How To Sprout Rice: A Comprehensive Guide
Rice (Oryza sativa) is among the most popular staple foods in many countries around the world. While white rice is the most frequently consumed variety, brown rice is gaining popularity due to the health benefits associated with sprouting it. This guide focuses on sprouting rice, the relative health benefits, and how to prepare great recipes with rice sprouts.
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- What Are Rice Sprouts?
- What Do Rice Sprouts Smell Like?
- What Do Rice Sprouts Taste Like?
- How Long Does It Take Rice To Sprout?
- Why Sprout Rice?
- Health Benefits Of Sprouted Rice
- Do All Varieties Of Rice Sprout?
- How To Select And Buy Rice Suitable For Sprouting
- Considerations When Buying Rice For Sprouting
- What Is The Difference Between Germinated Brown Rice And Rice Sprouts?
- Our Recommended Rice Sprouts
- How To Sprout Rice
- YouTube Sprouting Method
- Buying Rice Sprouts
- Rice Microgreens
- How To Eat Sprouted Rice
- Recipes For Rice Sprouts
- How To Make Raw Rice Sprouts Edible For Low Immunity Groups
- Can Parrots And Birds Eat Rice Sprouts?
- Other Recommended Sprouted Seeds
- Common Questions
What Are Rice Sprouts?
Rice sprouts are 2-3 days old shoots that germinate when mature rice grains are exposed to the necessary germination conditions such as moisture and room temperature. The process of germinating rice facilitates an increase in the amount of nutrients such as protein, potassium, and minerals. Rice sprouts are usually ready for harvesting when the covers of the seeds or hulls float away or drop during rinsing. Rice sprouts reach the peak of their nutrient content when they grow to about a quarter or a half-inch long.
What Do Rice Sprouts Smell Like?
Rice sprouts usually develop a grassy smell after germinating for a few hours. In the case of over soaking, the sprouts may develop a slight odor that can be removed by replacing the water more often, constant rinsing, and boiling before eating.
What Do Rice Sprouts Taste Like?
Once cooked, rice sprouts develop a slightly sweeter flavour with a less chewy texture.
How Long Does It Take Rice To Sprout?
Rice takes between 2 and 3 days to sprout, and the young shoots can be harvested in less than 5 days.
Why Sprout Rice?
Reduced Cooking Time - Rice sprouts take considerably less time to cook compared to dry rice grains. This is because exposing rice to wet conditions during sprouting helps to soften the cotyledon hence releasing the stored nutrients that facilitate the growth and development of plants.
Easy Digestibility - The germination process of rice breaks down proteins to amino acids, which can be easily absorbed by the digestive system. Additionally, rice sprouts contain readily available nutrients such as simple sugars, which can be easily digested as compared to the complex carbohydrates found in dry rice grains.
For Fun - Sprouting rice at home is an activity that may be exciting to many people. This is because the sprouting process may involve other family members. The quick sprouting of the rice shoots makes for entertainment as well as an educational experience for all the individuals involved in the process.
Saving Money - Sprouting rice at home is much cheaper as compared to buying rice sprouts. Since commercial sprouts growers are profit-oriented, the prices offered for rice sprouts may be higher as compared to the costs that may be incurred when sprouting at home. Additionally, the equipment used for sprouting rice may be readily available at home.
Sprouting Rice Is Easy - The processes involved in sprouting rice are straight-forward and easy to understand. It is also easier to obtain and use different methods and approaches from the internet to acquire nutritious and healthy rice sprouts.
Health Benefits Of Sprouted Rice
Introducing rice sprouts in your diet comes handy with incredible health benefits, some of which include;
1. Enhances Digestive Health
The fiber present in sprouted rice plays a crucial role in regulating bowel movements and keeping you full. The fiber contents in sprouted rice also relieve the body from conditions such as colitis and constipation hence improving the digestive health. It has also been established that the bran layer present on brown rice sprouts slows emptying hence bulking stool.
2. Regulates Blood Pressure by Controlling Cholesterol Levels
The high levels of fiber in sprouted brown rice can be useful in removing excess cholesterol in the body. As a result, this reduces the risks of high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases in people.
