Do you ever come across an ingredient that looks intriguing but you have no clue how to use it?

If you’re anything like me, you buy the ingredient and store it for what seems like an eternity. It happened with the plantain cups that were made into a Super Bowl appetizer a couple of months back. I didn’t mention it at the time, but they had been in my freezer for at least a year before inspiration struck.

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The same thing happened with a bag of forbidden black rice that I purchased at an Asian market over a year ago. It wasn’t until I organized all of my beans and grains into jars that I even remembered it was in the pantry.

Since it was a bulk item, it didn’t come with instructions, so I wasn’t sure the best way to prepare it. Turning to the internet, I found that it’s a highly nutritious rice, full of antioxidants. Like other dark-colored foods such as blueberries and acai, it is rich in anthocyanin, which reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer. Yay antioxidants!

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After learning about the nutritional properties, it was time to learn how to cook it. Bon Appetit tends to be a strong resource for recipes and the website happened to have a recipe for forbidden black rice with hazelnuts that looked simple to prepare.

Sure enough, it was easy to make and the taste was amazing. The black rice was chewy and the flavor was nutty, making it a great match for the added hazelnuts. Talk about satisfying! Not only that, but the dish itself was beautiful. Looks like I’ll be buying more forbidden black rice in the future and lucky for us, Lotus Foods carries it at the local co-ops and Whole Foods.

Have you tried black rice? What did you think?

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You can tweet Crystal at @hellogrobe, and click here to read past Bite of Minnesota articles.