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Ancient Grain Adds Rustic Flair to Thanksgiving Dinner
Minnesota Ag Connection - 11/10/2017

While many may think an ancient grain is something to be viewed under glass at a museum, you may be surprised to know the simple addition of one of those grains -- wild rice -- has the potential to transform your Thanksgiving feast from merely good to a wild tradition!

There is no holiday more closely associated with a specific meal than Thanksgiving! And while there are millions of variations, few would argue that the best supporting actor of the Thanksgiving extravaganza is the stuffing. Whether your guests prefer theirs with sausage, carrots, nuts, bacon, or extra sage, the secret to creating a star is the addition of the ancient grain, wild rice.

Ancient grains are more than just relics of the past, they are grains that have stood the test of time. As an ancient grain, wild rice is not only highly nutritious, rich in protein and essential nutrients, but possesses a flavor profile tailor-made for adding a distinctly nutty taste to your holiday stuffing.

Whether added to a traditional-style stuffing, or more contemporary fruit- or walnut-based dressings, wild rice is sure to add the perfect touch of rustic flair needed to make your Thanksgiving dinner a wild tradition. Liven up your Thanksgiving stuffing by trying one of these three easy-to-prepare wild rice recipes:

Incorporate the smoky, nutty flavor of wild rice into your holiday dinner with traditional Wild Rice Stuffing. Bacon, onion, sage, mushrooms, sausage, and wild rice join together to create an earthy blend of flavors and the perfect accompaniment to your holiday turkey.

Enjoy a hint of sweetness? Fruited Wild Rice Stuffing provides a bold and flavorful alternative to the more traditional stuffing options. This recipe blends wild rice with apples, raisins, orange juice, and walnuts for a lightly sweet stuffing option sure to please your family and friends.

For a new twist on an old favorite, try our rustic Wild Rice Walnut Dressing. This unique and tasty dressing option combines wild rice with onion, celery, garlic, sage, and chopped walnuts for a lighter, yet flavorful complement to your Thanksgiving staples.

When adding wild rice to your Thanksgiving dinner, make things even more fun -- and potentially profitable -- by sharing your wild rice feast on Instagram. Starting November 13, upload your original photo or video cooking or enjoying wild rice using the hashtags #WildTraditions and #mnwildrice for a chance to win a cash prize. The contest runs through November 30. For full contest details, visit mnwildrice.org/rules.php.

For even more great recipe ideas to spruce up your holiday feast or incorporate the great taste of wild rice into salads or sides, search the world's largest wild rice recipe library for other ideas on how to make your Thanksgiving traditions wild (mnwildrice.org/search.php).

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