Make Brown Rice a Pantry Staple

Chicken Fried Rice

Rice is the epitome of a pantry staple. It’s a basic, inexpensive ingredient, with a long shelf life, that’s easy-to-use in a variety of ways. In fact, rice is a main staple in over 100 countries worldwide. By keeping this sure-to-please grain on hand, you’re well on your way to creating a delicious dish. For this month’s Nutritious Nudge, I want to share some reasons why brown rice is worthy of staple status in your pantry.

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Cooking from Sales

young girl wearing mask in a grocery store

Cooking from sales is a skill I was brought up with. In my adult life, my need to use it has come and gone, but it’s always been my preferred way to cook. I find that constraints keep the routine task of cooking interesting. Whether you shop sales out of genuine need or another reason, here are a few tips to help the process go more smoothly.

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Overfed, Undernourished

Spiced Toasted Almonds

The foods we choose throughout the day play a significant role in determining how hungry or full we will be. Honoring hunger and nourishing our bodies with the “right” calories is a balancing act. Sure, a low-calorie beverage makes a lot of sense but, a low-calorie snack may not be the smartest choice. Choose a low-quality calorie option, and you’ll be hungry again soon (which means more calories). Choose a high-quality calorie, and you’ll be fuller longer. This means you’re less likely to eat more than you should over the course of a day. Finally, here’s the conundrum for calorie watchers: sometimes we need to eat more calories in the moment to ultimately eat fewer in the day (yup, you read that right).

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Canned Vegetables

Wooden bowl with canned green peas on table. Studio Photo

Canned vegetables are budget-friendly, convenient, and can be a great source of nutrients. They are certainly worthy of their proverbial moment in the sun on the Guiding Stars blog. (To extend shelf life, be sure to store them in a cool, clean and dry place.) Believe it or not, though, many canned vegetables do not earn Guiding Stars.

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Shopping the Center of the Store

Woman shopping for groceries

One of my favorite things about the Guiding Stars program is that it refutes the myth that you must only shop the perimeter of the grocery store in order to find nutritious foods. Before I joined the Guiding Stars team, I worked in community nutrition education for low-income families. Like most shoppers, price was an important factor in my clients’ grocery shopping decisions, along with healthy foods that their family would enjoy. I led healthy shopping tours at stores with Guiding Stars and would use the program to highlight how you can find nutritious foods that fit your budget throughout the store. From this experience I learned that the center of the store is where Guiding Stars really shines. Let me explain why.

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