Why You Need To Buy Frozen Brown Rice Instead Of Cooking It Fresh

Since brown rice contains bran, it cooks slower than white or other versions. So when you're trying to get dinner on the table in a hurry, it can really set you back. A hands-off method using a rice cooker can take up to an hour to make, and if you let it simmer on the stove, you'll need to stay nearby for at least 35 minutes of cooking time. However, if you don't want to bother with all of that, there's no need to ditch brown rice completely. Instead, turn to the frozen variety.

Since frozen brown rice is already cooked, you'll reduce the time spent watching it heat up from an hour to just a couple of minutes. Some varieties of frozen brown rice only need three to four minutes in the microwave before the grains are ready to go. And while you may be worried that you'll need to cook it fresh to retain all those valuable nutrients, freezing rice is actually a great way to keep its vitamins and minerals intact, making it just as nutrient-dense as the fresh kind. It also tastes just as good. Plus, grains from the freezer are typically packaged into portioned bags, so you won't end up with too much leftover rice that might get wasted.

How to make and use frozen brown rice

Perhaps the best part of frozen brown rice is that you typically don't even need to take it out of the bag. Usually, you just need to put a bag in the microwave, unopened so it can steam, and let it stand for a minute or two afterward. Then you can dump it into any recipe you'd like — from a refreshing California roll bowl to a savory dish like vegetarian mapo tofu

One of the added benefits of using the frozen version is that you can also cook it on the stove if it works for your recipe. There's no thawing required. Try making fried rice by pouring a cold bag straight into a pan along with your proteins and veggies, such as frozen peas or broccoli. Or, if you're making a broth with rice like Mexican rice soup, you can go ahead and dump your frozen grains in the pot — just make sure to adjust the cooking time a little if the recipe calls for a type that's uncooked. Once you start using the frozen kind, you may never go back to fresh because of how easy and convenient it is.