Monday, January 10, 2011


If you are like me, when you hear the word, "forbidden”, it immediately sparks the curiosity gene and I need to know the "whys." Of course if "forbidden” is against the law, I am quite compliant. I have never felt laws were designed to irritate me or restrict me but to protect me and others from me.

I was mostly raised with the parental commands of “we don't want you to, we'd rather you didn't, and you are stupid if you do.” I don't ever recall the term “forbidden” being used in my family. Forbidden seems to come under the “apple in the Garden of Eden,” category. I mean, that is a huge word.

Recently on Dr. Oz and also on morning news programs, the term “forbidden” kept coming up. It was attached to a bag of rice. Forbidden Rice was so named in ancient China as the rice that was only to be eaten by the Emperor, thus it was forbidden to the masses.
What science has discovered is that this is not only a very superior rice, it has amazing nutritional values. It is black in color and turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its high anthocyanin content which has powerful antioxidant properties. It has a relatively high mineral content (including iron) and, like most rice, supplies several important amino acids.

According to a study presented by the American Chemical Society, “one spoonful of black rice bran contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries and better yet, black rice offers more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants, but less sugar." The rice contains more vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc than white rice. Wow, a miracle food.

Reading all this pretty much convinced me it must be blah tasting. Tofu comes to mind. Usually anything that good for you is not as appealing as say, good ole comfort food. But I do have a curious nature and decided to try. What could it hurt? Besides, I did make a resolution to make better food choices.

You won't find this at Walmart or even most grocery stores. Health food stores or the Internet are your best bet. A friend picked up mine for me on her away trip from this tiny town (thanks Jules). Then it sat in my cupboard untouched. New Years day came along with the "clean slate-- try new things and the wish to improve food choices.” So out of the cupboard it came.

Dry, it slightly resembles rat poop. Cooked, it is a dead ringer for that disgusting dropping. I looked at it and was really feeling a thick blockage in my throat. I couldn't help but think this was some kind of sick joke.

Perhaps a clever soul had figured a way to actually package rat poop and tout it as a health food. Trying to convince my closed throat that this was not the case and not wanting to be wasteful, I decided that maybe doctoring it up would erase that image. I still hadn't tasted it.

So I chopped some scallions to add to the black pellets and the bright green did help somewhat. I also like fruit in most everything so I threw in some dried cranberries. Well the red hardly showed up in all the blackish purple. The computer suggested roasted sweet potatoes or mango additions but I had no mango and the rice was really losing its heat so RSP were out.

Looking around for more help I decided to add some sunflower seeds and I sauteed them quickly in olive oil to put on top of my growing dish. Finally, I drizzled just a tad of the warm olive oil over the concoction and sprinkled a little sea salt over the growing pile of food.

The kitchen sink was attached so I decided, this was all I was going to do. Pushing the rat poop image out of my mind, I took my first bite. Mercy, it was WONDERFUL. This has such a unique, nutty taste. It was something new and delightful to my happy taste buds.

I had made enough to use as a side dish for three meals but I ate all but a handful in one sitting. It became my whole meal. Meat was not even considered. I can only say that if you want to try something delightfully delicious and want to improve your health at the same time, try Forbidden Rice. This is so good, I would serve it to company that I wanted to impress.

One surprise benefit. Being full of fiber, it served two functions. It really "got things moving" the next day and oddly, I was full on a relatively small amount and remained full for the rest of the day.

Possibly a diet food?? Who knows. Anyway, if you can get past the rat poop image, give it a shot. Eat it plain or add your own goodies to it. It doesn't reheat well so I suggest only making what you intend to eat at one meal.



  1. Hilarious! I really should try it to disprove my general eating theory which is if it's , low fat,low sugar, low most anything and "good for me" its tasteless. Mmmm.

  2. okay, I guess I can try it. It does look like rat poop, but, with all you added to it, the rat poop actually looked pretty good.

  3. Fascinating. Now I'll have to look for some.

  4. Mike thinks I am the queen of unattractive food, so this is something I have to run right out and hunt down at the health food store. Your preparation sounds great.

