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Monday, September 10, 2012

Whole Grain Brown Rice for Longterm Storage: Healthier Alternative

two-pound bag of parboiled, whole grain, brown rice

one-pound box, parboiled, whole grain, brown rice
Both these packages of rice are whole grain parboiled brown rice. Both will store as long as white rice and have 80% of the food value of brown rice that is not parboiled and much more than white rice. Neither  poses a health risk like white rice by causing you to develop diabetes or by hastening the onset of diabetes or raising the blood sugar to dangerous levels.    
Once, I accidentally had acquired 24 pounds of brown rice in boxes and 36 pounds of brown rice in bags. I could not find the packages in the pictures above and ordered some.  Twice. After two or three years of rice sitting in their original packages in my sewing room, a room not heated in winter or cooled in the summer except sporadically, I decided to put them in the freezer. It took me five or six years to eat all that rice! It never spoiled.
People who store food for long- or short-term could be choosing a better, healthier rice to store than white rice. All preppers I read recommend storing white rice because the brown rice spoils in six months. Not so. At least, not this rice.
I will wait right here while you read from All About Rice , at a food service site:
"Milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked) will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly-closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants."
And, again at the All About Rice site above, scroll down to the Par Excellence , the last rice on the page to see information about storage. This site sells rice in 25-, 50-, and 100-pound bags.
Parboiled brown rice is more expensive, but so is diabetes and beriberi.  You now the ravages of diabetes: heart disease, blindness, amputation, dementia. Read this Wikipedia article  on beriberi. It is interesting that beriberi was common in Asia.
For the thousands of preppers storing white rice instead of brown parboiled rice, this important information could mean the difference in illness and health. A vitamin a day will not be as good as obtaining nutrients eating as real food. But, if a vitamin a day gives a person all the nutrition missing in white rice, there is still the issue of rising blood sugar after eating white rice.
Both the pictured packages of rice are brown rice. But, the ingredient list is: parboiled brown rice. If you shop by pictures, make sure it says "whole grain brown rice" on the front and "whole grain parboiled brown rice" in the ingredient list. That should be the only ingredient! Yes, some days, I shop by the picture. We all do. But, if this is your first time looking for parboiled brown rice, read the ingredient list, too.
Does anyone already eat parboiled rice? I have the two-pound bag in a quart jar and a pint jar in the freezer where both will reside for 48 hours. Then, it will sit for 24. After that, I open the jars, put them in the oven and turn the oven on 350 degrees. In order not to overheat the oven and the rice, I stand there for two minutes and then turn off the oven. After several hours, I will put the lids onto the jars.  I don't want to overheat the rice, just make sure all moisture is driven off after its rest in the freezer. Since I have canning/freezing lids tightened on each jar, I doubt any moisture is in the jar. The slightly warm oven is just a precaution. After that, I will store it in the cabinet and use from the jars. Am I being overly-cautious?
If you have other food storage methods you prefer, use those methods to store your rice. I don't have five-gallon buckets or oxygen absorbers. I do have several sizes of Ball canning jars, so this method works for me for right now. I don't have mylar bags, gamma seals, five-gallon buckets, or oxygen absorbers.
Right now, there is a $1 off coupon on the two-gallon bag, so it cost me $2.72, $1.36/pound. Brown rice "sticks with you" longer. Plus, there is no high blood-sugar spike caused by white rice.  If you can afford to get whole grain, parboiled, brown rice in bulk, GREAT! Today, I am going back to purchase while the coupons are present!
Check this site for information on the benefits of parboiled brown rice over white rice. The article is written by someone not fluent in English, so if the syntax sounds off, it is. But, I believe the information is correct.

Choose your favorite site from this web search to find the same information. Skip the ad section at the top and go to web results
How I Use Parboiled Brown Rice
*throw 1/4 cup uncooked rice in a pot of soup when there is only 30 minutes left to cook
*make enough to store in portions in the freezer
*add sugar, vanilla, and butter to hot rice for a little dessert or treat.
*rice pudding
*cook rice and beans
Isn't that about the same way you use white rice? The recipe below is a very loose recipe. You can adapt it to your tastes.
I make 12 servings according to the recipe (+ 1/2 cup water) on the bag, using the microwave. You can use any heat source you want.
Add 1/2 cup more of water than called for in the directions on the package.
About ten minutes before it is due to be done, cook a diced onion in an iron skillet in a little oil until the onion goes from clear to wanting to turn darker.
Add tbsp butter when the onion is clear, starting to darken. Pull the skillet from the heat but make sure it is piping hot when you add rice..
Make sure this is all piping hot but not burned when the rice is done.
Pour the cooked rice with  extra water into the skillet.
Stir in order to infuse the rice with the onion flavor and allow extra water to evaporate.. Extra water helps the process of infusing the flavor into the rice. This will take about three minutes after dumping the rice into the hot skillet of onions and butter.
Add a few sprinkles of chicken bouillon according to your taste. (Or, cook rice in broth.)
Add all or any of these: red, green, yellow peppers or bottoms of green onions.
Stir continually until the extra water is gone and any onions or flavor on the bottom of the pan is now in the rice. Remove from the heat and leave the lid on.
Add chopped green onion tops at this time, if you have them. This way, they stay green instead of turning black.
Most important element--extra water in the rice in the skillet to cook/infuse the flavor into the rice. If your rice cooked perfectly with no extra water, throw in 1/4 cup of water after the rice is added to cooked onions.
While I had the abundance of rice, I was going to school without an abundance of money. I took this rice dish to potluck dinners for about three years. The Corning Ware dish was always empty. Everyone ate it, and complimented the flavor, even when they did not know I made other words, no sympathy compliments for the woman who could only afford rice. Vegans and vegetarians ate it in spite of the chicken bouillon.
Make this recipe your own by changing it to suit your taste. It is a great side dish. If you are using dehydrated vegetables, put those in the rice while it cooks. If I don't have anything for color, I just make this with onions! Usually, I put only a quarter cup of chopped bell peppers because I don't have lots.  You can throw more vegetables or meat in this rice dish. Do it your way.
This post is featured  on the Prepper Website on September 11, 2012.
Your turn
Are you a fan of parboiled brown rice like I am? Are you storing white rice in long-term storage or even short term storage because of advice that brown rice spoils too quickly? 


