Healthy Cooking: Antioxidant-Rich Wild Rice, Val Wilson

wild rice pilaf, health benefits of wild rice, healthy cooking, UP holistic wellness publication, UP holistic business

Wild rice is known for its rich, black color and mild, earthy flavor, but did you know that it is a fantastically healthy food that can help slow the signs of aging?

Its high antioxidant levels, thirty times higher than other rices, can help do this and offer many other health benefits. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, the dangerous by-product of cellular metabolism that may cause healthy cells to mutate or turn cancerous. Our bodies may form free radicals from eating refined processed food, smoking, drinking, environmental pollutants, eating sugar, and taking pharmaceutical drugs.

When you eat wild rice, the high antioxidant content may help neutralize the free radicals that accumulate under the skin, which can cause wrinkles and other blemishes. It is important to note that white rice has no antioxidant capabilities. 
     
Wild rice offers other wonderful health benefits too. It has high fiber content, which can help improve digestion, is good for the heart, and may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Wild rice’s high phosphorus, vitamin K, and zinc levels are good for strong bones, bone mineral density, and healthy joints. Wild rice also contains vitamins A, C, E, B6, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Wild rice is best cooked with other brown rices to create a nice chewy texture, sweet, earthy flavor, and colorful combination. 

Wild Rice Mushroom Pilaf

1/4 cup wild rice 
1/4 cup short grain brown rice 
1/4 cup long grain brown rice 
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 onion (diced) 
2 garlic cloves (minced) 
2 cups chopped assorted mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, cremini, or your favorite) 
1 carrot (diced) 
2 celery sticks (diced) 
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped) 
2 T. minced parsley 
2 T. raisins (optional) 
toasted sesame oil 
tamari 
1/2 tsp. thyme 
1/4 tsp. rosemary 
1/4 tsp. sage 
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions

Put the rices and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to the lowest possible temperature, cover, and simmer for one hour until all the water has been absorbed. Sauté the onion in a little toasted sesame oil and tamari until soft and translucent. Put the sautéed onions in a large mixing bowl. Using the same pan, sauté the carrots in a little toasted sesame oil and tamari for a couple of minutes until they are browned and add to the bowl. Sauté the mushroom and celery the same way, then add to the bowl.

Chef Valerie Wilson has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. She offers weekly, virtual cooking classes that all can attend. Visit http://www.macroval.com for schedule, cookbook purchases, phone consultations, or radio show, and follow her on Facebook at Macro Val Food.

Excerpted from the Fall 2022 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2022, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.