Whole grain brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice as many of its nutrients are found in the brown layer immediately below the skin of the grain. Rice is best cooked by boiling, but as some of the nutrients are water soluble, this water should not be discarded, but used to make a sauce or kept for a starchy soup. Brown rice is also an excellent source of fibre. Short grain types of rice cook to a soft texture, and although commonly reserved for puddings, are equally useful for savoury dishes. The long grain rices are dryer and firmer when cooked. Basmati rice is slightly chewier to the bite.
Rice can be purchased parboiled and then dried again. This has a slightly higher nutritional value than white rice, but it is as easy to cook. Whole grain brown rice can also be purchased parboiled. It considerably reduces the cooking time for whole grain rice.
Millet is a group of highly nutritious, small seeded tropical grains. It has the highest protein level of any cereal and is also excellent for potassium and magnesium. The better quality grains are larger and greener than the round seeded yellow grains. Millet can be cooked in the same way as rice, but it tends to need longer to cook and will absorb more water. The small grains can also be ground to make a millet porridge. Millet flakes are a useful and healthy addition to muesli.
Sorghum is a larger grain than millet that is a staple of the hot, dry regions of Africa and Asia. It is another highly nutritious and easily digested cereal that is often used to make baby foods. It can be used for baking, mixed with wheat flour.
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