Food & Drink

Food Briefs

Price check on brown rice

There are several reasons brown rice is good for you. It has its high-fiber bran coating plus a chewy texture and nutty flavor. The bummer? Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. Jumping in to solve the problem are food manufacturers who have created multiple versions of brown rice from frozen to instant to ready to serve. Here is what you will pay in cents per ounce:

68.0 For heat-to-eat in 1 minute (Annie Chun's Rice Express Sprouted Brown Rice)

32.4 For parboiled (Uncle Ben's "Ready Rice" Whole Grain Brown)

24.9 For frozen (Bird's Eye "Steamfresh" Brown Rice)

23.5 For instant rice (Minute Instant Brown Rice)

22.8 For boil-in-bag (Uncle Ben's Boil-in-Bag Rice)

12.5 For raw rice (Riceland Extra Long Grain Rice)

--Chicago Tribune

Vanilla can go twice as farQ. Vanilla beans are so expensive. Is there a way to save a little money on them?

A. When you read descriptions about the work that goes in to finding and curing vanilla beans, the cost is understandable. Those are mighty precious pods. On the bright side: Vanilla packs so much flavor, a little goes a long way.

Even if a recipe calls for a whole vanilla bean, you don't necessarily have to use the whole thing. The long pod often is folded in half in the container, so you can cut it into two lengths and just use one section. If you use a vanilla bean to infuse something like a syrup, you often can rinse the pod, let it air-dry and use it a second time.

-- Kathleen Purvis, food editor, The Charlotte Observer

Americans love ice creamJuly is National Ice Cream month, and in honor of this delicious holiday, Fitness Magazine has the scoop on facts that might make you think twice before asking for a double dip:

The first ice cream cone was produced in 1896.

There are 273 calories in 1 cup vanilla ice cream.

There are 380 calories in 1 cup of cookie-dough ice cream.

You would have to bike 45 minutes to burn off that cookie-dough ice cream.

The average person eats 21 quarts of ice cream per year.

The U.S. rakes in 23 billion dollars in ice cream and frozen desserts sales annually.

Easy food swapsChanging things helps make a recipe your own. Here are some simple points on making swaps:

You can substitute almost any herb for another, such as rosemary for thyme.

You can swap dried herbs for fresh if the consistency isn't important. (For instance, you can't make pesto with dried herbs.)

Just remember that dried herbs need to cook longer to release their flavor, so add them early. Fresh herbs release their flavor quickly, so add them at the end.