Grains, Rice & Beans
Rice and grains have been a staple for the majority of the planet for thousands of years. This is because of one very simple reason… they’re awesome! They are healthy, nutritious, affordable, and can be used as a foundation in a variety of wonderful dishes in all types of cuisine.
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A healthy lifestyle starts with what we put in our bodies and rice, grains and beans are the perfect staples for any vegans pantry. Make sure you are always well prepared for whatever life throws your way!
High in Fiber and Easier to Digest
It’s a win-win situation - your body and your wallet will thank you when you start incorporating whole grains, organic grains, and high protein grains into your vegan diet.
So where should you start? Split peas, lentils, and beans are all versatile high protein legumes and a great source of fiber (which helps digestion). Beans have been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, improve gut health, and most importantly… they’re really quick to make! Keep a few cans ready to cook up a healthy meal on those weeknights when you just don’t have the energy.
When it comes to grains, think organic grains and whole grains. As a general rule, whole grain is less processed and therefore more nutrition-dense. It also keeps you fuller for longer! Switching your normal wheat pasta, noodles, and potatoes to grains can help give you steadier glucose levels, more nutrition, and a healthier gut.
A Guide to the Best Types of Grains
Whether you are new to eating a plant-based diet or a hardcore vegan veteran, for some reason these nutrition-packed versatile grains do not get the attention and respect they deserve. Let’s change that!
The most starchy of all the kinds of rice! It gets clumpy, creamy, and sticky and it’s perfect for eating with your hands or chopsticks. Often used in Asian cuisines as well as Spanish food (who doesn’t like paella?) and even in desserts such as rice pudding. Looking for a healthier option? Try this organic Short Grain Brown Rice from Lundberg.
The perfect medium. It gets fluffy, even though it still tends to clump together when it’s cooled down. This is what they call ‘table rice’ in parts of Asia. It is also used to make risottos (you’d want Arborio rice for that, why not go for Arborio Rice from Cucina & Amore).
This is the longest as well as the most aromatic type of rice. There are many different types all with their own individual textures such as Jasmine and Basmati, and all are fairly low in starch. Ralston Family Farms has a great organic selection!
This is the healthy go-to staple for people with gluten intolerance. Quinoa is a delicious grain packed with protein and it contains all nine essential amino acids. Its subtle nutty flavor is perfect for salads, bowls, and stews - even porridge! Try Organic Whole Grain Quinoa from Eden Foods. Now please remind us why this little superfood grain is not in your pantry yet?
Although some herald couscous as a pasta (well… maybe technically it is, but that’s like saying tomatoes are fruits when we all know what aisle they belong to in the supermarket) this little grain isn’t to be trifled with. Full of fiber, good for your gut health, and on top of that, all you have to do is add water. Near East Couscous Original is perfect for them weeknight meals when you’re in a rush.
Farro isn’t as well known as the other two but it’s still very nutritious. It’s full of antioxidants, a great source of protein, and also perfect for adding to soups and stews. Another great stable for any vegan who wants to add more protein to their diet. Take your Italian night to the next level with Whole Grain Farro Pasta from Rustichella d’Abruzzo.
Our Top Products to Try
Near East - Pearled Couscous, Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil
We’re in love! This hearty couscous comes with larger pearls which absorb flavor better. It’s made with herbs, garlic, and olive oil and is ready in just 14 minutes. It goes amazingly with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine. Or make it into a stand-alone salad with roasted vegetables, olives, and vegan feta cheese? Yum!
Go green with organic split peas! These dried gems make a super versatile and nutritious pantry staple. They’re high in protein and fiber and have a sweet flavor that takes any soup, salad, or side dish to the next level.
Three Farmers - Crunchy Little Lentils
This roasted lentil snack is a game changer! Comes in four crowd-pleasing flavors and each bag has 12g of protein, is low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and contains no artificial ingredients. Snack away, add to salads, or swirl into soups.
Grain Trust - Hibachi Fried Rice
Transport yourself to Japan in just 3 minutes! Perfect when you're short on time but still crave a flavor explosion. This balanced blend of white rice, vegetables, and seasonings gives you an authentic hibachi-style blend of fried rice.
This organic ancient grain rice is perfect when you don’t want to compromise! It’s packed with nutrition (the deep purple color comes from high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanin), 100% organic AND looks amazing together with a colorful stew or curry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do grains, rice and beans contain preservatives?
Grains, rice, and beans are often free from preservatives and colorings, especially here at PlantX! We have a wide selection of organic grains and beans to make it easy to enjoy natural foods and keep unnecessary additives to a minimum! Just check the label to make sure you pick an organic product.
Are all your grains, rice, and beans gluten-free?
No, some grains like couscous and barley come from wheat and contain gluten. For the rest, we can’t guarantee that they’re all free from gluten. Although rice and beans are naturally gluten-free, some brands use production facilities that handle other products as well. Always do your research and check the individual label to be on the safe side!
Do all your grains, rice and beans need to be soaked before use?
Not at all! Of course, you can get dried grains, beans, and legumes that need to be soaked before cooking (and these are generally more affordable if you’re looking to save a few dollars), but many products today come ready to use! From tinned beans to pre-cooked rice - just add it straight to your meal or bring it to boil directly. There is no general rule, but there are a lot of options! Just follow the cooking instructions on your packet.
Are your grains, rice, and beans color and polish-free?
The majority of our products are organic and only use eco-friendly methods in the production process. We think all-natural is the way to go! Just make sure to check the individual label to make sure your next batch of high protein grains or beans are color and polish free.
What’s the difference between brown and white rice?
Glad you asked! So the basic difference is that brown rice is a whole grain. In other words, it still contains the bran and the germ. This is what gives it that chewy and slightly nutty flavor.
White rice has had the germ and bran removed. This is why it doesn’t have as many nutrients as brown rice but it does have a softer texture and cooks quicker. Brown rice also tends to be more difficult for your digestive system to break down. Remember, although brown rice is slightly better for you, white rice is still perfect for a healthy vegan diet. Just make sure you always add lots of fresh vegetables and you’re good to go!
Do I need to wash my rice?
Many people have different opinions on this topic. Whether it’s cultural differences or you’re just following your grandma’s secret family recipe and she swore you not to, there is no complete right or wrong answer. Rinsing it with just cold water a few times will help get rid of excess starch as well as make sure your rice has a consistent texture. Unless your particular recipe has told you not to, we would always recommend giving it a rinse.