Wild Ben’s Wild Rice – Review – Plus Paleo Gluten Free Pancake Recipe

When I interviewed Ben Belty of the Wild Food Warehouse, I hadn’t ever had his rice before. I’d eaten what I thought was wild rice, but after trying Ben’s genetically true Wild Rice I finally got the difference. They really are two completely different foods in a lot of ways. The taste and texture are not the same, they don’t cook the same. I academically knew that Wild Rice was an excellent food choice, but never ate much of it because regular rice was just a better taste and texture experience.

The true Wild Rice, Zizania Palustris, cooks up softer and is lighter in color with shorter grains than the hybrid of Zizania palustris and the Chinese Zizania latifolia. Zizania latifolia, the Chinese Wild Rice, is not even eaten as a grain, rather the stems of that plant swell after being infected with a fungus and are eaten as a steamed vegetable. The genetics from that variety were added to the true North American Wild Rice genome in order to make the plant easier to cultivate and harvest.

And that changes the flavor of the plant and the way that the rice cooks up.

It looks different too. Notice how much lighter the color of this rice is.


Rather than go all science on you guys about the differences between the plant I’d rather describe the taste experience. Because I know that’s ultimately what I care about most in my food. I don’t care how good a food might be for me, if it isn’t delicious I am not going to eat it, enough said.

I’m not sure if it is the wood parching that imparts a very subtle nutty/smoky flavor to the rice, but it’s definitely there. Additionally there is a distinct lack of whatever that hard to describe, mildly off putting flavor, that is present in the hybridized variety. This rice cooks up a bit faster, puffier and softer. The experience in the mouth is definitely superior.

The first four recipes I made with Ben’s rice were all a success. All were also very, very simple.

The first, I cooked the rice in my steam pot and when it was done I put some in a bowl and added a spoonful of lard from the acorn finished hogs I got from a farmer in Maquoketa Iowa, and a touch of Maple Syrup from Wisconsin. Amazing!

Number two was the same rice, but with tinned Mackerel and some home fermented daikon radish with Habanero Peppers and Ginger. Also amazing!

Number three was a chopped tomato, peeled and diced English Cucumber, mixed in equal proportions and drizzled with Spanish olive oil. Again, effortless success.

wild rice salad

But number four is the one that excited me most. Gluten free paleo pancakes!

Gluten Free and Paleo pancakes have always been missing this one thing that I miss most in pancakes, a distinct flavor from my childhood, yeast. Every Christmas morning we wold gather at my Belgian Grandmothers house and eat her family pancake recipe, which used actually yeast as a rising agent. They were thin like crepes, rich in flavor and amazing smothered in butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and maple sugar.

There is no yeast in this recipe, but there is a hint of that flavor that makes its way through. I suspect it is a flavor imparted during the parching process of the grains. It didn’t make itself known in any of the other recipes, but came through here, exactly where you’d want it to!

So here is the recipe

wild rice pancakes

Gluten Free paleo Wild Rice pancakes


  • I cup cooked wild rice
  • 1/4 cup white rice flour (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • Nut milk of your choice in amount needed to get batter to your chosen consistency


Place rice, eggs, flour if you are using it and a small amount of nut milk in the blender.

Blend until completely smooth, adding nut milk as needed to get things to your chosen consistency.

Cook till light golden brown on each side on a greased pan or griddle like you would any other pancake.

Drench in Maple Syrup.

It’s really that easy.


Where to get the rice?


This page describes the three primary benefits of consuming Wild Rice – Top Three Benefits

For more on the rice and a coupon code to purchase Wild Ben’s Wild Rice at a discount, listen to this podcast with Ben Belty I recorded a few weeks back.

I do not receive a commission for any purchases of Ben’s products.




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