  5. I have never seen rat poop, so I suppose it would be good for me to try this. Where did your friend buy it?

  6. The result looks great! In my country brown beans are eaten with bacon aan applesaus and a salad. Your dish reminds me of it.
    When I hear the word forbidden, I must try it. Years ago I read a book that was forbidden. I still don't know why, but then I belong to another religion. I only remember that the book was extremely boring.Anyway nobody forbids me anything.LOL!

  7. My Dear Patti,
    Get over the rat poop image, you say???? Yeah right! Who could ever do that now that it's been so delicately pointed out?

    Only kidding.... I've eaten all kinds of foods that resemble dumpster-diving in the name of good health.
    I've never tried forbidden rice nor have I even heard of it, but i'll surely give it a try on such a splendid recommendation. The picture really looks like a very expensive dish served at a Mediterrean restaurant. Good choice, Patti.

  8. Well, this kind of reminds me of the old "stone soup" tale, but if I ever see it, maybe I'll give it a try.

  9. I'm adding this to my "to try" list and will mention it to daughter. Thanks for the review.

  10. I'm gonna have to add this to my dietary bucket list. I don't think the color will be a problem. We here in the southwest eat, black beans and blue corn and they both to some look like rabbit pellets as do the pinon nuts we eat here as well. So you see I ain't afeared of no stinking rat droppings. Besides this sounds wonderful. Thanks for the lead on something new and tasty. The Olde Bagg, Linda

  11. Loved your Forbidden tale! Your amendments to the rice made a beautiful dish. Glad it tasted g.o.o.d. Thanks for the tip.

  12. You can make even "rat poop" rice sound interesting. I'm convinced. I'll have to try and find some and cook it up. Thanks for sharing. I thought your photo made the entire dish look quite tasty.

  13. Patti,
    A couple of things here; first off, since you were born in Ohio-where? I was born in Tiffin (northwest quadrant of the state) and secondly, YES, Nicholas was very happy with the outcome of the game, sorry to say for you.

    Thanks for the nice words on my scrapbooking...I love doing it and actually when I retire at the beach, I plan to open a place to do the scrapbooking for other folks because a lot of people just don't like to do it or don't have the time. so those are my dreams, as well as writing and publishing books.

    Okay, now onto your Umm, 'rat poop' I really have this thing with visual appeal and food...if it doesn't look 'right' I don't eat it so I'm afraid this would be one of those things. Before I met my husband who LOVES to cook, it was cereal and soup for me. He laughed at my choices of cuisine! And although I've widened my horizons, let's just say I am still limited on what I will put in my mouth! Anything chocolatey, gooey and sweet are in the 'YES' pile to eat, though. Which is why I think I need to lose 30 lobs; ummm, do you think there is a correlation?

  14. That looks delicious, patti! Definitely my kind of food. I will look for it at our local co-op. Yum!

  15. Patti I am laughing out loud at this post! But I can't wait to try it either. I'm snowed in at my sister's in Missouri so it might be a while before I can even get home since it snowed here and it snowed there but I'll be looking for that rice when I get out next. blessings, marlene

  16. Oh, what an informative and delicious post!!! I'm soo excited!!! I am a vegetarian...and allergic to most grains...and so I live off brown rice...but this sounds even better!!! Thank you! Thank you!!! Just stopping by to say, "hello!" And to give you my love, Janine xo

  17. I gotta try this stuff. Thanks for the tip, and the ideas of things to add. I need to bring some excitement to my cooking.

  18. "looks like rat poop" Ive got to try some of that :)

    An Arkies Musings

  19. Patti, are you sure you didn't throw some red-winged blackbirds into the mix?! ;-> Seriously, it actually looks good enough to eat. I, like you, am going to try eating healthy this year. So far, I've failed, sticking to my diet of Diet Coke and blueberry muffins. Thanks for the tip on how to "dress-up" the black rice, if I can find it in Salt Lake.

  20. troutbirder,
    Hay, I'm with you. This was a pleasant surprise.

    You know, most things can be dressed up--even me.

    RV Vagabonds.
    Think you will like it. Maybe by campfire, you won't notice what it looks like.

    It is homley but yummy. Tell Mike to close his eyes and dig in.

    She got it in a combo health food store and yummy bakery. Whole foods should have it.

