Friday, June 28, 2013

Goose Valley Review


Goose Valley rice comes exclusively from a family-owned ranch (Goose Valley Ranch) in the Cascade Mountains, south of Mt. Shasta. They are the only company to produce and mill their own wild rice, as well as have it packaged in an organic certified facility. Goose Valley's unique location on many acres of land gives its rice a certain unbeatable quality and distinct flavor. The red volcanic soil lends itself to a nutty taste, and the specific weather conditions (hot summer days and water from a spring snow melt) to overall enrichment. For their Family Reserve products, Goose Valley uses only grade A wild rice that is hand selected. They are the LEADERS of certified organic and natural wild rice production in the country.

Goose Valley really makes an effort to provide for and protect their environment through sustainability. They use goats, sheep and cattle to curb weeds, instead of chemically infested herbicides. Their organic wild rice receives only lime, gypsum, and green waste compost, while their regular rice only uses a small amount of fertilizer. Goose Valley makes a very small ecological footprint - they also use eco-friendly packaging, and pay attention to the quality of the air by planting trees and minimizing fuel use by tractors and harvesters. Goose Valley also gives back to Trust for Public Land -- a charity that helps America preserve wildlife regions. 

Goose Valley has been featured in many magazines, including: Delight, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Cook's Illustrated, Clean Eating, The Boston Globe, Food and Beverage, and the Improper Bostonian. 
Goose Valley offers retail products available in many stores (like Hannaford, if you have one near you) across the country, as well as larger products for the foodservice industry. The varieties of rice that Goose Valley sells which you can buy for yourself include:

  • Certified Organic Wild Rice - Family Reserve - No pesticides or herbicides are used for this product -- only organic fertilizer and old fashioned farming techniques. Available in 5oz or 10oz sizes.
  • Natural Wild Rice - Family Reserve 
  • Brown and Wild Rice Fusion - Family Blend
  • Basmati and Wild Rice Fusion - Family Blend - Contains basmati rice and wild rice blended together with vegetables and herbs. Has a strong, lemony flavor. Available in a 10oz pouch.
  • Arborio and Wild Rice Risotto Fusion - Family Blend - An American blend with an earthy, nutty flavor. Creamy rice with color and texture that is Kosher and gluten free. Available in a 10oz pouch.
  • Rice and Bean Fusion - Family Blend - The beans give this rice blend a sweet touch, while the rice adds a nutty flavor and texture. Kosher and gluten free. Available in a 10oz pouch.

Goose Valley was kind enough to send me a 10oz pouch of Brown and Wild Rice Fusion (Family Blend) and a 5oz sample of their Natural Wild Rice (Family Reserve). Goose Valley's Brown and Wild Rice Fusion includes the following ingredients: CalMati Brown Rice, Wild Rice, Heirloom Red Rice, and Calmochi Sweet Brown Rice. Goose Valley describes it as having a "hearty flavor with a hint of spice and nectar". It has only 150 calories per serving. Both types of rice can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, or even diabetes. A diet rich in wild rice can help you maintain a healthy body weight, and can supply you with many essential minerals and nutrients. Goose Valley's Natural Wild Rice is "higher in fiber and protein yet lower in calories and carbohydrates than most other whole grains."

After browsing Goose Valley's website, I chose a "recipe" for a quick and easy meal to prepare for lunch one day. I used the 10oz pouch of their Brown and Wild Rice Fusion (Family Blend) to make a healthier pasta alternative. My boyfriend and I are moving to a new apartment soon and around my medical school education, budget and time will be tight, so it was nice to be able to test Goose Valley's rice ahead of time. Now we have a new product to add to our shopping list and a new idea for meals! This dish was simple, filling, and really quite tasty. 

Healthy Pasta Alternative
  • 1 10oz pouch of Goose Valley Brown and Wild Rice Fusion
  • 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. jar of Alfredo sauce
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of Oregano
  • Pinch of Garlic Powder
  • Pinch of Herbed Spinach

 All you need to do to create this pasta alternative is to first boil four cups of water. You can add the pinch of salt and pepper at any time. Next, add the rice and cover your pot. Turn down the heat and let it cook for approximately 30 minutes. While cooking, add a pinch of spices; the ones that I chose and listed above were a nice complement to the sauce and the flavor of the rice. After 30 minutes, drain any excess water from the rice. Next, add one cup of mozzarella cheese and stir so that it melts faster. Finally, add the 1/2 15oz jar of Alfredo sauce..and enjoy!
If you have more time, I would suggest boiling some kale or Swiss chard and adding it for even more flavor. However, I thought this turned out great. I was able to sit at the table and work on paper work, with minimal stirring or preparation involved. These portions made enough for a family; my boyfriend and I both took a large plate full and did not finish.
Our opinions? We loved Goose Valley's rice! It really does have a unique nutty/spicy flavor from its area of harvest, which could really add to any dish. You can tell that their products are quality, rich, and flavorful. I would love to use it to create the Turkey Tarragon Wild Soup or the Broccoli and Cheese Wild Rice Casserole for dinners in the future. I have not decided what to make with my 5oz sample of Natural Wild Rice, but as soon as I do, I will post pictures of it!

 Interested in learning more about Goose Valley and their products? Visit them at one of the following places:


  1. These wild rice mixes sound great! I'm always looking for healthy complex carbs, this is a perfect dinner side!

  2. Oh wow these wild rices sound so yummy! I love that you said it has a bit of a spicy flavor to often my rice is blah tasting I would love to try something with a little kick to it :)

  3. We are a rice-eating family, but don't try enough variety other than white and brown. This might be a great alternative.

  4. Those look great! The Hubs is a big rice-eater. I love that they are such a natural farm

  5. oh yum! they are healthy too u know!

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