  1. This was very interesting. I was in the school of 'you can't use long term storage for brown rice.' So, I haven't stored it because I only eat organic brown rice. This post has opened a door to new possibilities. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Sue,
    I am not an organic rice consumer, but maybe you can find what you need to store in parboiled organic. That may be an oxymoron. I think storing the Uncle Ben's, non-organic could be a good choice rather than do without rice. I do not consume large amounts of rice, but am happy with the type I do consume. If you find an even better solution, maybe you can let us know. I bought these two bags because of the coupon on top of a good price. I store what is cheap or free and not really for long-term, unless it just happens that way. A good sale will have me storing like crazy.

  3. Hi Linda! Thanks for sharing about the rice! Yes, I thought brown rice would spoil, too! I bought one of those big bags from Aldi this summer. We don't eat a lot of rice, so that will keep a long time! My guys don't like brown rice, so I don't buy it. They might like this parboiled variety, however. I want to try it and see! That recipe sounds delicious! Blessings from Bama!

    1. If you clicked on the link in the article to "All About Rice" you would have read that "uncooked brown rice" will spoil and can only be stored for 6 months unless refrigerated or stored in the freezer. I believe Linda is talking about "cooked brown rice" - that's what par-boiled means - it's cooked - if not fully, partially. This would stop the enzymes that spoil the rice.

      Make sure you do not eat brown rice that had gone rancid. Rancidity is poison and caused by oxidation of the oil in brown rice.

    2. Joan,
      I thought that she understood that when she said the "big bag," referring to the one in the picture. But, thanks for clearing it up, just in case.

      Rancid rice is so putrid, brown or white, that I doubt anyone could stomach it.

      Rancid oil, in rice or in a bottle is carcinogenic!

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Bama,
    Cook it up with the onions and blame the color on cooked onions and butter. The smell of this dish will draw people from down the street! You can put just enough peppers in to give it a bit of color if they don't like red/yellow/green peppers. Or, just use the color you have or just plain onions. The bouillon is what makes this a winner. Let me know how it turns out with them. Just leave a comment on this post, even if it next month.

  5. I'm diabetic and have discovered for myself that I can't eat ANY rice or rice product (like rice cakes, rice milk, rice flour), it's all very high carbohydrate. That's too bad because rice is plentiful and cheap in California. Oh well.

  6. Jan,
    Aren't rice cakes, rice milk, and rice flour all made from white rice? Plus, the last two are ground.

    At any rate, I do know that the larger the piece of oat, for example, the more slowly it is metabolized and is better for a person with diabetes. This is true of all foods--rice, wheat. beans, etc. So, whole grain brown rice instead of a ground rice might be tolerated better. What do you think?

    Using oats as an example again, oat flour raises the blood sugar level faster than whole grain or steel cut oats. Rice is the same way--whole is better than rice milk or rice flour. Whole rice would be better for a diabetic than rice flour. Maybe "better" is not good enough.

    As I am sure you know, the glycemic index that measures the glycemic load makes a difference in the body's tolerance.

    If you know of information that shows this is wrong, please comment again.

    Ah, to be in the land of rice (amongst other plenty).

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Good article Linda, I'll have to look into the brown rice. Currently we are using the white as it became an important part of our family diet. I was previously married to a philipino and back then ate it 3 times a day so it is something our family is comfortable with. But, I have been incorporating the brown in occasionally it is very good and as you mentioned - healthier.

  8. Carol,
    Many years ago, I was comfortable with white rice and white bread. But, I decided weight and health were worth learning to like parboiled brown rice and whole wheat bread and use it in tasty ways. So, I did. If white rice is used an an occassional treat, I can see with your background how it would be important to you. It is all a matter of balance. I am glad you at least like brown rice.

  9. If you have a lot of time on your hands you can also buy brown rice in bulk, cook it, and then dehydrate it for long term storage.

    1. Anon,
      Thanks for that additional information that I should have included in the post.

  10. Hi Linda, thanks for the info. I recently bought a 25 lb bag of organic short-grain brown rice for long-term food storage – unaware that it doesn't keep well. I have mylar bags and oxygen absorbers ready to pack it away, but I think I have to re-think my plans now! My fridge isn't the largest, so I can only store a small amount there. I suppose I can only give some away and start eating a lot of it – and then look to the parboiled brown rice you speak of for the long-term. What do you think? –Steve in NYC

    1. Steve in NYC,
      Cook the rice, dehydrate it and store it for long term. You will just have parboiled your own brown rice. Look up the information on the internet. If you cannot find it, send me an email and I will find it for you.

  11. Thanks for this great information. I was told that oxygen absorbers should not be used with brown rice because it could cause botulism (because of the oil or moisture content in the brown rice I guess). I wonder if the same would be true for parboiled rice? Also just wondering why you put it in the freezer before storing it?

    1. Vivian,
      The three days in the freezer is to kill bug's eggs. Sorry I did not see this comment earlier.


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