Isabelle and I were recently invited to the kickoff of Uncle Ben’s Ben’s Beginners cooking contest and we were inspired to try something a little different. I wondered if we could puff out own rice. There were a few resources online but not a ton. Here is how we did it. Isabelle then created a recipe for delicious granola bar bites..
We use rice often and I always make enough for leftovers. Usually I freeze the rice to be steamed for dinner in a pinch. This time we saved some to puff.
Homemade Puffed Rice
2-3 cups of cooked rice
Line a cookie sheet or large pan with parchment paper. Put the cooked rice on the tray in a single layer. If you are rushed for time just let it dry out on the tray overnight and you can oven dry it the next day.
Preheat your oven to 250 – 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the rice in the oven for 1-2 hours until the rice is nice and dry.
Once the rice has been dried you can store it in a jar like popcorn ( I am not sure how long it will stay good but at least a couple of weeks). Pop the rice in a little vegetable oil as you would for popcorn. I suggest doing 3-4 tablespoons at a time just to get the feel for it. If you have a microwave popcorn popping bowl, this is my favourite way to pop the rice (and popcorn for that matter), pour in about a 1/4 cup of your dried cooked rice. Press your popcorn button on the microwave and then listen carefully. This is where you need to use your sense of hearing and smell. When you hear the quiet popping of the rice let it be but as you hear fewer pops get ready to stop it. You will smell the steam too which smells like cooked rice. You want to stop the popping and pour the popped rice onto a plate as you pull it out because it can char quickly and the popping bowl gets hot.
Use the rice for a delicious flavour and crunch on salad, in vegetable or rice dishes or for Isabelle’s puffed rice granola bars.
Vote for her recipe here and help us at a chance to win $15,000 (that could buy a lot of rice for a lot of families) and $30,000 for a school cafeteria makeover. You can vote daily.
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