Friday, January 13, 2012

Delicious Homemade Rice Milk

I've been experimenting with rice and almond milk recipes because buying rice milk at the store is really expensive, and they add fun things like carrageenan  to the mixture, which more and more people are showing allergies to. Here is the recipe I have had most success with so far. So much success, in fact, that my very inflexible son told me it tastes just like the rice milk in the blue box. I don't think it does (it's better!), but if he thinks so I'll take it!

1/4 c raw almonds (you can blanch them first but I don't)
1/4 c shredded coconut
3/4 c cooked jasmine rice (or sweet rice)
6-8 dates
1/4 tsp salt
4-6 cups hot water, depending on how thick you like it. (My kids seem to like it thick--and all the better since I need to stuff them with as many calories as possible!)

Place almonds, coconut, rice, and dates in a high-quality blender with two cups of hot water. (The higher quality your blender is, the thicker and smoother your milk will be and the less you will have to strain out. The milk is probably higher in fiber as well). Blend until the mixture becomes too thick for your blender and slowly add in the rest of the water.

Strain the mixture through cheesecloth. This is the hard part because you have to make sure the cheesecloth doesn't collapse and ruin what you've just strained. I usually use a large piece and make a large dip in it inside the picture so there is lots of room inside. I lean one edge of the cloth-covered pitcher to keep it from falling in and hold the rest with my free hand. Pour a little at a time and then pull the cheesecloth up and squeeze it. (Make sure you wash your hands first!!!) Throw away the excess pulp, rinse your cheesecloth and repeat. I have also heard of someone who uses automobile filters with elastic on the edges to make it easier. I like to strain mine twice.

Add the salt and mix in, then store your milk in the fridge and remember that it has no preservatives so it will not last as long as store-bought products. I like to keep it in a pitcher with those handy pumps on the lid because the milk settles and separates over time. I also prefer to use glass to store my food to avoid plastic leaching into my food.

[ETA 3/16/12]:  I used my tax return to buy a commercial blender. I got an Xtreme blender but you could also get a Vitamix or Blendtec or a similar one. With this blender I do not have to strain the rice milk at all. (Hooray!) I do add a little extra water because it is much thicker. But the bonus is that you are not straining out all the fiber and nutrients from the almonds and coconut.

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