Healthy cooking gadget guide: rice cookers
Whether you’re serving it as a side dish with chili or cooking up a family-friendly risotto, rice is filling and versatile. And when you’re following Slimming World’s healthy eating plan, known as Food Optimizing, you can eat it freely and still achieve your weight loss goals. Just be sure to use dried varieties and cook in water or stock, without adding oil or butter.
Rice is super-easy to prepare when you’ve got a rice cooker to do the work for you. Simply pour in rice and water or stock, and the rice cooker delivers perfect, fluffy grains every time. An internal temperature gauge determines when the rice is ready—which means you never have to worry about forgetting rice on the stovetop again—and will keep it warm for hours if needed, too.
Rice cookers are also easy to clean. Most have non-stick interiors and are dishwasher-safe. And many come with a “delayed start” function, which allows you to begin cooking hours after you leave the house. Prices range from about $20 to several hundred dollars: Often, the pricier the model, the more features you’ll get, such as a quick-cook setting, temperatures catering to specific varieties of rice, and functions for simmering, steaming, slow-cooking, and more.
Even more ways to put your rice cooker to work
Hard-boiled eggs: If your rice cooker has a steam function, pour your water inside and add eggs to the steamer insert. Set to steam and cook for about 12 minutes.
Pasta: For every 8 ounces of dry pasta, use about 8 cups of water. Add water to the rice cooker, cover, and set to cook. When the water starts to boil, stir in the pasta. Cover and cook until tender, anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes.
Quinoa: Rinse 1 cup dried quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear, then transfer to the rice cooker. Add 2 cups water or stock, cover, and turn on. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.