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Are you ravenous for rice, but unsure whether it’s suitable for vegans? Then read on! We explain why rice is not only vegan but good for you, too. Once you’re convinced, check out our full range of vegan-friendly rice online.
Is Rice Vegan?
The great news is that yes, rice is indeed vegan. From white rice like Organic Sushi Rice by Clearspring to wild rice like Biona's Organic Wild Rice Mix, rice is simply the seed of a species of grass and grass is a plant. When it comes to buying raw rice, it’s all vegan.
Things are a little more complicated if you’re buying pre-prepared rice, which may contain dairy, meat, or fish and you’ll need to check the ingredient labels more carefully. But if you buy online from PlantX, you’ll have peace of mind that pre-prepared rice, like Loma Linda’s Thai Green Curry Ready Meal, is vegan-friendly.
If you have strong concerns about the environmental impact of the foods that you eat, then you may wish to consider the end-to-end production process for vegan rice. Like many crops grown for human consumption, the effects of mass-farming may be profound upon the environment. Rice, in particular, requires a lot of water in order to grow.
But, strictly speaking, rice is a plant-based food and therefore, suitable for vegans.
How is Vegan Rice Different from Normal Rice?
In its raw form, vegan rice is one of those foods that are “accidentally vegan”. Rice is not vegan by design, it’s entirely plant-based to start with.
Pre-packed or flavoured rice may not be vegan-friendly. Fried rice is a popular dish around the world, often made to use up leftovers. However, not all fried rice is vegan, depending on the ingredients that are added to the rice. Often ingredients such as egg, meat, or fish are added to a fried rice dish.
But, you don’t need to worry when you buy rice online at PlantX, where we have a range of plant-based pre-packaged rice dishes, like Root Kitchen's Tikka Masala & Rice. Quick to prepare and packed full of basmati rice and a sublime blend of Indian herbs and spices, this bowl is an authentic take on a classic wholesome dish.
Health Benefits of Vegan Rice
Nutritionally, brown rice is more beneficial to our bodies than white rice. Brown rice retains the outer bran and germ, which contains the most nutrition. White rice, on the other hand, has had these layers removed.
According to the NHS Eatwell Guide, rice provides our bodies with energy, whilst remaining low in fat. In particular, brown rice contains fibre and protein, which helps to keep us fuller for longer and has a lower Glycaemic Index (GI) than white rice. The GI measures how quickly carbohydrates are turned into energy, and thus affects blood sugar levels. Rice also contains B vitamins, which are required by our bodies to help release energy from food.
The quicker digestion of white rice can sometimes be an advantage. More rapid digestion means that energy can be replenished more quickly, which is useful post-exercise. The lower fibre content also makes white rice easier to digest, which may be beneficial for those who suffer from heartburn or nausea.
Additionally, rice is gluten-free, which makes it a safe choice for people following gluten-free diets.
There are a plethora of different types of rice, so you’re almost guaranteed to find a bowl of vegan rice to suit your taste buds and dietary needs. To help you get started, here are a few of our favourites!
Biona has been committed to bringing us organic, ethical and sustainable foods for over 35 years. With over 350 different organic products, Biona is extensive and includes a number of wholesome rice products. Biona’s Organic Black Venus Rice is slightly sticky and a hybrid of Chinese and Italian rice. With a mild nutty flavour, this rice pairs with almost everything and even adds a pop of colour to your plate.
For a brightly coloured and sensational tasting rice alternative, try Mr Organic’s Organic Chickpea Rice. It looks just like rice but is made from chickpea flour, and has a similar texture to Orzo pasta. It’s low in fat, gluten-free and has a neutral taste, which means it’s easy to pair with other flavours.
If rice is normally a staple for you, but you’re watching your calories and carbohydrate intake, then consider making the switch to konjac rice. Made from konjac flour, Barenaked’s Rice, Zero Fat & Low Calories is exactly what it says on the label. A fabulous rice substitute that’s low in carbohydrates, contains zero fat and is low in calories. Since it’s shaped like rice and absorbs flavours from the dish just like rice, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on your Friday night takeaway.
Check Out These Vegan Rice Recipes
Looking for weeknight dinner inspiration? Then look no further! Check out our Recipe pages for some delicious, healthy vegan recipes, like our Sweet Potato Satay Curry. This delicious Southeast Asian comfort food is tasty and warming, and can be whipped up in 45 minutes! It goes great with white or brown rice, so just take your pick.
Buddha Bowls allow you to get really creative and work really well with a layer of rice. They’re notoriously healthy, packed full of flavour and are real showstoppers. Check out our Buddha Bowl recipe for a little inspiration, and then shake things up with a little of whatever you fancy.
For other great recipes, browse our brilliant Vegan Recipe Section, with new recipes being added all the time!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Goes with Vegan Rice?
A better question is what doesn’t go with vegan rice! Plain, steamed rice has no strong flavour of its own. Often described as mildly nutty, vegan rice absorbs the other flavours in the dish, usually allowing you to add bulk for a more satisfying meal.
Rice is commonly used in savoury dishes cooked throughout the world. From stir-fries, curries and sushi in Asia to risotto in Europe and burritos in South America. Take a step outside the savoury arena, and you’ll even find rice used in sweet dishes like rice pudding and sticky mango rice. In fact, the only limitation is your imagination (and what’s in your kitchen cupboard!)
Which Type of Rice is More Healthy?
Vegan rice, particularly brown vegan rice, is primarily made up of carbohydrates. Brown rice, with its bran and germ, is generally higher in fibre and lower in sugar than white rice. Fibre is important in our diets as it is thought to help to keep our digestive tract working properly, as well as helping us to feel satiated more quickly.
Black rice has been shown to contain more antioxidants than other varieties of rice. Red rice and wild rice are also typically more nutritious than white rice, with higher fibre and protein content. In fact, most varieties of rice are healthier than white rice since it has typically had its husk removed, where the majority of nutritional content is stored.
Whilst not strictly rice, there are a variety of rice substitutes, such as Eat Water’s Slim Rice. Slim Rice is low in calories and contains no carbs, no fat and no sugar, which makes it a great rice alternative when you’re watching what you eat.
What is Organic Wild Rice?
Surprisingly, wild rice is not actually a true variety of rice. Since wild rice is the seed of aquatic grass, in the same way that rice is the seed of a species of grass, wild rice is often grouped together with rice on the supermarket shelf.
Wild rice grains tend to be longer than normal rice grains. However, the taste and texture of wild rice are very similar to normal rice. Organic wild rice tends to have more nutritional benefits than normal rice, such as more protein and fibre. If you want the best of both worlds, then try Biona’s Organic Wild Rice Mix, which combines Italian Camargue red rice and Canadian wild rice for a delicious and nutritious blend.
Is Red Lentil Rice Healthy?
Red lentils are known to be highly nutritious. In a vegan diet, they’re often a great source of iron, which can sometimes be lacking from other food sources. Red lentil rice, like Mr Organic’s Organic Red Lentil Rice, is made from red lentil flour. It looks just like rice but is made from red lentil flour, so you’re getting all the nutritional benefits of lentils such as fibre, iron and protein. It’s low in fat, gluten-free and filling, which makes it a great product to have in your cupboard when you need to shake things up a bit.