Who Knew? I thought I was on top of the new fads in food, but apparently, not all.
Ann does most of the grocery shopping because for at least a few more years she is the only household member who gets the senior discount at The Belfast Coop on Tuesday, Senior Discount Day. She shops from a list, which I’m still getting used to. I like to go hungry so I can be creative about future meals, but Ann is way more left-brained than I, so, the list.
We both add freshly ground flax seed to the morning cereal and the supply was getting low, so this week flax seed was on the list. I prefer brown to golden flax; it’s cheaper and I like the visual. Ann’s got cataracts that are impeding her sight a bit these days and she’s scheduled for surgery in a few months,and while it really isn’t debilitating, she doesn’t always recognize the difference in grains. She came home saying that she’d bought black flax seed since there didn’t seem to be brown or golden. The black ‘seeds’ got poured on top of the remaining brown seeds in the jar and I didn’t really pay attention until the next morning, when Ann complained that the new flax seeds were really crunchy.
Those of you in the know will probably have this figured out already. I scooped some out for grinding and observed that these seeds weren’t flat like flax. I ground them well and cooked with my oatmeal which turned purple in the cooking as if I had pulverized blueberries in my cereal.
It all became clear when I was at The Coop on Friday, my day for the Belfast Farmers’ Market and found a name for what Ann bought: Forbidden Rice. What a name, Forbidden Rice. I bought some flax seed and returned home to tell Ann the news, that she needn’t grind that black stuff into her oatmeal. (Although I do sometimes grind basmati rice into my breakfast cereal.)
I cooked up the forbidden rice in my rice cooker in my usual ratio of 2:1, water to rice and wonderful revelation! It cooked perfectly, kept its form and has a slightly crunchy, nutty flavour. Only then did I check it out on the internet to discover that it is the latest trendy superfood, even better, so they say, than blueberries.
Forbidden Rice ( apparently at one time no-one but the Emperor was allowed to eat the rice) is exceptionally high in anthocyanins, phytochemicals that are anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, and have many other properties not the least of which is boosting the production of cytokines, so regulating immune response. Visual acuity has been markedly improved in animal and human subjects when anthocyanin pigments have ben applied, maybe the reason Ann was drawn to buying the rice in lieu of flax seed.
I know there are many who take supplements of vitamins and flavonoids but I have a feeling of certainty that we don’t know enough about the component nutrients in foods nor are we capable of understanding the synergetic relationships within the foods themselves. Isolating components in tablet form will never be a substitute for the complete food and whole foods. What a happy surprise to discover this new-to-me, yummy rice.
I’m eating some now. I fried it with some of my cucumber kimchi and topped with my new fave topping, peanut powder, made by grinding toasted sesame seeds, red chilies, asofoetida powder and peanuts into a yummy crunchy hot condiment. A new taste delight and soon to be added to the weekly shopping list. Yum!
- Alsi seeds-peanuts dry chutney powder (cuisineindia.wordpress.com)