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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rice Milk

Again, I'm not turning vegan, but I am enjoying how creative these people are! I love a challenge and decided that making rice milk should be my next one :)
I did this yesterday and it tasted ok last night, but after a night of sitting in the fridge, I'd have to say it's actually quite good. I go through a lot of milk around here. From Sunday to Wednesday I went through about 5L! Obviously I still want my kids to drink whole milk since they don't have any allergies, but for baking and extras, I think I might try to use this. 1 Cup of Rice yielded about 7 Cups of milk. I did sweeten it on the recommendation of the author of the article, and I added a little oil for flavour as well. 1/3 of the milk I scraped out a vanilla bean and re-blended it. So I have 2 jars of plain sweetened rice milk, and 1 jar of vanilla rice milk...yummy!
To give credit where credit is absolutely due, please read this lady's article at VeganReader. She has a very interesting site, and is very informative. I will just give a brief recipe summary here for those of you that just want to make and don't want to read about it!
I will point out that you will be doing yourself a HUGE favour if you go to your local dollar store or wherever and buy a mesh strainer! I did not have this, and it took a long time to try and get all the gunk out! It's too heavy for cheese cloth, and the pieces are too small for a regular plastic strainer (as I found out the hard way!)

1 Cup Uncooked Long Grain Brown Rice
8 Cups Water for Cooking
Water for Diluting
1 Tsp. Salt
4-5 Tbsp. Maple Syrup (Optional)
2 Tbsp. Oil (Optional)
Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Extract (Optional)

Items Needed:
MESH strainer
Glass Mason Jars for Storage (Plastic will work, but things always taste better in glass!)
A Blender (Doesn't have to be anything special)

1. Thoroughly wash the rice.
2. Bring the 8 cups of water to a boil in a LARGE pot over high heat.
3. Pour in the rice.
4. Cover the pot and reduce to low heat and let the water simmer.
5. Cook for 3 hours. 

At the end of 3 hours, you will be left with a disgusting mash of soupy rice! Add the salt and stir well. 
6. In batches fill your blender 1/2 way with the soupy mixture and 1/2 way with water. 
7. Blend until very smooth. 
8. Strain twice through a fine mesh strainer. Continue on with the rest of the milk. 
9. Once strained add oil, maple syrup and vanilla/vanilla bean, if doing so, and re-blend. 
10. Pour into mason jars and screw the lids on tightly to prevent your milk from taking on a 'fridgy' smell!

This should store in the fridge for a week tightly covered, maybe longer :)

Apparently this is a lot thicker then Rice Dream, so if you are used to thinner, just dilute it until it's how you like it.
Shake the jar before using the milk as some settling will occur.

If you want to make a blended rice/nut milk, just add some blanched raw almonds, hazelnuts or some cashews at the blending stage.

As I mentioned above, it tastes a lot better after a night in the fridge :) I think you could probably do the rice in your slow cooker and cut down on cooking time, but you would have to experiment. You can also do this with white rice, but brown has more nutritional value. And the milk still comes out white!

I hope this can help someone who has no choice but to drink rice milk or just wants to lessen their grocery bill in the milk department! This is a lot more economical then the small boxes in the store. If you are worried about the nutritional value, since Rice Dream is fortified, please read article linked to above as she discusses that. Personally if I was going to drink this all the time, I would probably just make sure I was getting enough vitamins etc. from food and/or take a good multivitamin, but that's me. I am NOT a doctor, so especially if this is for your kids, I would recommend you consult their doctor if you are concerned!!

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