Homemade Rice Milk

20

May 9, 2010 by Flora Dawn

I know rice milk is readily available at the grocery store now, but have you read the list of ingredients? Oil, natural flavoring and salt? Ummmm……no thanks, I think I’ll just take rice milk.

If you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or just trying to consume less animal products rice milk can be a great alternative to cow’s milk.

Personally I like drinking soy milk, but I don’t like the aftertaste it leaves in baked goods. I know lots of people prefer almond milk, but it is really expensive and we have a tree nut allergy at our house so it isn’t even an option.

None of my gluten free cookbooks, nor the vegetarian cookbook I had checked out from the library, had a recipe for rice milk. I searched some vegetarian forums, read some blog posts and then called my mom, who used to make rice milk for my lactose intolerant sister when we were kids.

I tried a few things and came up with a method that works for me. My husband got slightly irritated through this process asking “why don’t you just buy some rice milk already, you’ve made four batches trying to get it right.” Of course I just ignored him.

Almost all the recipes I found direct you to take cooked rice and blend with water until you get the consistency you desire. However, cooking the rice in too much water and then blending and straining the mixture produced a much creamier and flavorful rice milk in my opinion.

I don’t have one of those super powerful, super expensive blenders, but if you do, you might be able to skip the cheesecloth altogether. I found it really messy to use my blender, so I opted to use an immersion blender and that worked so much better.

If you are going to drink this or use on cereals or oatmeal I would flavor it with vanilla, maple syrup or maybe some cinnamon. However, if you are just going to cook with it, you can leave the flavoring out.

Making your own rice milk is relatively easy, extremely inexpensive, and a great alternative to cow’s milk (of course homemade won’t be fortified). What are you waiting for? Give it a try, you can even cook it in your slow cooker.

The amount of rice milk you get will depend on how smooth you are able to blend it and the consistency you desire.

The cooked and blended rice mixture straining.

The final product has a thick, cream-like consistency.

Rice Milk

Depending on the consistency you desire, you can add more or less water. But this is a good recipe to start with. The sweeteners and flavorings are optional, but are a nice addition if using for cereal or oatmeal.

  • 1/2 cup brown rice (you can use white rice but it won’t take as long to cook & of course isn’t as healthy)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 Tb honey, agave, brown sugar, maple syrup etc, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla, optional
  • dash cinnamon, optional

Stove top method:

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine rice, water and additional ingredients if using. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cover with a lid. Cook until rice is a bit overdone, about one hour.
  2. Allow to cool slightly and blend in a blender or use an immersion blender (I prefer the immersion blender. However, I did have to lift my pan a bit on one side to get the liquid deep enough to blend well). Based on my experience, I wouldn’t suggest using a food processor, it didn’t work and I had a big mess to clean up 🙂
  3. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the rice/water mixture over cheesecloth and allow to strain. Discard solids and what you have in bowl is rice milk.
  4. The rice milk will keep in the refrigerator about one week, but does not freeze well.

Slow cooker method:

  1. Place rice, water and additional ingredients if using in your slow cooker and cook until rice is slightly overdone. Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker; I cook it 4 hours on the high setting.
  2. Allow to cool slightly and blend in a blender or use an immersion blender (I prefer the immersion blender). Based on my experience, I wouldn’t suggest using a food processor, it didn’t work and I had a big mess to clean up 🙂
  3. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour the rice/water mixture over cheesecloth and allow to strain. Discard solids and what you have in bowl is rice milk.
  4. The rice milk will keep in the refrigerator about one week, but does not freeze well.
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20 thoughts on “Homemade Rice Milk

  1. Kate says:

    What a fantasticc post ! Me and my Husband are both lactose intolerant and i enjoy home cooking but like you find soy milk alittle distastful in my cooking but my husband doesn`t seem to mind, I am going to follow your slow cooker method and see how it works out luck for me i do have a super powered blender lol.

    Thanks Kate

  2. Bruce says:

    You mentioned:-
    “The sweeteners and flavorings are optional, but are a nice addition if using for cereal or oatmeal.”

    I’m a type 2 Diabetic, so have to watch out for what type of carbs & especially sugars I take now. Wondering if you’ve tried this recipe with any natural sweeteners? I’ve heard good things about the Stevia based product, but not good things about the others.

    BS

    • Flora says:

      I haven’t tried it with any natural sweeteners, but I would imagine if you have a favorite it would work just fine. You could also try a dash of cinnamon or vanilla, which would add some flavor but not sugar.

