning off the GAPS diet, we have found white rice to be much easier on digestion and less problematic overall than brown rice. Brown rice seems rather hard to digest, and it can bring back some of our old complaints (like my joint pain).
It took a bit of a mental adjustment for me to be willing to consume white rice. Weren't all of the health benefits lost through the removal of the bran and germ from the rice? One conflicting opinion that I trusted was from Chris Kresser, an integrative medicine practitioner who is generally amenable to grain-free/paleo diets. In his Personal Paleo Code, Chris writes that,
"Studies that have compared the amount of nutrients actually absorbed from eating white and brown rice have shown that humans absorb more nutrients from white rice.
Why? Because the “antinutrients” in brown rice...- like phytic acid - interfere with the absorption of the nutrients it contains. White rice doesn’t have that problem.
This is why I believe white rice is an acceptable food, and my experience with patients suggests that it is generally well-tolerated.
...White rice is safe to consume without any preparation. Whole rice is preferred, but rice noodles and other rice-based products are permissible in moderation."With my adrenal issues, I have found that consuming white rice and potatoes in moderation really helps with my energy levels. By itself, cooked in water, I find white rice to be rather bland. How strange that I am now having to acquire a taste for a refined food after years of eating whole foods! To make white rice taste better and even more nutritious, I like to cook it with pastured butter and homemade chicken stock.
Recipe: Nutrient-Dense White Rice
Makes 4 cups
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 3 Tb butter, preferably from pastured cows
- 1 and 2/3 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
- Combine the rice, chicken broth, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. Discard the foam.
- Reduce the heat and add the butter. Once the butter has melted, stir once. Then cover the pot and reduce the heat to very low.
- Allow to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes. Then use a fork to take a tiny bit out of the pot and taste it. If the rice is still crunchy at all, you may need to add another 1-2 Tb broth or water, and cook for a few minutes more. Do NOT stir up the rice during this step.
- Once the rice is nicely soft, turn off the heat. Leave the rice covered for another 10 minutes, and then fluff the rice with a fork.
- Serve and enjoy! We find it to be especially tasty with a pat of butter and plenty of salt.