Last week, a new study from the American Chemical Society revealed an easy way to reduce the calories in rice up to 60%! The study was done to help combat the growing problem of obesity across the world, especially in developing countries that consume large amounts of rice. Rice contains both resistant and non-resistant starches (referring to whether or not they resist digestion) and by converting the rice to a resistant starch, the rice acts more like a soluble fiber than a calorie-rich starch.
So how can you make this transformation happen in your kitchen?
Simply add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to your boiling water and let it dissolve before adding 1/2 cup of uncooked rice. You can let it simmer for 40 minutes or boil for 25 but once the rice is fully cooked, let it cool in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Voila! You’ve turned your rice into a resistant starch with less than half the calories it’d normally have!
And cutting calories is not the only benefit either! Dr. Pushaparaja Thavarajah who supervised the study, says “the resistant starch is a very good substrate, or energy source, for the bacteria inside the human gut,” making this coconut-cooked rice act like a probiotic.
The key is the cooling process. It’s during those 12 hours that the chemical composition of the rice changes. As the molecules contract, they rearrange themselves into into tight bonds that resist digestion. And the fats of the coconut oil wedge their way into the expanded rice molecules, ramping up their resistance further!
The jury is still out as to whether or not you can re-heat this rice without losing its benefits. Some sources claim that re-heating negates many of the benefits of the rice, while the study’s author, Sudhair A. James, says that the chemical process is finalized in cooling, making the rice re-heatable. There is still more work to be done, but the initial results of this study are exciting for people across the globe! The next step for this study? Researchers would like to find which types of rice work best with which types of oils to make this technique as efficient as possible. Stay tuned to see how this research develops!
Let us know how the technique works for you!
Do you have a favorite rice dish? Check out 12 Tomatoes’ “Lightened-Up Shrimp Fried Rice” for inspiration!