A Classic Reinvented
Risotto is an old-time classic. It’s not always healthy though, especially when we want a creamy texture. Well, the recipe I’m sharing today is delicious, super healthy, and has that creamy texture we all love. The secret is to pick the right combination of ingredients. I picked wild rice, mushrooms, and cashews. Check out this classic reinvented healthy creamy risotto recipe.
An Ancient Grain
Of course, the main ingredient in any risotto is rice which, is the edible seed of a grass called Oryza sativa. This starchy cereal grain has been a staple ingredient for more than half the world’s population for centuries. Rice is versatile, widely available, and cheap. There are so many different types of rice that it can be overwhelming. Most of its varieties come from subspecies of the Oryza sativa. Then they are classified according to the way it’s grown – upland versus lowland and irrigated versus rainfed rice.
White rice has a chewiness and soft texture that adds substance to meals and complements many cuisines. It is an excellent source of manganese, providing over 30% of the daily value (DV). It is also a good source of iron, providing 2.7mg or 15% of the DV and supplies B vitamins (especially thiamin, but also niacin and riboflavin). However, white rice is a refined grain and doesn’t provide the fiber that other whole grains do. Although being a good choice of side, when compared with other kinds of rice, the white is the least nutrient-dense one.
Brown Rice is a whole grain, therefore, has significantly more fiber than white one. The bran layers that are typically stripped from white rice are retained in the brown version. This means this whole grain contains valuable phytochemicals like essential amino acids, minerals, flavonoids, and more. Brown rice also has fewer carbohydrates than white rice, making it a better choice over white for those with blood sugar issues.
Black Rice is a deep, purple-colored rice also known as the forbidden rice. It got its name because in Ancient China it was reserved only for those in the upper class due its nutritional value. Although it contains roughly the same number of calories as white rice, the black is considered a best choice. Not because of micronutrients but, because of its high content of polyphenols. Black rice contains high levels of seven different anthocyanin polyphenols—a type of flavonoid that has antioxidant benefits. Anthocyanins are a pigment that gives black rice its deep purple color. They are also found in other red, blue, or purple foods like eggplant, blackberries, and blueberries. Anthocyanin-rich foods have been used for centuries in traditional herbal medicine by North American Indians, the Europeans, and the Chinese for a wide variety of ailments.
The only problem is the price. Black rice is really good, therefore is expensive. That’s why for this recipe I choose to use Wild Rice, which isn’t actually rice at all, but a harvested seed of another water-loving grass from a different genus entirely! As such, it’s got more protein, and slightly fewer carbohydrates and calories per cup with all the good fiber. It is not a significant source of vitamins, but it is packed with minerals. A serving of wild rice contains 82 milligrams of phosphorus, 32 milligrams of magnesium, and 1.34 milligrams of zinc. It also tastes super-different from any other rice.
Healthy Creamy Risotto Recipe
- 1 cup of Wild Rice
- 3/4 cup of cashews
- 1 cup of mushrooms of choice chopped (I used oyster)
- 1 tablespoon of chopped onions
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- parsley, salt and pepper
To make the creamy sauce add the cashews to a small pan and add 1 1/2 cups of water. Boil for 15 minutes and let it cool.
In a bigger pan add the olive oil to sauté the onions first then add the garlic. Now add the tomatoes and let it dissolve. Now add the rice, the mushrooms and water. Add salt and pepper and let it simmer until the rice is cooked.
Now throw the cashews with the water in a blender and mix it up until you have a heavy cream texture. Add the creamy sauce to the rice and voila! Garnish with parsley and enjoy!
To check the nutritional facts of cashews and mushrooms read Eat for your Brain.
Always remember: Good is what makes you feel well!