Sometimes marrying two of your favourite foods can be the best thing since sliced bread! I learnt to grill aubergine smothered in sweet and salty miso from a Japanese friend a few years ago, and it’s been a firm favourite ever since, enough so that it’s the only word I can say in Japanese (Nasu Dengaku – let’s see how far that gets me when I hopefully go there one day!). So of course, it had to go in a sushi roll. I’m also a sucker for swapping out a white carbohydrate (sushi rice) when I can use an equally delicious wholegrain alternative, this time brown rice – why not? It tastes just as good, if not better!
Because it’s a seaweed in a marine environment, Nori has a great mineral content, particularly calcium, copper, iron, iodine and magnesium. Nearly 50% of Nori is actually protein! Other goodies include antioxidants, omega-3 essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. It’s also a great low-calorie food and though it’s mostly known for sushi rolls, it’s great as a snack or torn up into pieces in a salad.
Brown rice – why is it so much better than white rice?
Brown rice is the wholegrain with just the first outer layer of husk removed, in comparison to white rice that has been milled to remove the bran and a lot of the germ too, reducing fibre content and lowering its nutrient profile. Brown rice on the other hand is a source of vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, selenium, folic acid, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and fibre amongst others. Rice is also rich in antioxidants called flavonoids – the darker the colour of the rice, the more flavonoids they contain, and the better for you!