3. Boosting Nervous System Functioning
Consuming sprouted brown rice may aid the smooth functioning of both the nervous system and the brain. This is because the sprouts are rich in essential minerals, including magnesium and manganese, and B-vitamins. These essential minerals are responsible for regulating muscle and balancing the activity of calcium.
4. Enhancing A Healthy Heart
The selenium present in rice sprouts is helpful for a healthy heart. Consuming brown rice sprouts has particularly been established to protect the body against cardiac disorders, for example, vascular diseases and hypertension.
5. Protection Against Cancer
Brown rice sprouts comprise antioxidants. In addition to fiber, these powerful compounds have been established to help in preventing various types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancers. Additionally, the phytochemical and antioxidant content in sprouted brown rice qualifies them to be chemopreventive foods.
Do All Varieties Of Rice Sprout?
Not all varieties of rice can be sprouted except short-grain, medium-grain, and long grain brown rice, arborio rice, wild black rice, and aromatic rice. This is because some of the rice does not meet the required threshold to produce the best sprouts. It is, therefore, necessary to look out for rice packages that have been labeled ‘sproutable’ to acquire excellent roots and shoots for consumption.
How To Select And Buy Rice Suitable For Sprouting
Acquiring rice seeds for use in sprouting presents the prerequisite to take various factors into account to help ensure that there are healthy and nutritious sprouts. Obtaining the much-needed results in terms of delicious and nutritious sprouts is the expectation of every individual practising sprouting. Therefore, buying and sprouting good seeds is crucial in the entire sprouting process.
Considerations When Buying Rice For Sprouting
Source - It is necessary to ensure that the rice seeds that you plan to sprout are grown in the right climate, grown organically, and non-GMO. This step is essential in ensuring that the rice seeds purchased for sprouting adhere to the FDA standards and that the seeds are not of poor quality or too old.
Whole Brown Rice - Whole brown rice is recommended for sprouting as opposed to white rice that does not have the germ, which is responsible for sprouting and growing into a plant. Whole brown rice sprouts are rich in nutrients that can be easily absorbed into the body to aid different body functions and activities.
Long Grain Brown Rice - Long grain brown rice is recommended for sprouting because it contains the germ responsible for germinating and growing into large, healthy, and nutritious sprouts. Some people may, however, prefer medium-grain or short-grain brown rice, which can also be sprouted easily by utilizing small spaces.
Produced For Sprouting - Rice seeds that are explicitly packed to sprout usually provide a much higher rate of germination. Rice seeds produced for sprouting include non-pasteurized seeds; therefore, they will naturally absorb water during activation and germinate.
What Is The Difference Between Germinated Brown Rice And Rice Sprouts?
Germinated brown rice (GBR) refers to unpolished brown rice exposed to wet conditions to germinate to improve texture and flavour and to enhance the level of nutrients. Cooked germinated brown rice is less chewy and softer hence more acceptable to children, with extra nutritional advantages.
Germinating brown rice requires soaking in warm water (30-40 °C) for 4-20 hours, changing water several times to remove any developed smell, soaking longer at low temperature, and rinsing before cooking.
As opposed to GBR, rice sprouts refer to 2-3 days old shoots that develop after exposing mature rice grains necessary germinating conditions, including room temperature and moisture.
Rice Sprout Nutrition (per 180 g serving size)
Calories from Fat: 18 g (6.4% DV)
Total Fat: 2g
Sodium: 5.4mg (1% DV)
Fiber: 3.1g (13% DV)
Calcium: 19.8mg (2% DV)
Iron: 1.4mg (19% DV)
Our Recommended Rice Sprouts
Brand: Sukoyaka Brown Rice, Genmai.
Price: $29.94 ($0.43/Ounce)
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Overview: Commercial brown rice brands like Sukoyaka Brown Rice, Genmai can be sprouted by soaking in water. This provides those looking to grow sprouts with a very low-priced alternative since you can be able to produce many sprouts for a lesser cost.
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How To Sprout Rice
Nylon paper or foil
3 cups of grade 1 brown rice
Method For Sprouting
1. In 6 cups of water, soak your rice overnight for about 11 hours to activate.
2. Drain the water from your rice and transfer them into your sprouting jar.
3. Cover your sprouting jar with nylon paper or foil. Pierce little holes on the nylon paper or foil and invert the jar to drain excess water.
4. Rinse and drain 3 times every day for 3 days.
5. Cook immediately for about 30 minutes with salt as a preservative. Alternatively, dry the sprouts and soak later for 30 minutes before cooking.
YouTube Sprouting Method
This tutorial provides a simple method of sprouting brown rice grains using a mason jar, a bowl, and a sprouting lid. This method recommends the use of purified water because it does not have impurities such as chemicals and other contaminants.
This tutorial recommends the use of a glass jar and a sprouting lid. This method involves soaking in warm water for 8-9 hours and rinsing and draining every 6-8 hours for the sprouts to grow within 2-3 days.
This tutorial recommends sun-dried brown rice for sprouting as opposed to machine-dried brown rice. In this method, the brown rice grains are soaked for 24 hours (in Summer) and up to 72 hours (during winter), renewing the water every 2-3 hours within 24 hours. The appearance of bubbles in your sprouting jar is a good sign that the sprouts should probably be ready.
Buying Rice Sprouts
Rice sprouts are versatile yet tasty legumes. They can be consumed in various ways, such as salads. Sprouted rice is known to adapt quickly to different cuisines.
Where To Buy Rice Sprouts From
Amazon is the most recommended place to buy your rice products for different uses, such as sprouting and consumption, among other purposes. Frozen rice sprouts are also available in grocery stores although they will have to be transferred to the freezer or consumed immediately due to their short shelf life.
What To Look For When Buying
Cost - While sprouted brown rice can be pricey, it is crucial to consider your budget while shopping for the sprouts. It is recommended to buy sprouted rice in bulk because they can be frozen for weeks hence cutting down the total cost.
Only Buy Pasteurized Brown Rice Sprouts - FDA recommends that all brown rice sprouts should be pasteurized before packaging to help eliminate harmful bacteria.
Flavoring - Brown rice sprouts can be flavored before drying or roasting them. Alternatively, you can buy unflavored brands of rice sprouts that are usually sold as salted only to give you more control depending on the flavors that you desire to include in the recipe.
Rice microgreens are 1-3 inches vegetable greens that are harvested after the development of the cotyledon leaves. Rice microgreens are purchased or grown by people who are attracted by their nutritious value. Colorful microgreens are also used by chefs to enhance the taste and the attractiveness of their dishes with unique flavors and distinct delicate textures.
Can You Grow Microgreens For Rice?
Rice microgreens can be grown by allowing them to develop cotyledon leaves when planted in soil or other soil substitutes like peat moss. The microgreens are then harvested by cutting the central stem just above the soil.
How To Eat Sprouted Rice
Salads - Preparing sprouted brown rice salad is not only easy but also results in delicious and healthy meals..
Add To Stews And Soups - Sprouted brown rice can also be added to stews and soups after boiling for 10 or 15 minutes. The sprouts will make the stew and soup tastier and more nutritious.
Can You Eat Sprouted Rice Raw?
Snacking on raw sprouted rice is one of the best ways to absorb all the good nutrients found in rice sprouts. These nutrients include carbs, protein, fat, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, among other nutrients.
Are They A High-Risk Food?
Raw rice sprouts can be contaminated by bacteria, which makes it dangerous, especially when eaten raw by high-risk individuals. Cooking or steaming rice sprouts before eating destroys harmful bacteria and therefore making it safe for eating.
Recipes For Rice Sprouts
Sprouted Brown Rice Pilaf
This recipe was inspired by: savorthebest.com
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup carrots (finely chopped)
½ cup onions (finely chopped)
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
Kosher salt and black pepper (freshly ground)
¼ teaspoon cumin (ground)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
1 cup of sprouted brown rice
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (coarsely chopped)
1 ½ cups of chicken broth
½ cup almond toasts, divided
Fresh parsley sprigs
1. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan placed over medium-high heat and add carrots, garlic, and onion.
2. Season with the pepper and salt and cook for 6 minutes until the onions become slightly soft. Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, and rice. Cook and frequently stir for 4 minutes and allow some of the grains to become a little translucent.
3. Pour in the chicken broth and boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce heat, then simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
4. Remove your saucepan from heat then fluff using a fork. Cover the saucepan with a kitchen towel for absorbing the steam and add the lid.
5. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes undisturbed and stir in half of the chopped parsley and toasted almonds.
6. Put the rice sprouts in a serving dish, then sprinkle the rest of the chopped almonds garnish and use parsley sprigs to garnish.
Sprouted Rice Salad
This recipe was inspired by: eastwest.com
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup of pomegranate arils
½ cup of pine nuts
4 tablespoons of golden balsamic vinaigrette
1 cup of fresh herbs, chopped
2 cups of red jasmine rice sprouts (or any variety of whole grains or cooked rice)
1. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then stir well to combine.
2. Delicious served cold or warm.
3. Cover any leftovers and store them in a refrigerator.
Sprouted Brown Rice Veggie Sushi Rolls With Tahini Tamari Sauce
This recipe was inspired by: thefeedfeed.com
For the sushi:
1 cup of sprouted brown rice
2 sushi nori sheets, raw
1 sliced avocado
½ cup of hemp hearts
1 cup of chopped veggies (red cabbage, carrots, greens, broccoli, etc.)
For the homemade Tahini Tamari Sauce:
¾ cup of tahini
½ cup of water
2 tablespoons of tamari
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 garlic clove, fresh
1-2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
Toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
1. Slice veggies and place to the side.
2. Dip your fingers in water and pat a thin rice layer gently all over the nori.
3. Arrange avocado and veggies parallel to the nori sheet edge.
4. Add sprouts or greens on top.
5. With all the filling, take the edge of the nori sheet gently, fold over to cover and tightly tuck in the veggies, then begin rolling.
6. Seal the edge using a little bit of water.
7. Slice the roll using a sharp knife then set aside.
8. Serve immediately with pickled ginger, sauce, or wasabi.
Cheesy Sprouted Brown Rice With Baby Spinach And Mushrooms
This recipe was inspired by: healthyfamilyandhome.com
2 cups of cooked sprouted brown rice
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, organic
3 cups of filtered or purified water
1 cup of diced organic mushrooms
2 cups of diced organic baby spinach
½ cup of diced organic onion
2 cloves of freshly crushed organic garlic
For the sauce
1 ½ cups of organic cauliflower
½ cup of organic cashews
1 cup of almond milk (homemade)
½ cup of peeled and cubed organic zucchini
1 freshly crushed clove organic garlic
1/8 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder
½-1 teaspoons of organic red pepper flakes
¾ cups of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
For the rice:
1. On a stovetop, boil 3 cups of water and add 2 cups of brown rice sprouts.
2. Stir, tightly cover and reduce heat to low.
3. Allow simmering for 25 minutes without removing the cover and fluff before serving.
4. Add 3 cups of purified water and 2 cups of brown rice sprouts in a rice cooker and set on the “brown rice” setting. Remember to fluff before serving.
For the sauce:
1. In a Vitamix, add all the sauce ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth then set aside.
For the vegetables:
1. Dice the mushrooms, baby spinach, and onions. Crush the garlic.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and all the diced veggies to a skillet. On a low-med heat, sauté for approximately 3 minutes.
1. Add 1 ½ cups of the sauce mixture and 2 cups of cooked rice in the skillet then stir until well combined.
2. Use extra diced baby spinach to garnish and serve when hot.
How To Make Raw Rice Sprouts Edible For Low Immunity Groups
Providing raw rice sprouts to people with low immunity may expose them to bacterial infections, which may cause uncomfortable experiences such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. As such, the rice sprouts should be lightly steamed or cooked to kill any bacteria and make it safe for consumption by people with low immunity.
Who Is At Risk?
Individuals with a weak immune system
2. HIV/AIDS patients
3. Cancer patients
4. Pregnant women
Boiling And Steaming Method For Killing Bacteria
Exposing rice sprouts to high temperature helps to disable or kill the dangerous bacteria that might contaminate the sprouts, making them unsafe for human consumption.
Wooden steam bucket
1. Half-way fill a large pot with water and bring it to boil using medium heat.
2. For steaming the rice sprouts:
Place the wooden steam bucket in the boiling water pot and add the rice sprouts then cover.
Allow the rice sprouts to steam for 30 minutes
1. For boiling the rice sprouts:
Put the rice sprouts into the already boiled water in the large pot and leave it for 20 minutes.