  3. Michael says:

    This is great. Almond milk can burn your pocket in no time at all. Will try this out soon.

  4. Sally says:

    Wow, I love the consistency of the rice milk you’ve made, I might have to give that a try. I’ve done the almond milk a few times but always found it a bit watery. The other thing I’ve been meaning to get again is raw milk, which is a lot better than the usual processed, pasteurized milk in the shops.

  5. Eli says:

    This is the first rice milk recipe I have tried. Is it supposed to be so thick? My milk would not seep through the cheesecloth on its own at all, I had to squeeze it through and when I did that most of the rice went through, I hardly had any solid remains at all. I’m not sure this is supposed to happen. The resulting milk is very thick, while the stuff I’ve drank before (store bought) was more watery. What went wrong?

    • Flora says:

      I’ve made it a few times and I haven’t had any problems, but it probably depends on the type of rice you use (and the brand). If you are using white rice, you’ll want to cook it significantly less than the one hour suggested in the recipe (probably 25-30 minutes or so, but still make sure and cover it). Also, you could add more water, I would guess 10-12 cups to cook the rice and this should help thin it down and be sure and not use too many layers of cheesecloth. I just fold mine in half.

      I did try to make it a little thicker than store-bought, since my family finds it too watery; but not so thick it doesn’t strain. Sorry you had problems. I hope if you try it again it works better for you!

  6. Jen says:

    Thanks for the recipe – I have been using a sifter to strain the larger rice particles (just as a strainer – not actually sifting the contents) and then use the remaining solids to thicken soup – it works great and no waste!

  7. […] None of my gluten free cookbooks, nor the vegetarian cookbook I had checked out from the library, had a recipe for rice milk. I searched some vegetarian forums, read some blog posts and then called my mom, who used to make rice milk for my lactose intolerant sister when we were kids. In Flora's Kitchen » Homemade Rice Milk […]

  8. Carl-Johan says:

    Thanks Flora. Making the first batch now and very keen to see how it turns out.

  9. Sandy says:

    Just wondering how much does the 1/2 of rice make? Can you make more or less by how much water (or how thick) you make it?

    • Flora says:

      How much rice milk you get is going to depend on how smooth you are able to blend the cooked rice and the consistency you prefer. You can definitely add more water to thin it out, either during cooking or after it’s strained.

  10. Amanda says:

    This looks like a great, inexpensive recipe for when I need milk especially for cooking thanks

  11. Jane Majkut says:

    Hi , I haven’ tried your method yet. Could you tell me does it separate into liquid and solids? I have tried the method of using already cooked rice,water and vita mixing . This milk separates very quickly and in tea it hardly colors and also separates – the solids sinking to the bottom.
    Thanks

    • Flora says:

      I haven’t had a problem with it separating, of course it needs stirred or shaken before using. I’ve used it up shortly after making a batch, so I am not sure if it would settle out if it was stored longer. My guess would be that since it is straining the liquid off the rice, as long as you use something fine, like cheesecloth, to strain it you shouldn’t have a separation problem.

  12. Kim says:

    Hi There, I have made almond & oat milk a bunch of times and now I’m going to try rice milk. Very excited! I’m going to soak the rice over night first to activate it so it starts to sprout and then cook it up so it’s as nutrient rich as it possibly can be.
    For anyone having a problem with cheese cloth, may I suggest that if you’re in an area that has a health food store, you could see if they stock ‘nut milk bags’ which you pour the liquid into/through and squeeze it out. The cloth is very porous but a tight weave so all pulp will remain in the bag – this you can use in your cooking too. A cheaper version would be to visit the haberdashery store and get some material and make your own, too easy. I literally (1 hour ago) just tried the nut bag that a friend brought me over from the States; it has made life so much easier so wanted to suggest that to you all.

    • Flora says:

      Thank you for the information; I have never heard of nut milk bags. I’ll have to check and see if I can find some in my area, they sound like they might work better than cheesecloth.

  13. Kim says:

    Update. Since my post on Oct 1st, I’ve made rice milk using the nut milk bag to strain it and it was a miracle worker.
    While I much prefer the consistency in say almond milk as well as the taste, this isn’t a bad option for some of the time & economically, it’s fabulous.
    Also in the straining part of the process, if heaps of liquid get’s trapped in the bag/cloth, just use a spoon to swirl around and scrape it off the bottom to make room for that liquid to drip through, and then squeeze it to help it some more.

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