Monday, June 28, 2010

Rice and Banana Cakes

Featured Ingredient: Wehani Rice

A newly published study from Harvard researchers found that of the 197,000 US adults who were followed for up to 22 years those who ate two or more servings of brown rice a week reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 11 percent compared to people who eat it less than once a month. And those who noshed onwhite rice on a regular basis — five or more times a week — are 17 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who eat it less than once a month.

This really is not surprising considering  that white rice is stripped of its bran covering which contains valuable items such as vitamins, minerals and fiber known to protect against diabetes and other chronic ailments. Whole grain rice also has a lower glycemic index (a measure of how fast a food raises blood glucose) than its white counterpart, which confers protection from diabetes.

If you’re looking for something a little more exciting than traditional brown rice you should try wehani rice. Developed by industrious Lundberg Family Farms in northern California, wehani rice is a russet-colored, slightly chewy whole-grain rice with a wonderful nutty taste. As it cooks the kitchen becomes redolent of buttery popcorn. Like brown rice, it’s chockablock with fiber, magnesium, B vitamins and many other nutrients.

You can find wehani rice at most health food stores and some larger supermarkets.

In the June 2010 issue of Bicycling magazine there was a great article about a jack-of-all-trades scientist named Allen Lim who has join Lance Armstrong’s Radio Shack team. He is a proponent of gluten-free eating for cyclists as a means to improve digestion and reduce inflammation. Chef Biju Thomas has been hired to feed the team plenty of tasty gluten-free grub during training and the upcoming Tour de France. This is an adaptation of one of the recipes accompanying the article that is meant to be some pre-ride grub. I made up a batch and have had some great rides after wolfing down a few. If you don’t have wehani rice, you can simply swap it with traditional brown rice.

Banana and Rice Cakes

½ cup rice
2 eggs
1 ripe banana
½ cup milk
1 Tablespoon flour of choice
1-inch ginger, minced
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine rice with 1 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Preheat oven too350 degrees. Combine cooked rice and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Divide among 8 muffin cups and cook for about 20 minutes or until set.

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