Ahh…..a South Indian meal, such a joy!! You have made your curry / kura and your sambar / pulusu. Maybe a rasam or a thogayal too. This meal:
- Has Vegetables √ (check)
- Has protein in the form of lentils √
- Is delicious √
- Is comforting √
But what about the white rice?
Some of the most popular reasons you usually end up eating white rice over brown rice include:
- There are kids/picky eaters in your home
- There are older adults in your home who prefer traditional food.
- You have barely enough time to cook white rice, let alone brown rice
All are perfectly valid reasons. But, you keep missing out on the wonderful nutrition that is in the outer portion of the grain. So, here’s a common sense way to add the nutrition back in.
Add the removed germ/bran back in
Add a teaspoon of wheat germ/oat bran to your rice before eating. These grain parts are removed during manufacturing and round out the missing nutrients from the polished grain. Here, I have added 1 teaspoon of wheat germ to my plate before adding sambar. You don’t have to add a ton, and it does not take away from the taste of the sambar.
This is a very customize-able solution. A person craving more fiber can add a teaspoon of germ to their rice and feel great. The kid who would rather cartwheel the entire house before putting a spoon of brown rice in his/her mouth can stick to ‘paruppu sadam / pappu annam’, which is their mac&cheese equivalent of South Indian meals – ‘White rice + mashed dal+ ghee.’ 🙂
Why Wheat Germ?
Wheat germ is just 2.5% of the total grain and is the embryo for new sprouts. The germ is removed during white flour refinement. It takes 50lbs of wheat to make 1lb of wheat germ. The germ, has high levels of Vitamin E, has folate, some protein, fiber and minerals. It is like a mini multivitamin pill in food form.
I would have added rice bran to the list. Rice bran has fantastic iron values that Indian vegetarians frequently are low in, but recent studies suggest high levels of arsenic was found especially in rice bran. So, that’s sad and probably best to avoid it.
Meal with more satiety
Finally and a purely emotional reason – Personally, I feel a little unsatisfied when eating plain white rice, always tinkering for something after my meal to feel full. Adding wheat germ, strangely, adds to my fullness factor. Now, whether it is psychological, or whether it is from the added fiber, I can’t tell. That’s for you to decide.
As usual, comments and discussions are most welcome, highly recommended in fact :), both down here in comments section or in my Facebook Page.
I am not a certified nutritionist/health professional. If you have any health problems, please consult your physician/ nutritionist, before proceeding.