There’s wild rice and then there’s real wild rice. What’s the difference? Authentic wild rice is a species of marsh grass found growing naturally in shallow aquatic wetlands, lakes and slow moving streams. Also known as manoomin which means “the good berry”, wild harvested rice is an indigenous sacred food of the Native American Anishnaabe (Ojibwa) people of Minnesota and the Great Lakes region.
The texture and taste of wild rice is chewier with a distinctive roasted nutty flavor compared to other kinds of rice and can be a healthy gluten-free alternative to other grains. Unknown to most people, all wild rice is not necessary “wild”, as the term might imply. True wild rice is harvested from naturally growing aquatic grass fields and the other is a cultivated paddy-grown variety, created from the same wild species Zizania palustris.
Health Benefits of Wild Rice
- EASY TO DIGEST. Most grains and rice are difficult to digest. Wild rice is actually the seed of a grass though not a grain at all, which is one of the most popular benefits of wild rice.By nature, wild grasses are far easier to digest than any grains. If you are sensitive to gluten or have digestive issues wild rice will be the perfect replacement to any grains.It’s only due to it’s appearance that wild rice is often confused as a grain. Though it’s completely gluten-free, it has a rich, grounding quality to it like a cooked grain.
- RICH IN ANTIOXIDANTS. Wild rice is a Native food to America that was originally harvested in Minnesota.As a truly wild food, it is highly sustainability far more nutrient-dense and has an increased antioxidant value. This makes it a wonderful anti-aging and healing food.
- HEALTHY METABOLISM. Wild rice is great source B vitamins containing far more riboflavin, niacin, and Vitamin B6 than brown rice. These B vitamins are essential for energy production, regular blood pressure, digestion, and metabolism.
- MAGNESIUM POWERHOUSE. Wild rice is a superior source of magnesium. Not just because the nature of this food but as a wild food, it’s soaking up far more minerals from the soil compared to farmed food. Magnesium is one of the most common deficiencies in modern man and is absolutely necessary for many physiological functions, including – a healthy nervous system, regular bowel movements, energy, and deep sleep.Magnesium also reduces stress, headaches, anxiety, and fatigue.
- IT’S DELICIOUS. My beautiful wife has been making the most delicious bread I have ever tasted in my life using this wild rice. The recipe is simple but the flavor from the wild rice is complex, sweet and nutty that it offers and explosion of taste on it’s own! Stay tuned as this recipe will be a highlight in our up and coming recipe book. Remember that authentic wild rice will be a mix of black and brown colors, which will provide the exquisite flavor.Many store bought wild rice blends contain a mix brown rice and even white rice. I suggest the Wild Food Warehouse for an authentic and truly wild rice. This is the exact rice we use in this recipe and our wild loaf recipe.
- SUPER FIBER. Regular rice is typically a very low fiber food, which is part of the reason brown and white rice as less superior carb sources grains like oats, which have more fiber out of all the carbohydrates the grain contains. For example, brown rice only contains 1 gram of fiber per ¼ cup!
The ideal intake of fiber is right around 30-40 grams per day. Wild rice contains three times the amount of that making it a great source of fiber, which will help detoxify the body and cleanse the digestive system.
- POTASSIUM. Wild rice is a great low sugar source of potassium. If you don’t like bananas or are just watching your fructose intake, wild rice is a great way to get in potassium. This essential mineral regulates blood pressure and can reduce bloat.
How To Use Wild Rice
Wild rice is best soaked for 24-48 hours before cooking. I like to get it to the point of where it’s slightly fermented for my soured kefir pancakes.
Once you soak for the initial 12 hours, be sure to rinse it and repeat about 3 times. From there, it is best cooked then paired with spices and eaten as a main part of a dish with veggies. You can also have it for breakfast like you would an oatmeal, serving it with raw almond milk, cinnamon and raw honey. Or best of all, you can get really creative an make some breads and pancakes!
Soured Wild Rice Pancake [Recipe]
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups pre-soaked authentic wild rice
- 1 cup raw milk kefir
- 1 pasture raised egg or duck egg
- Pinch of baking soda
Here’s how you make it:
- Heat greased cast iron skillet to medium-low heat.
- Place all ingredients into a Blendtec, blend until a creamy pancake batter.
- Pour into skillet and let cook until bubbles come through to the surface then flip.
- Eat cake will take about 1-2 minutes before flipping then another minute on the other side.
- Eat as is or serve with raw grass-fed butter and a side of soup!