    Reader Wil,
    How funny that your forbidden book was boring. Think we have been cut from the same cloth.

    Sure hope you can get past that image. It took me a bit. Just dress it up.

    Now I have to look up the "stone soup" tale. Hope you do try it.

    It really is good, I kid you not. Might be good for Bob.

    Linda in NM,
    Can't scare you off can I? I always wondered about blue corn. If you can try this, I will try that.

    Pat Arkansas,
    Really think you will like it Pat and it is so good for us.

    Retired English Teacher,
    It took a lot of fixing to get me to take that first bite. You won't be sorry.

    I was born in Youngstown but lived near a really small town,Ellsworth, on a lake most of my time in Ohio.
    If it would help, I can make chocolate as unappealing as rat poop.

    I thought you would have all ready tried it or would like it. You always eat such healthy things. Think you will love this.

    You had better stay put for a while. We finally got a bit of snow and expect a bit more tomorrow. I did just go to town so the roads are clear for now.

    Sniffles and Smiles,
    Then this is perfect for you. I was a brown rice person before but not now. Black is all I will eat. So good to hear from you. You are missed.

    I really don't think there is anything you can't put in this which is part of the beauty.

    Couldn't scare you off huh? Enjoy.

    Had to laugh at the bird reference. Surely they could do something with all those wings.

  21. ummm..pr0bably not a dish for church pot luck, but I would be willing to give it a try. :)

  22. I like purple potatoes, so maybe purple rice wouldn't be so odd...Plus, with all those nutritional pluses, how can we resist? I just wish you hadn't mentioned rat poop...

  23. Ohhh, I'm right there with this dish! I love, love, love whole grains. And I think your dish looks beautiful (guess I haven't really seen that much rat poop, so have no frame of reference).

    I'm getting some of this rice and trying it!

  24. I didn't know where you were going with this! I'm still chuckling at your "shooting marbles" comment the other day. I can see why you don't have that problem!

  25. I really enjoyed your introduction to Forbidden Rice. I had never heard of it before and not sure I would have tried it if I had. But now that you have told about your experience with it I am willing to give it a go. When I do try it and after reading your post I will be able to remember I am not eating rat poop but something that is good for me. Thank you, so much for letting me know about the rice. Hugs

  26. On my list to try, and to hunt down. Anything that tastes this good, and so good for you, needs to be on my pantry shelf. Thanks for bringing this miracle food to our attention.

  27. Oh My Goodness, I have never heard of that stuff.... I'm not much of a rice eater PERIOD--but I'm not sure I will EVER try this one. BUT--if I do, I'll do what you did and add a bunch of stuff to it...

    Thanks for sharing.

  28. I have had Forbidden Rice while dining out and have loved it! I don't remember that it was mixed with anything in particular, but I may be wrong.

    Good job working this recipe until you found something delightful! You don't give up easily.

  29. try this

    I've also read you need to soak the rice overnight.

  30. Oh I love rice, so glad you posted this I eat some Lundgren brown rice that is a bit red in color that is good and nutty too, but this sounds like a high grade of wild rice to me which I also love. Thanks so much. I'm going to have some of that forbidden fruit I mean rise, so weird I posted about an apple today and you have this post about the forbidden fruit. Ha. Rod Serling is alive and well.

  31. Dee,
    Yikes, you might be right though I was thinking of taking it to my next support pot luck. They are pretty game for what ever.

    I was torn but thought that you all might be wondering why I didn't warn you.

    Then I have no doubt you will love it. Being rat poop ignorant is a blessing.

    This would definitely eliminate any rock or marble episodes.

    Sorry about that image but I am sure you will like it. You can decorate it however you want.

    I know, what is not to like here especially since you can disguise the image.

    I saw a recipe with bananas sauteed in butter and pineapple that sounded really good. Of course the butter kind of negates the good.

    Ah, finally someone who has eaten it.Thanks for the link. I found that soaking cuts down on cooking time but is not necessary.

    Linda Starr,
    It is that word "forbidden" that takes us to another time. Enjoy.

  32. AP,
    You had me nearly gagging before you showed the rice. However, forbidden on something usually piques my interest. I'm really miffed that they are starting to ban books again. I guess I'd better get out and start buying Harper Lee's book, and Tom Sawyer and all the rest on the list. Makes me wonder why Mein Kampf isn't banned.

  33. Oh yes....the rice really looked good. I don't know where I'll find any, but may try.

  34. You have convinced me to go for the forbidden. Maybe be compromised colon will be happier? The doc cut it up to remove the cancer. The entire large is gone. It may be very good for my health to munch this rice and I'll add colours too. Thanks. I love your presentation too, words and pics both.

  35. Patti, that was a great post: I was ready to buy once you mentioned Dr Oz; then I was ready to forget it; and then you brought me back. Good writing. Now I must locate it at a health food store and follow your recipe. Thank you.

  36. I had never heard of forbidden rice. I sounds like something I would like (despite the appearance), so I will look for some on my next trip to Richmond.

  37. I am sending this post to my best friend food editor. It may well appear in some form in the paper, if she has never heard of it. Not sure how the RAT POOP meets newspaper standards.

  38. Amber Star,
    I have heard about the proposed banning of books. Good grief,lets hope this doesn't take hold.
    Enjoy the rice.

    I really hope it is helpful but hope you will check with your doctor before trying. It does have a lot of fiber.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I do hope you will like it. Since you like to garden, wonder if we could grow it here. Think I'll check.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze,
    Most health food stores will carry it. I am getting mine from the Internet now.

    Let me know if she spreads the word. Pretty sure she will leave out the rat poop reference:))

  39. Hah, a little rat poop and the word forbidden aren't scaring me off anytime soon!
    My daughter & SIL raise rice, among other crops, so I thought I had tasted all the varieties. Wrong, now I have a new one to try.

  40. That sounds GREAT! I so wish you hadn't given me the 'rat poop' image...THAT will be hard to get out of my!
    But I do love things that are healthy and delicious!
    Next time a friend is going to the Health Food store--FORBBIDEN TICE will be on the list! Thanks, Patti!

  41. Brighid,
    All right. Maybe they can raise some. I would love some home grown black rice.

    Give it a try Naomi, pretty sure you will love it. Maybe you can serve some at your next party. It would be a conversation dish at the least.

  42. So I come home yesterday to see some of the weirdest looking rice in a clear bag on the counter. "What's THAT?" I ask and he told me he found it on one of my sidebar blogs. I hunted everywhere, I don't know how he found you, but we are in the market to have some of this great rice in the near future, thanks to you. Guess I'd better get busy and start following you. :-)

    I've seen your comments around my blogosphere community, and I was intrigued before. We are almost of an age, too (I just turned 68), knocking at the door of 70.

  43. Djan,
    Thanks so much for stopping by, commenting and following. I too have seen you on other blogs. We seem to haunt some of the same sites. Look forward to getting to know you.

  44. I've never heard of a black rice, so I learned something new this morning. Next time I get to a Health Food store, will have to check it out.

  45. Patty,
    Give it a try, it is good and good for you.

  46. We had it last night, Patti, and IT IS GREAT! I added some hemp oil (my latest favorite oil), a little bit of salsa for spicy color, and some purple cabbage, since it was just the right color for the rice.

    We will probably make this a staple for the future. It's so much better than regular brown rice. Thanks for pointing me in this direction!!

  47. I have never heard of this rice but so it on a cooking show last weekend, semi-homemade, only she made a rice pudding with it! I will have to try this, I love rice.

  48. Djan,
    I am so glad you liked it. There is no end of the uses for this tasty dish. I recently added bananas and pineapple to it and it was as good as any pie filling I have ever had and still good for you.

    Iowa Gardening Woman,
    Haven't tried the pudding but your can do with this the same as any rice only it is much better for you. Enjoy.

  49. I just dropped by via DJan's blog and loved this post! I'm off to buy some rat poop Forbidden Rice!

  50. Nancy,
    Thank you so much for stopping by. I think you will love it. It is such a versatile dish, it is my new staple.

  51. I just found this recipe, it looks good. I found the forbidden rice at our local grocery store, Winco! So excited to try it for its Iron content.....I am iron deficient and try to get it any way I can!