You might know already that my overall stance on rice is to avoid it when you can, but a little bit of rice here and there should be perfectly fine. After all, it is a quick and easy side dish with this easy instant pot recipe. Not to mention, rice is dirt cheap!
My Thoughts on Rice
If you’ve read my post about rice cereal being bad for babies, you may have caught wind of my thoughts on rice. This isn’t just my own thoughts, but the facts that were brought up to me by my kid’s pediatrician when they were about to begin solids.
While rice can be an easy and tasty dish, it has naturally occurring arsenic. Don’t let this scare you, let it be something you are more aware of. In some cultures, rice is part of every meal. So do I think you should never eat rice? No, I think rice is ok in moderation.
Arsenic is naturally occurring in the earth, so even when you choose organic varieties, you aren’t in the clear of being exposed to arsenic.
Which Rice is Lowest in Arsenic?
Here’s the deal, many people choose to eat brown rice as a healthier alternative. The reality is, brown rice actually contains higher levels of arsenic than white rice. So if you are going to eat rice, choose white rice when you can.
It is also important to thoroughly rinse your rice prior to cooking. I run water over the rice in a strainer until the water runs completely clear. This could take several minutes, but will wash away some the components of arsenic. When rinsing rice, you will notice the water is milky and somewhat white. Keep rinsing until the water is clear, sifting it around a few times.
Another thing that might surprise you is that buying organic rice does not save you from the arsenic. This is because it naturally occurs in the ground where rice is grown. This cannot be eliminated by being grown organically. That said, it is ok to buy non-organic white rice. I buy organic though to avoid any additional toxic chemicals.
Easy Instant Pot Rice Recipe
I know the instant pot is a total game changer, especially as a busy mom of three who is in desperate need for easy, healthy meals to cook for my family in a matter of minutes. My kids like rice and it is a quick side dish I can whip up any time.
With that said, we don’t eat rice regularly, but when we do eat it, I choose organic white rice. This recipe is for cooking white rice. Brown and other rice varieties may differ in cooking time and water to rice ratios.
Rice packaging usually has a recipe directly on the package for stove top rice. This is NOT the ratio you want to use in the instant pot. Oddly enough, the ratio is quite simple for the instant pot. One part water to one part rice is all you need!
Like I said, remember to rinse your rice thoroughly until the water runs clear, even after sifting it around a few times. This could take several minutes but it totally worth it to keep arsenic levels down.
If you want white rice that is a little less boring, you can substitute the water for chicken broth or even coconut milk. Feel free to add in some saffron or your favorite spices. Keep in mind, basmati or jasmine rice works equally as well in this recipe.
What you need:
- Add desired amount of rice to a strainer. Remember, rice gets bigger in size when cooked. I usually use 2 cups uncooked rice and end up with many cups of cooked rice.
- Run water over the rice until the water runs clear.
- Transfer rice into the instant pot.
- Add equal parts water to the instant pot. If you added two cups of rice, add two cups of water. (You can substitute the water for broth or coconut milk if you want.) Also add any spices now.
- Securely close the instant pot and make sure it is on “sealing”.
- Set the instant pot to pressure cook for 3 minutes.
- Once it is done cooking, use a slow manual release before opening the lid. This takes 10-15 minutes.
- Make sure you “vent” the instant pot before opening.