Five Creative Uses For Uncooked Rice
Well don’t ask me why but I have a surplus of uncooked rice taking up real estate in the refrigerator (I do this a lot with stuff to keep bugs at bay and keeping dry goods cold seems to do it) – but I digress a little. I need to find a way to put that stuff to good use.
Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to make dried macaroni art? Brings back memories yes?
Or….have you ever wanted to have your name engraved on a single grain of rice after you casually breezed by a booth at some kind of specialty art fair? Yep, been there, done that – I don’t know the secret to it but I suspect it involves a tool that has like, maybe, 10x magnification.
So I’ve been doing some research lately trying to find out what all you can do with uncooked rice (besides cooking it) And no, cooking it isn’t something I wanted to do. I’m not trying to be the nutrition Nazi here but I think of white rice as a “filler” product like enriched white flour. But in dry form it seems to do a lot more!
What Makes Rice So Nice?
You know those little tiny packets you find inside every over the counter medicine bottle that say “Desiccant-Do Not Eat”? It’s a packet of silica used to absorb moisture – but the truth is that rice grains perform the same duty-which is why people sometimes drop them into salt shakers, or if an “oopsie” with a cell phone getting wet occurs, they dry out more easily in a bag of rice.
If you live in a high humidity environment (myself included) you will find dry rice to be a real boon in your household!
But I was looking up some unique ideas for what to do with rice besides cooking it and I think I may be on to something here! So if you’re in the same boat here are the best ideas I have found! And since rice is so cheap, go nuts!
1. Fragrance Diffuser
If you’re a big fan of essential oils this is a great one – get a small dish and fill with some rice and add about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil fragrance and mix the two around a bit.
You can set it in a bathroom or other contained small room and the fragrance will have a nice subtle effect. You could also do this with sachet bags as well and put them in various drawers.
I tried this not too long ago and am pleased so far 🙂 I put those twinkle stars in there just for fun.
2. Base for Candle Votives
If you ever participate in Christmas lighting with multiple candlelights going up and down the walkways, uncooked rice could easily take the place of sand in a pinch if you run out. With small jars you can fill up with rice and drop in a tealight candle for great ambiance at parties.
If you have battery-operated lights this could be workable as well. Don’t forget, you could always dye the rice different colors to match the occasion too – (See no. 3)
3. Dye It!
Yep you heard that right – dye your rice different colors and see your ideas really take off! All I did was put handfuls in Ziploc bags and drop ordinary food coloring into each bag. I varied the colors and shades a little by adding more of one color or less and combining colors.
I closed the bags and shook them each until the colors were well distributed. I did have concerns that the colors would come off on my fingers and not really sure how to “let them dry” so I sat the bags in the freezer overnight. Surprise, no stained fingers!
You don’t have to stick with the four primaries – Make orange, purple, and fuschia as you experiment with color ratios which is how I ended up making this nifty thing right here.
Remembering a trip to a “make your own sand art” booth at a craft fair once, I layered the colors to have a cool gradient effect.
I made a mental note to create one of these for the next upcoming birthday in the family; I couldn’t believe how simple and fun this was – try it sometime! You can add a little rubbing alcohol to the dyed rice to keep the colors intact, but the freezer method seemed to work fine.
4. Tool and Knife Storage Place
If you have a large wide-mouth glass container fill it with rice and use it to store your kitchen cutlery. Obviously fill the container up all the way so the blades are well immersed and make sure there is some room between each knife and there should be at least an inch of rice on the bottom so the blade doesn’t go all the way through.
I know nothing beats a real wooden storage block but this still sounded like a fun idea. Store things like screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches in a can filled with uncooked rice which can help prevent rust.
5. Floral Arrangements
Instead of that green craft foam commonly used in artificial flower arrangements, a vase filled with uncooked rice would make a great way to hold and display them.
Ever seen those little water-filled beads that are also colorful and release water slowly into live cut flowers?
This is similar except it would be a unique twist on floral foam since we’re talking about artificial flowers here which don’t need water.
In this image that is incense sticks I’ve got in that red vase filled with rice for safekeeping 🙂
Do you know of any other creative ways to use uncooked rice? I’d love to hear them as the above list is just to get you started.