Brown rice is too healthy to only be served as a dinner side dish. Veg Kitchen notes that it is packed with many key nutrients, including selenium, manganese, whole grains, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which can reduce your risk for certain cancers and heart disease while promoting weight loss. If you’d like to start using brown rice as more than just a simple supper side, we’ve compiled 5 recipes that use the healthy whole grain to create snacks that are satisfying and nutritious. Keep reading to discover the delicious bars, cookies, and crackers you can make using brown rice.
1. Brown Rice Bars
Shape’s vegan Brown Rice Bars work wonderfully as a post-workout snack or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The recipe yields 6 servings, with each containing 210 calories, 7 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. Men’s Fitness explains that brown rice is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth.
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 6 prunes
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup raw almonds
- ¼ cup brown rice protein powder
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Directions: Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend for 20 to 30 seconds. Spread mixture evenly into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and freeze for 35 minutes. Remove from freezer and cut into 6 pieces. If you’d prefer a drier consistency, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit after taking out of the freezer.
2. Parmesan-Rice Crisps
The next time you need a snack that has a satisfying crunch to it, reach for Food & Wine’s Parmesan-Rice Crisps, which are made from brown and wild rice. Filled with rich flavors and a great texture, these crisps are a great substitute for unhealthy chips and crackers. We suggest serving them with Taste of Home’s Sun-Dried Tomato and Parmesan Spread.
- 1 cup brown rice
- ¼ cup wild rice
- ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add both the brown rice and the wild rice to the boiling water, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice mixture is very soft, about 55 minutes. Drain the rice mixture and spread it on a platter, then let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the cooled rice mixture until it is coarsely chopped and sticky. Scrape the chopped rice mixture into a large bowl and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese until well blended.
Season the rice mixture with salt and pepper. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Scoop ½ cup of the rice mixture onto one half of the prepared cookie sheet and pat it into a disk. Cover the rice disk with plastic wrap, then press or roll it out to a very thin 7-by-10-inch rectangle. Repeat on the other half of the cookie sheet. Bake the rice crisps in the lower third of the oven for about 12 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Using a spatula, carefully transfer the parchment paper with the crisps to a wire rack and let the crisps cool completely. Repeat with the remaining rice.
3. Soft and Chewy Chocolate Brown Rice Cookies
Brown rice is used to create Babble’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Brown Rice Cookies, a sweet and healthy treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth any time of the day. The recipe yields 1½ to 2 dozen cookies. If you don’t have any already-cooked brown rice on hand, Steamy Kitchen shows you how to quickly make some in the microwave.
- ½ cup butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour
- ¼ cup cocoa
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice, cooled
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and stir until almost blended. Add the rice, chocolate, and cherries or cranberries and stir just until combined.
Drop spoonfuls onto a sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheet, and if you like, flatten them a little with dampened hands. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until set around the edges but still soft in the middle. Cool on the sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
4. Greek Yogurt With Brown Rice, Chia Seeds, Nuts, and Fruit
Moni Meals presents an energizing yogurt parfait that will leave you feeling full and satisfied. Greek Yogurt With Brown Rice, Chia Seeds, Nuts, and Fruit contains omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium, along with many other key nutrients. In addition, The World’s Healthiest Foods says the oil in brown rice can help lower your bad cholesterol, thus reducing your risk for cardiovascular disease.
- 1 individual-size container Greek yogurt
- Dash of cinnamon
- ½ tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup brown rice, cooked
- ¼ cup dried fruit, divided
- 2 to 3 tablespoons walnuts, divided
- Drizzle of agave, honey, or maple syrup
Directions: Place yogurt in a dish and stir in a dash or two of cinnamon and chia seeds; mix well. In a separate dish, layer the bottom with half the yogurt. Add the full amount of brown rice, then half of the dried fruit, then sprinkle with half of the nuts. Repeat layer. Top with remaining dried fruit and walnuts. Garnish with some extra chia seeds and drizzle with your choice of agave, honey, or maple syrup.
5. Puffed Brown Rice Treats
Four ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time are all you need to make The Dr. Oz Show’s Puffed Brown Rice Treats. The hardest part of this recipe is practicing patience while your bars set in the refrigerator. This kid-friendly recipe is a great alternative to Rice Krispies treats!
- 7 cups puffed brown rice
- 1½ cups organic peanut butter
- ⅔ cup agave nectar
- 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
Directions: Prepare a 9-inch square pan by criss-crossing wax paper with a 5-inch overlap on each side. Pour the puffed rice into a large bowl; set aside. Melt the peanut butter and agave nectar over low heat until liquid. Stir together well, then add the vanilla extract. Continue stirring until all ingredients are well incorporated. Combine the peanut butter mixture with the puffed rice and mix well. Pour into the prepared pan. Fold over the wax paper overhang and press down hard to firm up the treats. Refrigerate treats for a few hours before cutting into squares.