Wild Rice Is Not Actually Rice – True or False?

Wild rice is cooked and eaten the same way as many types of rice, and it has a few different names, such as Indian Rice, Canadian Rice and water oats.

Wild Rice Is Not Actually Rice - True or False?

While it can be found growing wild in some lakes and slow moving streams, most wild rice today is cultivated. Wild rice is not actually rice – true or false? If you said ‘true’, you would be correct! Because of the various names, people think it is a type of rice. Wild rice is neither rice nor a grain, even though it is called rice and is most often consumed the same way as both rice and grains. It is actually a grass, from the aquatic grass seed Zizania.

When cooked, wild rice has a slightly chewy texture and could also have a nutty flavor. Raw wild rice can be made into flour and used in gluten free baking.

Even though wild rice is not a grain, the nutrition it contains is similar to some whole grains. Since it contains all the essential amino acids, it is a complete protein. Wild rice is easily to digest.

Here are some of the nutrients it contains:

  • Fiber from complex carbohydrates
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • B vitamins – thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
  • Antioxidants


10 Wild rice trivia facts… Wild rice:

  1. grows in water that is between two and four feet deep.
  2. is an alkaline forming food.
  3. is classified as a pseudograin (seed).
  4. has more nutrients than other forms of rice.
  5. has twice as much protein as regular rice.
  6. contains more calcium, B Vitamins, phosphorus and iron than brown rice.
  7. does not contain cholesterol or sodium.
  8. is low in fat and low in calories.
  9. is the official state grain of Minnesota.
  10. grows wild in Canada and in almost every state in the USA.

One final, interesting bit of wild rice trivia:

Wild rice can be popped just like popcorn! Who knew?? Use a hot frying pan, a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil and about ½ cup of wild rice. Shake the pan vigorously to coat the rice with the oil; keep shaking the pan – you will hear the rice popping; continue to shake the pan until the popping has stopped.

Popped wild rice makes a healthy snack or a healthy, crunchy addition to salads. Suggestion: Try popped wild rice in place of croutons – ideal for those who are celiac or have a gluten free diet.

Interested in changing up your diet a little by adding some new, healthy foods to your cooking repertoire? Contact me, and let’s chat!


Info Resources:

Localfoods.about.com Popped Wild Rice


Whole Grains Council


Copyright © 2015 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved