I just love new food discoveries. You’d think after so many years of experimenting, the fresh ideas and light bulb moments would be few and far between, but I have to say, with utter glee, that this is not the case.
My latest and greatest breakthrough has been sprouting wild rice. As someone who likes to eat predominantly raw food in the warmer months, and avoid turning on the stove, this technique has seen me through the last few weeks with great delight.
The process of sprouting wild rice is very simple, however, requires a little planning ahead. From raw rice to a fully “bloomed”, edible product, you’re looking at 2-3 days, most of that time being spent doing everything except fussing over your future meal. All it takes is a little soaking time, then a few rinses twice a day until the seeds have opened up. This process is called “blooming” because the seeds actually unfold, very much like little petals, revealing the pale, tender insides. It’s a really fun thing to watch, however slowly, and totally groovy to eat something you’ve seen transform just with the power of water and a little patience.
Let’s get Wild!
Wild rice is not a rice or grain at all in fact, but the seed of aquatic grass that grows along the shores of freshwater lakes in Canada and the Northern US. It’s a little more expensive than other rice varieties, but that is because it is often harvested by hand. So cool!
Wild rice is also, of course, wildly nutritious. Containing high levels of protein, fiber, iron, and calcium, wild rice is also gluten-free. It is extremely high in folic acid, an essential B-complex vitamin lacking in many people’s diets. Just half a cup of cooked wild rice yields 21.3 mcg of folic acid, where brown rice offers only 3.9 mcg. The niacin content of wild rice is also notably high with l.06 mg for 1/2 cup cooked. Potassium packs an 83 mg punch, and zinc, which is usually available in trace amounts, registers 1.1 mg.
Wild rice is a wonderful alternative to any grain that you would use in either hot or cold dishes. My favourite is just to use it in hearty salads, like the recipe I have for you today. It’s rich, nutty flavour pairs well with other earthy foods like beets, sweet potato, pumpkins and squash. As we are slowly working our way into autumn (eek!) you’ll notice those veggies showing up in the market more and more.
This salad took advantage of all the amazing produce that is in the garden right now: a rainbow of beets (the Chioggia variety are my favourite – so psychedelic!), as well as purple onions, and fresh herbs. I also added sunflower seeds for crunch, which you can also soak, but just overnight. The dressing I made is a potent ginger blend that is super lively and bright! I love ginger and beets together, as the feisty tuber’s fire contrasts so well against the earthy flavour of beetroots. Simply gorgeous!
Sprouted Wild Rice and Beet Salad with Ginger Dressing
1 cup / 160g raw wild rice, soaked for 2-3 days (will yield about 2-3 cups)
6-8 small beets in various colours, if possible.
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
1/3 cup each parsley and mint, leaves only, chopped
a couple spring onions or 1 small red onion, sliced
sprouts to serve, if desired
2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. maple syrup or raw honey
1 ½ Tbsp. minced ginger
pinch of salt to taste
1. Rinse rice well and place in a glass jar or bowl with fresh, pure water. Let soak outside of the fridge overnight. In the morning drain and rinse the rice, then cover with fresh water and put in the fridge. Drain and rinse the rice at least twice per day for 2-3 days until the rice has “bloomed” – some or all of the grains will have split open, and it should be tender to eat.
2. Once you have sprouted the rice, drain and rinse and place in a large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together, then pour half over the rice and fold to coat.
3. Peel beets. Using a mandoline or shape knife, slice beets into thin rounds. Place in the bowl with rice and remaining ingredients. Pour the rest of the dressing over and toss. Garnish with sprouts and mint flowers, if you have some. Serve immediately.
Note: if your rice remains crunchy and none of the grains split after 3 days, your rice might be too old for the sprouting method. Instead, simply boil the rice you’ve tried to sprout, and it should cook in 15-20 minutes. Then buy some new rice and make sure to check the packing and expiry dates before purchasing to ensure freshness. Give it another shot!
Don’ forget to check out this month’s issue of O Magazine for Oprah’s WOW! list…I’ve somehow made the cut along with self-stirring pots and the comet of the century.
62 thoughts on “Sprouted Wild Rice and Beet Salad”
Hello! I’m just wondering how long the rice keeps for once sprouted? If in a sealed container in the fridge will it be OK for a few days? Thank you!
