Gluten-Free Grains In The Rice Cooker

Rice-Cooker Amaranth Cereal

Until now I have been wary of using a rice cooker, because of the toxic chemicals in the non-stick coating. However, last week I bought a new rice cooker with a stainless steel bowl and it is changing my cooking world.  Not only does it cook perfect brown rice, but I’ve discovered it can cook all kinds of gluten-free grains easily in one no-mess, low-maintenance pot.

No, I have not received any compensation from the company for promoting this rice cooker, but here it is – the Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker. They come in two sizes; this compact one makes up to 6 cups of cooked rice or other grains and is perfect for making small batches of hot cereal like the amaranth porridge, above.

I love to have a steaming bowl of hot amaranth or teff cereal on a crisp morning but making it on the stove top requires a lot of stirring and leaves a huge mess afterward in the pan and on the stove. So today I tried it in the rice cooker instead, and it was a simple two-step process: add the ingredients and set to cook. That’s all. Leave it alone until the button pops up to let you know it is done. It took about a half hour altogether, so you can take a shower or read the paper or whatever. (Now I can keep my eyes on my 6-month-old without having to constantly keep an eye on the stove.) And it cleans up easily.  You would think that stainless steel would be messier than non-stick, but au contraire. This one comes with a wooden spatula that scrapes the food cleanly from the bottom, where it wasn’t really that sticky anyway.

It’s easy to cook grains in the rice cooker. All you have to do is measure 1/4 cup of dry grains per serving, and then fill up to the water line on the bowl for that number of servings. (Note: If you’re making quinoa, be sure to rinse the grains well first. Also, use about 1/3 less water.) Add a pinch of sea salt and a pat of butter or a bit of olive or coconut oil and set to start. Once it begins to boil, it will cook for about the same amount of time you would cook it on the stove top. It automatically figures out when it is done and shuts off, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Recipe Ideas: If you’re making a breakfast porridge, add some cinnamon or raisins or dates or walnuts. Or all of the above. Be creative. I’m going to have fun coming up with some fun recipes for more savory meals in the coming weeks. Look for more posts to come and let me know if you have any great rice-cooker recipe ideas!

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