There are individual foods that have powerful nutritional attributes. Those individual foods turn into ingredients for recipes and when certain ingredients are paired together, it creates a nutrition-packed dish.

Luvo’s Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice Planted Power Bowl ingredients stand out amongst the frozen entrée crowd. Some of these ingredients you may have cooked with before, but others might be something new that you can add to your grocery cart the next time you are shopping.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the nutrient dense ingredients that make up Luvo’s Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice:

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice

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Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Despite being less popular than other rice varieties, black rice has more impressive health benefits.

Let’s compare:
*nutrition values based on 100 gram servings of rice.

Variety of rice

Protein Iron

Fiber

White Rice 6.8 g 1.2 g 0.6 g
Brown Rice 7.9 g 2.2 g 2.8 g
Black Rice 8.5 g 3.5 g 4.9 g

Iron is highlighted in this nutritional breakdown comparing rice varieties because black rice is a good source of iron. Iron is a nutrient often monitored in plant-based diets because there are two types of iron: heme, which is found in animal foods, and non-heme, which is from plants. It is true that heme iron (the kind from animals) is better absorbed than non-heme iron.

Let color be your guide. The deeper and richer the color of a plant is indicates of its high antioxidant properties. Black rice has a deep black purplish color, which specifies that is rich in the antioxidant anthocyanin, which are also found in blueberries and raspberries.

The antioxidant anthocyanin has been correlated with preventing cardiovascular disease, improving brain function, and reducing inflammation. (1)

Because black rice is unrefined (meaning it contains all parts of the whole grain – bran, germ, and endosperm) and denser than white rice, black rice takes longer to cook. The best results can be achieved by first soaking your black rice for at least one hour before cooking it, drain, then cook how you would normally cook rice.

Shiitake Mushrooms

You probably have cooked with other varieties of mushrooms before, but have you ever cooked with shiitake mushrooms? They stand out from other mushroom varieties with their dark brown umbrella-shaped caps and slender stems. Shiitake mushrooms have a meatier texture with an earthy flavor, perfect for recipes like stir fries, stuffing, risotto, or soups.

Always remove the stems from shiitake mushrooms before cooking, but don’t throw them away. The stems are very woody and tough to eat. Save to add flavor to a broth or soup.

Mushrooms are the only source of vitamin D in the produce aisle and one of the few non-fortified food sources. All mushrooms contain some vitamin D, but mushroom growers also have the ability to increase D levels by exposing mushrooms to ultraviolet light. Similar to humans, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D following exposure to sunlight or a sunlamp: mushrooms’ plant sterol – ergosterol – converts to vitamin D when exposed to light. (2)

Green Peas

Don’t keep pushing those green peas to the side of your dinner plate any more. Just one cup of peas contains 44% of your Vitamin K, which helps to anchor calcium inside the bones. The B vitamins found in green peas also help to prevent osteoporosis.

Poor green beans get sometimes shunned because of their starchy nature, but they are also packed with protein and fiber, which can help keep you fuller longer.

Mango

Just one cup of mango provides 100% of your daily vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the absorption of non-heme iron, or the form of iron present in plant-based foods.

Adding a tropical fruit like mango to a dish can help balance flavors in a dish. The unique sensory characteristics of mango work well with global spice blends and cooking techniques from spicy chilies to mellow coconut to alluring curries.

Cashews

Cashews are part of the tree nut family. Hanging from the cashew tree branches are large apples and at the bottom is where the cashew nut is. Unfortunately, the cashew apple, also known as “false fruit”, is edible but very perishable and don’t have a delightful sweet taste like other apples.

Cashews are a good source of magnesium, which is important for the development of bones, muscles, tissues, and organs of the body. Magnesium helps maintain blood pressure, boost the immune system, maintain the nerve function, and keep the bones strong.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. Those monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are ‘heart healthy‘ and help manage cholesterol levels.

Sesame oil doesn’t have the same nutrition profile as sesame seeds because the oil is made from an isolated portion of the plant. But one of the minerals that sticks around is zinc. Zinc is known to help boost immunity, but zinc is also used in the body for producing collagen and giving our skin more elasticity.

Given its strong flavor and aroma, you only need a small amount of sesame oil to enhance your dish.

How do you cook with these ingredients? Let us know in the comments section below.

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