Monday, January 28, 2013

And Now for Something Healthy (Rice Bran Oil)

I thought it fitting to follow up my last fatteningly delicious recipe post with something healthy. This is the time that New Year's resolutions start waning, but let me encourage you for a moment. It was about this time last year that my husband decided that he needed to start eating better and taking better care of himself. He started to watch his portions and eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. He started exercising - walking at first and then doing some running and biking. When I would pull some sort of sinful sweet out of the oven, he would just take a bite or eat half a cookie instead of two or three. His discipline and resolve was unwavering and now, one year later, he is down 75 pounds. He went from a size 42 to a size 34 and is skinnier now than he was in high school. Sometimes I feel like I don't know this person! I am so incredibly proud of him and wish I could pick up a little of his resolve sometimes.

So, Mr. Time for Good Food has become the salad man. He has found that salads are a way to eat a larger portion of something and feel satisfied. I have to say, a salad with lots of fresh veggies, nuts and a touch of cheese is pretty darn tasty. It's even more tasty when you make your own salad dressing! I whipped up a quick dressing for this salad using rice bran oil, a good quality balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper. No recipe needed -- just mix it and taste along the way until it seems right!

A couple of months ago, California Rice Bran Oil was kind enough to send me a sample of their product. I have been using it in everything -- from stir fries to banana muffins to salad dressing. It has a nice nutty flavor and is a great substitute for vegetable oil. I had never even heard of rice bran oil, but apparently it is "the world's healthiest edible oil"  and is a favored cooking oil in Asia. It is loaded with Essential Fatty Acids (the good kind of fat), antioxidants and micronutrients. It also contains phytosterols which can help lower your cholesterol. While I don't buy everything Dr. Oz says, I do think this video segment where he asks some of his viewers to try out rice bran oil in their recipes is quite helpful. It may give you some inspiration to give it a try. While olive oil is also a very healthy oil, it has a low smoke point and is not suitable for deep-frying. Rice bran oil, however, has a very high smoke point making it an ideal frying oil. Not that we should be deep-frying all that often, but rice bran oil is a much better choice for fried chicken than peanut oil, for example. I found that it worked really well in stir fries and for my pan-fried okra. It also has a very mild taste which makes it easy to hide in baked goods. California Rice Bran Oil's website has several recipe ideas and you can also simply substitute it for other oils in your favorite recipes.

You can find rice bran oil at health food stores and natural groceries like Whole Foods. On average, it retails for about $8-10 a bottle. Look for a non-GMO (genetically modified organism) brand like California Rice Bran Oil. All traditional (except for organic) canola, corn and vegetable oils are made from genetically modified crops, which is starting to freak me out the more I read about it. Another reason why rice bran oil is a great choice!

I hope this year is off to a good start for you and I'll be back soon (with something probably not so healthy)!

Disclaimer: California Rice Bran Oil sent me a product to try but did not pay me for a review or any sort of endorsement. My views are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Good article with important info! Rice Oil is very healthy!