Although it is called "wild rice," this product is actually the seed of a type of marsh grass that is native to the Great Lakes area, including northern Minnesota. Similar to brown rice, it takes about an hour to cook and has a nutty flavor. Wild rice is high in protein and carb content, but low in fat, according to a report from the University of Wisconsin Extension.
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There are actually two types of wild rice, the original wild version from the Great Lakes and a hybrid version grown in California and Idaho in the United States and Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan in Canada, according to the Holland and Barrett website. Many stores also sell rice mixes that include wild rice mixed with other types of rice to get a milder taste.
A 1-cup serving of wild rice has 165 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, .55 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 21 percent of the daily value for folate, 17 percent of the DV for manganese, 15 percent of the DV for zinc, 13 percent of the DV for magnesium, 11 percent of the DVs for phosphorus, magnesium and niacin, and 7 percent of the DV for iron. Wild rice has more protein, fiber, iron and copper but less fat, zinc, manganese and calcium than brown rice, according to the Alternative Field Crops Manual.
The vitamin and mineral content of wild rice is comparable to that of other grains, making it a good alternative to get more variety in your diet. It is high in the B-vitamins niacin, riboflavin and thiamine, as well as potassium and phosphorus. It is a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids, although it is a bit low in lysine.
Wild rice is not as easy to find in stores and tends to be more expensive than white or brown rice. This is partly due to lower availability and the harvesting process, which is sometimes done by hand, especially in the Great Lakes area.
Lakes that previously didn't grow wild rice are now being seeded in Canada, and some European countries are looking into the possibility of growing this crop as well, according to the Alternative Field Crops Manual. This will increase the availability of this crop, and as it becomes more available, wild rice will most likely become less expensive.