Last week I wanted to make the family Indian Food over brown rice, but I was short on time and brown rice takes 40 minutes to make. I can’t tell you how many times something like this has come up for us. I’ve considered buying instant rice, and I have bought a microwave in bag brown rice and quinoa that tastes good, but there are many down sides to it (cost, microwaving food in plastic, the waste with single serve bags, and really, the cost)!
When I have time, I like to make food in bulk and freeze so we’ll have fresh, healthy, home made, cost effective food to eat. This weekend I decided to make a large pot of beans to have some ready to eat and some in the freezer. This is great, but I was sure I would get stuck without rice whenever I wanted to serve the beans. I’d never frozen rice, so I put the question out to the great Facebook brain “Can I freeze rice?”
One of the things I love about Facebook is that among my friends we can frequently get great advice. The consensus is clear, if you freeze white rice, it turns into mush when you thaw it. However, brown rice is different structurally and you can freeze it and it’s still good.
The best response was this information that I have to share with our readers:
- Cook your brown rice, or other grain, as usual.
- Let it cool a bit with the lid on (lid off will let the moisture out, but you don’t want to put it in the freezer hot).
- Bag it into whatever portions you need (singles, family, soup…)
- SMASH FLAT
Stack singly in freezer to start, or lay other *flat* frozen things (boxed foods) in between bags.
- Once frozen you can store them not in a tall stack but upright, like books.
- You can easily take out one without causing an avalanche!
- When ready to eat, take a bag out, slide the rice onto a plate & microwave to heat.
Note that you don’t want to put hot rice into the freezer because it will cause your freezer to run more and use extra electricity. Thin layers of rice will also thaw and heat much faster.
Yum! Brown rice, ready to eat when you want it!
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