ALL wild rice MUST be heat-treated, or it will mold once harvested. (Even that harvested by Indians, eg, the Ojibwes, on reservations.) As a result, it is NOT RAW, thus has no enzymes to work with the complementary enzymes in our bodies to EXTRACT the rice’s nutrients. Sprouted nuts/grains always have a small new root which develops from being soaked;there is none is soaked wild rice because IT IS DEAD. Very little of the nutrients in unsprouted nuts & seeds are available to our bodies, because of the “enzyme inhibitors” which nature gives them, to prevent their releasing their life force unless they are immersed in enough water (& for long enough) to sense that they will sprout, – that their precious life-force will not be be wasted. After sprouted for sufficient time (based on their density), they must be rinsed thoroughly to remove the enzyme inhibitors which have been removed by soaking,
This dark colored Wild Rice does not sprout because at the time of harvesting it’s “heated” to remove the outer husk. As such, it is not raw. When the processed wild rice is soaked in water, the blooming that happens is simply the water being absorbed and making the rice burst open.
Not every grain, seed, or nut we purchase from stores are raw.
Wild Rice is either parboiled or parched to make it shelf stable so some would consider this pre-cooked and not raw. A Scarified Wild rice will split open when soaked as it has tiny scratches in the kernel allowing the water to absorbed. If it is not scarified it will not burst open even if it is freshly milled.
Looks yummy and your recipes are so helpful to those trying to venture into healthier eating with real food. Thank you.
Thanks , I have just been searching for information about
this topic for a while and yours is the best I have found out
till now. But, what about the conclusion? Are you certain about the supply?
I was recently introduced to your blog and this salad is beautiful! can’t wait to try it!
Oh wow!!! Sprouted wild rice! I absolutely love your photos/recipe…
Beautiful post as always! Sprouting is such a great way to get raw protein into our diets!
Two small corrections, though.
Wild rice most certainly is a grain. It’s not Asian rice, though it is closely related (in the same sub-family). Grains include cereals, legumes, and other hard little seeds like quinoa and buckwheat. You might be thinking of cereal grains, which is a more limited group – wheat, rice, corn, rye, barley, etc. – but actually wild rice is a cereal grain as well.
Also, it’s a bit strange to say that its natural distribution is Canada and Northern US. As you know, Canada is gigantic (the size of all of Europe). Wild rice is definitely not found throughout the country and is limited to the south central and east. The distribution in the US is possibly even bigger – being found in varying forms throughout most of the eastern half of the country.
Hope that’s interesting and of use. Thank you for your posts!
I made this for dinner tonight and it was just lovely. I added slivered radishes that I had on hand and it gave it a little extra kick. Thank you for the recipe and for teaching us a new technique!
I really want to make this, but have a quick question: When you say cover the rice with water in a glass jar, do you also cover the jar with a lid before refrigerating? Thanks.
Looks gorgeous:) Soaking is so great for optimal digestion. And yes I just noticed you hiding in the pages of Oprah that I actually took the indulgent time this month to go thru- every single page! Big congrats to you! and may the tribe and the good word of healthy eating continue to grow. Hope you and that wee ‘babe to be’ are well:)
Sarah – You always manage to come up with the most appropriately timed recipes. I made this last week and you’re right, the dressing and punch from the ginger pairs very well with the beets. Who knew! Thanks again for the creativity and inspiration. Hoping it’s been a rejuvenating and uplifting visit home. 🙂
Wow, what a lovely salad! This looks fantastic 🙂
Those beets are just gorgeous! I love using sprouting rice in recipes, much easier on digestion 🙂
Wow, not much a salad person but if it was available here I’d totally order this. I made the habit of dining out at a Chinese Restaurant in Capalaba area because of the veggie dishes but if I can whip up something like this then I won’t need to eat out lol
Started soaking my rice 3 days ago and enjoyed this salad for dinner tonight. I was delighted by how much mellower the wild rice tasted after sprouting. No mint, but I added a shredded apple. Delicious! I love when a recipe surprises me by how great the seemingly disparate ingredients come together to create magic! I’ll definitely make this one again. Good job 🙂
I’ve just ‘discovered’ your blog and I’ve just baked my first wholefood Bananabread, it’s lovely! The real deal cereal makes my day every day and I want to thank you for your inspiration. It’s my birthday in two months so I’ve started preparing various raw and wholefood cakes/pies/tarts on your website. My guests will be able to enjoy my cookings without worrying about their health! Yay! And who knows: maybe I will inspire someone new!
All the best from the Netherlands,
Such a yummy looking dish! I have been trying to incorporate more beets into my diet and I can’t wait to make this!
Beautiful Sarah! Your wild rice, butter bean and galic roasted carrot salad is a favourite dish of mine – can’t wait to try this dish and see how the wild rice tastes sprouted for a change xxx
This looks so fabulous. I’ve been trying out sprouting with all sorts of seeds, legumes and grains recently and haven’t done wild rice yet. I love it cooked and am sure I’ll love it this way too.
I love your blog, absolutely stuffed with interesting material that i could read like a book!
i was wondering, because there are so many chemicals in so many cosmetic products, from which brands do you buy your cosmetic products (assuming you use them) from? thanks
best wishes to you and your family
oh yum! been on a beet kick lately
Wow. What a beautiful salad! I have just recently stumbled across your blog & have really enjoyed all of the posts. Thank you for sharing about healthy eating. 🙂
Congrats on the O mention! You totally deserve it! I’ve never sprouted rice before, but totally going to try it! Thanks, Alex
This makes me sweat. The sexy kind.
This looks like a healthy addition to my detox plan that I will try to start soon. And who would have know that about wild rice?!
This looks gorgeous!
This is a beautiful dish! I’ve never been a wild rice fan, but this sounds tasty-think I will try it. I also love beets & ginger; you may enjoy my Beet Namasu recipe posted on my blog mauigirlcooks.wordpress.com.
That is so cool – I never thought that sprouting wild rice would be that easy! Now I will definitely try it over the next days. What a nutritious little seed 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration.
Well, duh, you’re always on our WOW list! Never thought of sprouting wild rice AND you’ve reminded me how much I love – and have neglected – ginger-y dressings, so thank you x
Looks delicious! Thanks for all of the nutrient/background info on wild rice!
awesome. love your blog!
Dang, who knew wild rice wasn’t rice?! I need to make it more for sure. Love this salad!
This has to be one of the prettiest salads I’ve ever seen, hands down! Love those amazing striated beets with the shiny dark wild rice. 🙂
I share your ‘eek!’ for autumn! It comes every year but I can never contain my child-like squeals of delight when I first see autumn-y produce at the market.
Yes, wild rice is wonderful, I have a hand-harvested local variety in my pantry right now. I anticipate some fun with it in the near future. 🙂
I’ve be teetering around with the idea of starting to sprout my own seeds, nuts and grains, and this recipe is going to give me the push I need to give it a try! The colours, textures and flavours have got my mouth watering. I always love finding new ways to prepare old favourites!
I’ve been eating Chioggia from my parents’ allotment this week – psychedelic is right! I also would love to know if you can eat brown rice (or red) sprouted and raw…
My most recent CSA box had beets in it, and now I have an amazing recipe to make with them! I’m new to ‘sprouting’ grains and am anxious to try it with wild rice. A number of years ago, I was made aware that most wild rice on the market is ‘cultivated’, different from the wild rice harvested by hand. There are online sites that carry the hand-harvested wild rice, said to be a far superior product.
You continue to inspire me to try new dishes and reinvent old recipes to make them healthier. Thank you!
You are my favorite blogger, and when I read that blurb in Oprah magazine on the plane I almost jumped out of my seat! I was so excited for you. Congratulations! I visit your blog time and time again; I make your recipes every week. Keep up the incredible work!
This could not have come at a more perfect moment. I just said today that I was going to experiment with soaking grains for raw dishes! I can’t wait to give this a shot. And I have always loved wild rice. The flavor cannot be beat!
Amazing! Just half an hour ago I wondered if sprouting wild rice would work. I’ll definitly give it a try very soon! And would it work with brown rice as well?
BEAUTIFUL especially with the bright raw beets!!! It’s totally my kind of salad. I also love to sprout grains, seeds, and nuts for my everyday salads, which make it easier to digest not to mention the amount of living nutrients packed in them along with the crunchy & fresh bite.
Btw, I made your Miraculous Summer Crêpes last week for lunch and we ate them with savory & sweet fillings, my kids had a kick at the green color. I actually added a little bit more water because my buckwheat flour was darker and made the mixture rather thick. Nevertheless, it was delicious! Thanks again beautiful Mama-to-be.
that dressing sounds dynamite! and what gorgeous photos!
Do you know if sprouting the wild rice changes any of it’s nutritional content? Does it have any benefits or is it just fun and different:)
I’ve been meaning to ask for a while but do you have any recommended shops in Cph? I’ve never seen half the stuff you have on here (and your produce looks so much nicer than the stuff I see in my local shops) 🙂
Yum! I have unfortunately never had wild rice before, but it’s on my to-eat list. Sometime soon! I’ve heard wonderful things about it, and I think I would really enjoy watching the wild rice bloom, too!