Wild Rice Has So Much To Offer

Wild rice

What is wild rice?

Scientific Name: Zizania palustris

Other Names: Indian Rice, Water Oats, Marsh Oats, Canadian Rice

Habitat: Wild rice is native to North America and can be found mainly in the Great Lakes region, but it also grows in shallow lakes and rivers in the northern United States and Canada.

Description: Wild Rice is an aquatic grass that grows to heights of up to 8 feet. It has long, narrow, pointed leaves and slender stems. The seeds are dark brown, long, and slender.

Status (eg Natural, Hybrid or GMO): Wild Rice is a natural species and not a hybrid or GMO.

Species of wild rice

Known species of wild rice

There are several species of wild rice, which are members of the grass family and are native to different parts of the world. Some of the most commonly known species of wild rice include:

  • Zizania palustris: This species is commonly known as northern wild rice, and it is native to North America. It is an important food source for many Indigenous communities in Canada and the United States.
  • Zizania aquatica: This species is commonly known as southern wild rice or Texas wild rice, and it is native to the southern United States. It is considered an endangered species due to habitat loss and pollution.
  • Zizania latifolia: This species is commonly known as Manchurian wild rice, and it is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It is often cultivated as a crop and is used in traditional Asian cuisine.
  • Zizania texana: Also known as Texas wild rice, this species is found only in a limited area of the San Marcos River in Texas, USA. It is considered an endangered species.
  • Porteresia coarctata: This species is commonly known as Indian wild rice, and it is native to parts of South Asia, including India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. It is an important food source in some parts of the region.

These are just a few examples of the many species of wild rice that exist around the world.

Wild rice
Wild rice

What about African wild rice?

  • There are a few different plants that are sometimes referred to as “African wild rice,” but they are not related to the genus Zizania, which includes the commonly known wild rice species.
  • One plant that is sometimes called African wild rice is Oryza longistaminata, which is native to West and Central Africa. Oryza longistaminata is a wild rice relative and is sometimes used in traditional African cuisine.
  • Another plant that is sometimes called African wild rice is Echinochloa colona, which is also known as jungle rice. This plant is found in various parts of Africa, Asia, and the Americas, and its seeds are sometimes used as a grain.
  • It’s worth noting that the term “wild rice” is often used to refer specifically to species within the Zizania genus, so while Oryza longistaminata and Echinochloa colona may be called “wild rice,” they are not the same as the Zizania species commonly known as wild rice.
  • Benefits of wild rice

    Mineral Content: Wild Rice is a good source of minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and zinc.

    Medicinal value: Wild Rice is known to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-diabetic properties. It is also known to help reduce cholesterol and improve digestion.

    Culinary use: Wild Rice can be used in a variety of dishes as a healthy substitute for white rice. It has a nutty flavor and chewy texture that pairs well with other grains, and vegetables.

    Research information

    Researchers have studied the effects of Wild Rice on various health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Studies have found that Wild Rice may help reduce risk factors for these conditions.

    Wild rice recipes

    Wild Rice can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, soups, casseroles, pilafs, and even desserts.

    Wild Rice Salad with Avocado and Walnuts

    Ingredients:

    1 cup wild rice
    2 cups water
    1 avocado, diced
    1/2 cup pieces of walnuts
    1/2 red onion, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    2 tablespoons key lime juice
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    1. Rinse the wild rice and add it to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the rice is tender.
    2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Dice the avocado, onion, and bell pepper. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, avocado, walnut, onion, bell pepper, and basil.
    4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss to combine.
    5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Wild Rice Stir-Fry with Vegetables

    Ingredients:

    1 cup wild rice
    2 cups water
    2 tablespoons sesame or avocado oil
    1 red onion, diced
    2 sprig scallion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, sliced
    1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
    1 zucchini, sliced
    1 cup cooked chickpeas
    1 tablespoon agave
    1 tablespoon lime juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions:

    1. Rinse the wild rice and add it to a pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the rice is tender.
    2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Dice the onion and chop the scallion. Slice the bell peppers and zucchini.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together the agave and lime juice.
    4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
    5. Add the sliced bell peppers, zucchini, and broccoli to the skillet and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.
    6. Add the chickpeas to the skillet and stir-fry for an additional 1-2 minutes.
    7. Pour the lime juice and agave mixture over the vegetables and stir to coat. Add the cooked wild rice to the skillet and stir to combine.
    8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

    References

    1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2020). Zizania palustris. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Taxonomy/Browser/wwwtax.cgi?name=Zizania+palustris
    2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2020). Wild Rice – Zizania palustris. Retrieved from https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_zipal.pdf
    3. Healthline. (2020). 5 Health Benefits of Wild Rice. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-wild-rice
    4. Healthline. (2020). 7 Delicious Wild Rice Recipes.https://www.healthline.com/health/wild-rice-recipes#wild-rice-vs-african-wild-rice
    5. Zizania palustris – USDA Plants Database: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ZIPA
    6. Zizania aquatica – USDA Plants Database: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ZIAQ
    7. Zizania texana – USDA Plants Database: https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=ZITE

Author: sebifood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *