Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Rice flour is simply a flour that is made from rice. It is milder, finer and is better to digest than the usual wheat flour. Rice flour is often the chosen substitute for people who are gluten intolerant.
Rice is a staple food of many Asian countries such as Japan, China, Philippines, Thailand and India. Rice flour is mainly used as an ingredient for making bread, noodles and sweets. Rice flour is also a great thickener for many recipes especially in sauces and gravies.
Although rice flour has been mainly used as a food ingredient, it also has medicinal properties that have been used in many Southeast Asian countries for centuries.
History and Origin
Rice flour has been an important food ingredient in many countries that consider rice as a staple food. Rice is grown in many countries that have favorable warm and wet weather combination. Rice flour is also considered a healthier substitute for wheat flour which is more fattening and harder to digest and utilized by the body.
The consumption of rice is well documented during ancient times especially in countries found in the Asian region. Growing rice and the development of many varieties of this plant dates back to the ancient times when rice was considered a valuable commodity.
The use of rice flour has been developed to include many types of food products like noodles, desserts and sweets. In 1980’s the usage of rice flour was brought to the Western world and it was soon the main ingredient in breakfast cereals, chips, crackers, snack foods and cookies. Because of the high quality of rice flour it has been considered as an ingredient in many famous cuisines and in baking as well. Rice flour is light, easy to digest and is compatible with almost every type of wheat flour recipes; it was seen as a better alternative to wheat flour completely. Rice flour is also used in coating chicken batter and can be seen as a thickener in many types of recipes, sauces and even in ready to prepare gravy.
The types of rice flour have also begun to develop; medium grain rice flour is also used to make a lighter texture in recipes and in baking. Rice flour is also a great replacement for cornstarch.
Even with the latest development in the use of rice flour in cooking, baking and in the manufacturing industry, it is still being used as an ingredient in many traditional food in Asia and in Southeast Asia. Mochi is made from mochiko a finely milled rice flour variety which is a favorite Japanese sweet. Rice flour is used in China for pastries, sweets and also in making wine. In India rice is eaten with delicious dishes that include idli, neer dosa and also gulab jamin.
There are no noted side effects in the use of rice flour and the consumption of rice. Rice is considered to be rich in fiber that contributes to a healthy colon and eventually a healthy digestive tract.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan