Meet Your New Best Friend: The Rice Cooker
Lately, a favorite breakfast of Jenna’s is buckwheat. A big tasty bowl of warm, chewy, subtly nutty, and nutrient packed buckwheat is great to start off your day off with. It’s wholesome, unprocessed, and delicious. Buckwheat is a wonderful way to switch up your breakfast routine. And it’s easier than ever to prepare with your new friend in the kitchen (or dorm room!): the rice cooker!
After hearing about a good friend loving the convenience of using a rice cooker, it certainly sounded like something that would be perfect for a busy college student who doesn’t have access to a kitchen! So Jenna decided to try one out and indeed, perfect it is! She now loves using her rice cooker too.
A rice cooker is so quick and easy to use. All you have to do is put the rice (or any grain) and appropriate amount of water in the cooker and place the lid on. Press a button and then you can just walk away. Viola! Before you know it, your rice will be cooked and ready for you to enjoy. And if you don’t want to eat it right away, it will keep it warm until you are ready. The rice cooker is so simple and convenient; it’s perfect for those with a hectic and busy life! Also, the rice cooker is a loyal friend who will never burn your meals or fail you.
Even though it’s called a rice cooker, it is certainly not limited to just cooking rice. It would be more fittingly called a grain cooker, as it works perfectly well with just about any grain (or even beans and lentils could be cooked in it as well!). Obviously, buckwheat is one staple Jenna cooks in the rice cooker, but she also cooks quinoa, barley, farro, and millet. The list of grains is endless. You could even cook up a combination of grains!
A rice cooker can be used as the basis for any meal at any time of the day. You could cook up some buckwheat for breakfast and enjoy with some fruit, nuts, chia seeds, and cinnamon on top. For lunch or dinner, you could cook up some quinoa, throw in a can of beans and some seasoning (curry is a favorite), and serve on a bed of greens with fresh or steamed veggies. Use whatever you have on hand and be creative! Simply by switching up the grain, seasoning, or fruit/vegetable served alongside, there is an unlimited variety of combinations for you to enjoy. All very simple and quick to put together, as well as yummy and nutritious.
Your new friend, the rice cooker, is so convenient that you might just want to start cooking with it every day! Or you could cook up a big batch of the grains to last for a few days. Some of the newer rice cookers even come with a steamer basket to place on top of the main bowl! Now your grains and vegetables can be cooked at the same time, all in the same place, while you don’t have to do a thing!
Since the rice cooker does the cooking for you, you are now free to do something else – in the kitchen or not! Jenna likes to prepare everything the night before, turn on the rice cooker when she wakes up, and have a nice warm breakfast ready and waiting when she returns from a morning run or workout. Use the rice cooker any time of the day and cook your grains while you run an errand, spend time with your family, exercise, read a book, etc. Life can be busy, but a rice cooker can help make cooking even easier!
The rice cooker is one gadget you’ll be sure to love in the kitchen. It’s simple and convenient and so versatile. And remember, this is only one of many ways to simplify things in the kitchen – there are always little things you can do so that you won’t have to compromise eating a delicious, filling and healthful diet. Using a rice cooker is a way to make preparing whole foods convenient, so you can stay away from “convenience foods.” And who wouldn’t want a little more simplicity?!
Off for a hot date with the rice cooker and some grains =)
-The College Greens