Rice is historically one of the most important grains in the world, present in almost every culture in some way since the beginning of time as we know it.
Two of the most popular rices in the world are Basmati rice and Jasmine rice. Basmati rice is only cultivated in parts of India and Pakistan to protect its historical growing practices and different strains. In contrast, Jasmine rice has a much simpler cultivation and production process and is grown worldwide in places like Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
We are going to share the age old battle on which rice is the healthiest choice for you and your family in this quick breakdown on Basmati rice vs. Jasmine rice.
But what makes these two rices so different?
The nutritional makeup of these two rices defines their major differences. Basmati is lower in calories and fat than Jasmine rice. It is also higher in protein and has a Glycemic Index rating of 58 to Jasmine’s 109, meaning it breaks down much slower in the digestive system providing long-term energy without unnecessary sugar spikes.
Can Rice be Considered Healthy?
In the battle of the rices, brown rice always wins hands down as far as healthiness goes. However, processed white rices also hold their health merits and are a far better start to accompany your meal than its pasta competition.
Rice is low in fat, and its carbohydrates are moderate, which doesn’t make it the worst grain for you in the world. However, the healthy consumption of rice comes down to quantity. It is perfectly healthy to include a low-fat starch as the base to your lean and green stir fry. You just need to be conscientious of your rice consumption.
What do You Need to Cook the Perfect Rice?
- Shallow boiler pot with a tight-fitting lid
- A Fine Mesh Strainer
- The Freshest Grains of Rice You Can Find
Washing Rice is the Most Important First Step
Cooking rice properly isn’t just about the grain and the water ratio. The best-cooked rice has been washed, or rather rinsed properly, before even cooking. Use your pot and a fine mesh strainer to wash your rice under cold water until the rice’s water is almost clear.
No Tight-fitting Lid to be Had?
If you don’t have a pot with a tight-fitting lid, you can substitute a piece of aluminum foil and a heatproof plate that can cover the entire diameter of the pan.
Place the square of foil over the pan with the edges hanging off and set your plate on top. The aluminum foil helps seal in the edges of the plate, so your beautiful steam doesn’t escape before the rice is finished cooking.
Kick it up a Notch by Getting Creative with Your Rice
Want your rice to be exciting and perfectly cooked? Try these little tricks to add some versatility to a pantry staple:
Add in Slices of Lemon
Want to add a bit of zest to your rice? We love to compliment its natural nutty flavor with a few lemon slices, and some cardamom pods or clove buds added to the pot. This fills the room with an incredible aroma and infuses the rice with the perfect pop of flavor.
Pro Tip: Be sure to remove the lemon slices and cardamom pods or clove buds from the rice before you serve. You don’t want someone accidentally chomping down on a tough and woody clove bud!
Switch out Water for Broth
Want an even more savory side dish to compliment your holiday meals this fall? A simple switch of the broth of your choice for the water required to cover and cook the rice is a game-changer when it comes to adding in that extra bit of vroom to your cooking.
Pro Tip: Most shelf-stable broths and bouillon cubes have added sodium. When you increase the salt in your rice, you get fluffier grains that break down more quickly. Keep an eye, checking on them frequently, so make sure to look at your gorgeous rice!
Basmati Rice Beats Jasmine Rice for its Glycemic Index Scores Among Other Nutritional Facts
The fact that basmati rice scores so low on the GI rating means that you can continue to enjoy the rice dishes you love without worrying about a blood pressure spike or a crash later on in the day.
With basmati, your body is going to digest those grains much slower than its Jasmine counterpart giving you longer lasting energy and ultimately fueling your day in the most efficient way.