Can Parrots And Birds Eat Rice Sprouts?
Parrots can eat either raw or cooked rice sprouts to obtain the required nutrition and enrichment in the form of protein or dietary fiber. The protein content in rice sprouts is essential for parrots to replace worn-out tissues and grow muscles.
Do You Need To Grow Rice Sprouts Differently For Parrots?
Rice should be grown organically for parrots the same way it is done for human consumption. There is less likelihood for organically produced rice to infect parrots as well as other birds with bacteria that may be harmful to their health.
Other Recommended Sprouted Seeds
Soybeans - Sprouted soybeans are activated soybean seeds that are mostly grown to produce soybean milk used in the production of tempe, tofu, and soy sauce.
Buckwheat - Sprouted buckwheat belongs to the dock family. Buckwheat shoots are loved by many people because their crispy sprouts are rich in vitamins.
Lentils - Sprouted lentils are 3-6 days old lentil shoots that grow after exposing lentil seeds to germination conditions. The process of germinating lentil seeds activates a release of nutrients required by the young shoots. This makes the sprouts more nutritious compared to lentil seeds.
Quinoa - Sprouted quinoa is 1-2 days old shots that grow after quinoa seeds are exposed to wet conditions. The sprouts have a slightly nutty flavour similar to brown rice and mild nutty smell.
Chickpeas - Sprouted chickpeas are shoots that are between 3 and 6 days old. The sprouts have a strong earthy aroma and a nutty, creamy taste that makes it perfect for various recipes.
How Do You Cook Sprouted Rice?
Place rice, water (or broth), and salt in a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer once it reaches a boil and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook for 30 minutes then remove the saucepan from the heat source.
Is Sprouted Rice Healthier?
Yes. Sprouted rice is healthier because it contains more available nutrients compared to mature rice seeds. These nutrients include fiber, protein, iron, sodium, carbohydrates, and calcium, among others. The sprouts are also easier to digest compared to regular grains.
Can You Eat Raw Sprouted Brown Rice?
Health experts advise that sprouted brown rice should be steamed or slightly cooked to kill any harmful bacteria.
Do I Need To Soak Sprouted Rice?
Soaking the rice is crucial in activating the germination process to obtain nutrients. The nutrients in sprouted brown rice are essential for the body to perform its functions properly.
Can I Sprout White Rice?
White rice cannot be sprouted because the germ has been removed as opposed to brown rice that is mostly recommended for sprouting.
Is Sprouted Rice Easier To Digest?
Yes. Rice sprouts contain more bioavailable nutrients and can be easily digested. The process of sprouting rice helps to break down starch found in the rice grains, making them partially pre-digested.
Can You Eat Sprouted Rice?
Sprouted rice can be eaten raw, cooked, or slightly steamed. The sprouts contain readily available nutrients that can be easily digested by the body.
How Do I Cook Sprouted Brown Basmati Rice?
To cook sprouted brown basmati rice, boil 1 cup of rice and 1 ¾ cups of water in a medium saucepan. Use a tight-fitting lid to cover the saucepan, reduce your heat to a low simmer, then cook for 30 minutes. Remove the saucepan from heat, steam for 10 minutes, and fluff using a fork.
Does Sprouting Reduce Carbohydrates?
Yes. Sprouting reduces the amount of carbohydrates in seeds because the process decreases the amount of starch in the grains and increases the amount of proteins.
Is Sprouted Brown Rice Gluten-Free?
Brown rice is naturally gluten-free and richly nutritious. Sprouting brown rice naturally without chemicals helps to maximize its nutrition and improve its flavour and digestibility.
What Is Sprouted Brown Rice Protein?
Sprouted brown rice protein is obtained by mixing activated grains of whole brown rice and unique, organic enzymes to achieve a slightly sweet and mild aroma and rice flavor. Organic sprouted brown rice protein is low in carbs, high in proteins, mild on the digestive system, and dairy-free. Most sprouted brown rice protein has no added sweeteners, fillers, or preservatives and is therefore suitable for vegan diets.
Is Sprouted Brown Rice Low Glycemic?
Yes. The glycemic level of brown sprouted rice is low. This helps the body to reduce blood sugar levels, lowering the risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and aiding weight loss.