Did you know that wild rice is not rice at all, but a type of grass! It is an annual aquatic seed Zizania aquatica and is mostly found in the fresh water lakes of Canada, Wisconsin, Minnesota and MICHIGAN.
Rarely is it wild, but rather cultivated in the rainy months of its home. Wild rice has a rich nutty flavor and a chewy texture. The cultivated grains are about one half inch long and a black and green color. The truly wild variety is about one inch long and brown to black in color.
Wild rice is rich in potassium, niacin, zinc, magnesium, manganese, and folic acid. It is very low in fat and sodium and an excellent source of protein and carbohydrates. There are three grams of fiber in a one cup serving of wild rice.
My challenge for you this month is to try wild rice in a variety of ways. Try it as a breakfast cereal, in a casserole for lunch or a side dish for dinner. Need a recipe? Of course, we have one for wild rice and quinoa!
Quinoa and Wild Rice
Makes about 6-8 servings
3 1/2 cups water (divided)
½ cup wild rice
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons chopped dill weed
1. Rinse wild rice in a bowl of cold water. Rub grains gently between your hands. Drain.
2. Combine wild rice, olive oil and 1 ½ cups water in a sauce pan.
3. Bring water to a boil, cover and lower heat.
4. Simmer for 45 minutes
~~While wild rice is cooking:
5. Rinse quinoa to remove the coating of a bitter substance called saponins.
6. Bring 2 cups water to a boil
7. Stir in quinoa, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
8. Gently stir together wild rice and quinoa. Fluff in chopped dill weed.
Nutrition facts: 6 servings (8 servings)
152 (113) calories; 22 (17)gm carbohydrates; 5 (4)gm protein; 5.5 (4) gm fat
Variations: Try other herbs such as basil or oregano. Or…add chopped apples, nuts, dried fruit. Use YOUR imagination!