Creamy, vegan milk made at home: you can prepare your own rice milk just with two ingredients + water! Read on to find the step-by-step instructions how to make Rice Milk from cooked or uncooked rice.
Why make homemade Rice Milk
Rice milk is a great option when you need a vegan milk for drinking or for dessert. It is a good dairy-free alternative for people with lactose intolerance. It has a bit less calories than the whole cow milk and contains mainly carbohydrates but it almost lacks nutrients. In any case homemade rice milk is very inexpensive, especially if compared to the store bought rice milk. Another great benefit is that it is the most allergy friendly vegan milk, together with the coconut milk which contains more fats. And while I don’t recommend rice milk to be your main beverage for a long period of time due to low nutrition content and arsenic content concerns, it is a great option when you need a quick and cheap vegan milk alternative.
I started making rice milk mainly because I needed a non-dairy-milk for vegan recipes. I realized that it is easy to make and there was no point of buying a whole carton of expensive vegan milk if I could make it myself.
What ingredients do you need
You need only three ingredients: long grain rice (white or brown), water and dates or another sweetener of choice. The sweetener is needed as without it your milk would not have almost any taste. Dairy milk has a mild sweet taste thanks to the lactose, which is lacking in rice. Adding a natural sweetener makes this homemade beverage much nicer.
There are two ways to make rice milk: with cooked rice and with raw rice.
- Rice milk from cooked rice: What you need to do is cook the rice, drain it and let it cool. Then combine it with water and dates and blend until smooth. Pass the resulting liquid through a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth for a better texture. Refrigerate.
- Rice milk from uncooked rice: You need to soak the rice in hot water for several hours. Drain it and blend together with dates and fresh water until fine crumbs. Pass through a very fine mesh sieve or a clean fine piece of fabric. Refrigerate.
Using Raw Rice vs. Cooked Rice
What are the pros and cons of the two methods? Both are relatively easy, being the milk from cooked rice slightly more time consuming. It takes some effort to cook the rice and then it is slightly more complicated to pass it through a sieve, as the mixture will resemble puree. However the milk made of cooked rice is creamier, denser and tastier in my view, so I personally prefer it. The milk made of raw rice is not as thick and the fine rice powder tends to precipitate easily so you need to shake the bottle every time before drinking it. In addition you will get a bit more milk from the cooked rice than from the same quantity of raw rice. Last but not least, cooking the rice and then draining it reduces the levels of arsenic in rice more than when it is just soaked and rinsed. In case you didn’t know: arsenic is a mineral, naturally contained in rice, which is toxic in high quantities. This is especially concerning when there is a lot of rice in your diet. Basmati rice is the kind that contains the lowest arsenic levels, so that is one of the reasons to be preferred for rice milk.
How to make Rice Milk from raw rice
- Food Processor
- ¾ cup/ 150 g basmati rice, (see notes)
- 4 cups/ 1 l water
- 2-3 medjool dates
- Rinse very well the rice and soak it in 2 cups of hot water for 2-4 hours.
- Drain the water and transfer the rice to a food processor. Add dates and 2 cups of cold or warm water. Close very well the food processor with a lid and process for about 3 minutes, until the rice and the dates become fine crumbs. No need to process until powder.
- Pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or a clean thin cloth (not a cheese cloth)
- You can use other natural sweetener instead of dates.
- Store the milk for 4-5 days in the fridge. Shake well before consuming.
- You can make the rice milk with any kind of rice. Basmati rice however is the best choice as it contains less arsenic than other kinds.
How to make Rice Milk from cooked rice
- Food Processor
- ¾ cup/ 150 g basmati rice
- 5,5 cup/ 1,3 l water
- 2-3 medjool dates
- Rinse very well the rice and cook it in two cups (500 ml) water. The rice does not need to be very soft, it is ok if it’s still slightly hard.
- Drain the water from the rice and let it cool for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the rice to a food processor. Add dates and 3,5 cups water. Process again for 15-20 seconds until smooth. The mixture should resemble a very thin puree.
- Pass it through a fine mesh sieve or a cheese cloth. It will take some time to do this but the texture of the milk will be much better.
- Instead of dates you can use maple syrup, stevia or other natural sweetener of choice.
- Store 4-5 days in the fridge.