Rice is a common side dish for many meals, but if you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy - is Uncle Ben’s rice gluten free and safe for you to eat?
The answer is it depends on what product you are purchasing. Some Uncle Ben’s rice products are gluten free, while others are not.
Is rice gluten free?
Rice is rich in complex carbohydrates, but is low in fat and calories. It contains protein and can be used in so many ways! It's great as a side dish or main part of a meal, served hot or cold, and can be used in soups, stews and even milled to be used as a gluten free flour!
Rice is naturally gluten free, but can become contaminated with gluten during processing and packaging. If a rice product is milled or packaged on equipment used for wheat, barley, rye or other gluten grains and the equipment isn’t cleaned properly, the rice will contain gluten.
For this reason, always check the ingredient listing and any warning labels on any rice product you intend to purchase.
Is long grain and wild rice gluten free?
Rice is naturally gluten free, so long grain and wild rice will be gluten free. Always check the product packaging for gluten ingredients or any warning labels.
The Uncle Ben’s brand does have a few brands of long grain and wild rice packages that contain gluten, so be careful before purchasing.
What about Uncle Ben’s?
Uncle Ben’s is a popular brand that manufactures different varieties of plain rice plus flavoured options. Some products are microwavable, while others are intended to be cooked on a stove top.
Unfortunately, not all Uncle Ben’s rice products are gluten free. Some contain gluten ingredients.
Keep reading to find out which ones are safe for people on a strict gluten free diet.
Is Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice gluten free?
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice is sold in microwavable pouches and can be cooked in under two minutes.
Is microwave rice gluten free? Yes, some Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice products are considered gluten free.
These ones do not contain any gluten ingredients or have any gluten warnings:
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Jasmine
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Basmati
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Brown Basmati
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Jasmine
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Coconut Jasmine
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Whole Grain Brown
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Whole Grain White
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Butter & Garlic Flavoured
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Chicken Flavoured
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Chili Garlic Flavoured
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Cilantro Lime Flavoured
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Garden Vegetable Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Spanish Style
DO NOT eat these Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice products as they contain gluten or gluten warnings:
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Cheddar Broccoli Flavoured
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Long Grain & Wild
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Fried Rice with Peas & Carrots
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Rice Pilaf with Orzo Pasta
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Whole Grain Medley Brown & Wild Rice
Other gluten free options from Uncle Ben’s
If microwavable rice isn’t your thing, there are lots of other products from Uncle Ben’s that are safe for people that have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy.
Try these gluten free options:
- Uncle Ben’s Converted Long Grain Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Boil in a Bag Long Grain Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Jasmine Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Quick Cook Long Grain Rice
- Uncle Ben’s Wholegrain Brown Rice
Other brands of gluten free rice
Uncle Ben’s is a really popular brand, but there are also lots of other rice brands out there that are safe for all of us on a gluten free diet! Here are a few of them:
- Lundberg Family Farms Organic Rice: this brand carries wild rice, white rice, brown rice, long grain, jasmine, basmati, arborio, sushi and short grain rice. They have some great rice crackers and chips, too!
- Tasty Bite: I haven’t tried this brand, but they carry a brown rice and lentil blend, coconut, garlic, tandoori, thai lime and turmeric flavoured rice that are gluten free.
- Planet Rice: all of their products are gluten free, as they do not use gluten ingredients or share equipment with food that contains gluten.
Fun facts about rice
Since I’m knee-deep in rice related topics right now, I might as well dive right in and give you some fun facts about rice. Use them at your next dinner party as a conversation starter! (You’re welcome.)
- The nutritional content of rice. Rice is filled with complex carbohydrates, which can help stabilize blood sugar, and is a good source of protein. Brown rice is a good source of fiber, which can help with normal bowel function. If you have diarrhea, try eating some rice!
- The shape and size of rice will impact what the texture is like when it’s cooked. Short grain rice is stickier and is better for recipes that need to hold together (think sushi). Long grain rice is drier and the grains tend to stay separate when they are cooked, so it makes for a great side dish. Medium-grain rice is somewhere between the two and it’s moist and tender.
- All rice starts out brown before it’s processed. White rice is milled to remove the outside grain. Companies will also enrich white rice with the vitamins thiamine, niacin and iron since a lot of nutrition is lost during milling.
- Instant rice has been milled, cooked and dehydrated. This decreases the cooking time from 20-40 minutes down to 5.
- Rice makes a great gluten free flour. You can purchase sweet rice flour, brown rice flour or white rice flour. My favourite is white rice flour - it’s used in both the Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Blend and Gluten Free Bread Flour that I use for all my baking recipes!