BodyBannerInvest in a good rice cooker, even if you’re not Asian.

It will change your life.

Having a quality rice cooker is like having a gym buddy who always wants to work out.

Making quinoa and brown rice will become so easy that you’ll stay super motivated to eat healthy, with an intensity greater than Lou Ferrigno’s desire to beat Ahhnold. 

Aside from making rice with a touch of a button, my rice cooker also keeps me from cheating on my diet by having my meals organized in advance. It’s like my personal health assistant. And a rather fiiine one at that. By having a surplus of warm rice on hand, I always stay one step ahead of my next meal.

Oh, and it also happens to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” whenever as it starts cooking for me.

That Zojirushi… she’s a keeper.

Whenever I make brown rice or quinoa for dinner, I always make sure to cook an extra ½ cup – 1 cup. With this rice reserve, I never suffer from that Starvation Scramble anymore. You know, when you’re so hungry that you resort to trying the strangest combination of foods in your fridge just to silence that gurgling in your stomach? Tortilla chips dipped in Wasabi Mayo? Tried that.

Having to wait an hour to cook rice when you’re starving is almost as painful as watching a clogged Brita slowly trickle water when you’re hungover and dying of thirst.

It’s the worst when you fill up the Brita, leave for a good 5 minutes, only to come back to a nearly full loading tank. Then out of desperation you decide to pour yourself a glass anyways, and of course the lid pops off, exploding water all over your counter and leaving your glass half empty. Fail.

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Not all rice cookers are born the same. Pedigree is important. Invest in quality.

Rice cookers I’ve used and recommend.

I’ve gone through a few rice cookers in my day.

In college I started with this one from Black & Decker.

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It’s cheap ($12) and does the job, but that’s about it. If you’re on a super tight budget and just cooking for 1-2 people, go for it (although this Panasonic is a much better low-end rice cooker, $30 on Amazon.)

After college I finally upgraded to the real deal. I went Japanese.

When you’re looking to upgrade your robot, twisted imagination, or rice cooker, you gotta go Japanese. Obviously.

****NOW A BREAK for robots and other weird, but real Japanese stuff.****

Definitely an upgrade from Vicki from Small Wonder. Who knows what she'll be used for??

Definitely an upgrade from Vicky from Small Wonder. Who knows what she’ll be used for??

Sometimes you just need a good cuddle sesh when you're home alone.

Sometimes you just need a good cuddle sesh when you’re home alone.

A pancake-flavored drink. I actually found this in Japan and tried it out. It tastes like Waffle Crisps with a pat of butter mixed in. Surprisingly not bad.

A pancake-flavored drink.
I actually found this in a Tokyo vending machine and tried it out. It tastes kinda like Waffle Crisps with a pat of butter mixed in. Surprisingly not as terrible as you might expect.

****BACK TO RICE COOKERS****

I use a Zojirushi 5 ½ cup rice cooker, although a 3-cup cooker is fine if you’re cooking for fewer than 5 people.

As a rule of thumb you want to ration about ½ cup of rice per person.

My baby!

My baby!

I got mine off of Amazon for about $150. A Zojirushi will typically run you about $100-$180, but it’s worth it, and it will last a lifetime. My parents’ first rice cooker is older than me and still kickin.

Yes it’s true, we Asians have a special bond with our rice cookers. And if you’re Korean, that irrational love for appliances extends to a large clunker of a box known as a kimchi fridge.

*If you can invest in a super fancy pressure rice cooker, the Cuckoo brand is pretty solid.

Another great benefit of having a good rice cooker is that your cook time will fall dramatically.

Some of the healthiest dinners I make take less than 5 minutes of actual cooking.

It’s really too easy and so rewarding to eat. Really no excuses here.

When picking your rice cooker, make sure you get one with a carrying handle. You never know… you just might grow to love your little singing rice maker and want to take it on your next cross country adventure like the Brave Little Toaster.

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Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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