What is the easiest real food to make?
Kefir is the lazy-man’s (or woman’s) culture and sourdough is the lazy-man’s bread. Both sit on the counter and do nothing. As the lazy-person who’s “making” kefir or sourdough, you do nothing as well.
Pretty nifty, eh?
Well neither of those can hold a candle to rice milk. Of all the non-dairy milks, this is the ultimate lazy dairy alternative milk. No soaking, no heating up water… shoot, you don’t even have to make rice just to make milk, if you don’t want to. Any leftover rice will work. Surely you’ve got some hanging out in the fridge or freezer, right? If not, just make extra sometime. Then you can be lazy and have rice milk too.
Commercial Rice Milk
This is where I start to tell you guys how bad commercially made rice milk is for you, right? Well, I kinda have mixed feelings on rice milk.
At first glance, I didn’t think rice milk was all that bad. The label said it was organic and it was even made with brown rice instead of white. In fact, I only counted one “foul” ingredient in the list of this milk and that was high-oleic safflower oil. Safflower oil is a “yellow” cooking oil and despite what agribusiness says, polyunsaturated fats really aren’t that great for us. You’re better off eating a handful of nuts for those healthy omega-3’s and -6’s. But, the oil was “expeller pressed.” At least the unhealthy oil was processed naturally right?
Is there such a thing as “processed naturally?”
As you keep reading the ingredients, you’ll find a slew of vitamins and minerals. Hmmm… well then. I guess if it only has water, brown rice, high-oleic safflower oil and vitamins and minerals, it can’t be that bad for us, right?
It’s those vitamins and minerals that should worry us the most! Our bodies do not process fake foods very well, and that includes synthetic vitamins and minerals.
When you eat real food, the nutrients in the food help the body function and contribute to the storage of extra nutrients. When you eat fake food, like nacho cheese corn chips (of which “cheese” is not an ingredient, by the way), the body uses the spare nutrients it’s been storing up to break the food down and digest it. So when you eat processed food, it actually costs the body nutrients.
The same goes for when the body eats synthetic vitamins and minerals. Those are fake too, and the body spends more energy trying to break them down and do something with them than actually benefiting. Plus, the same dangers of enriched flour apply here too.
I’m willing to overlook the safflower oil, but there’s no way we’re eating enriched foods in this house.
By the way, this “new and improved” enriched rice milk is in addition to the “classic” version, which contains expeller pressed high oleic safflower oil too, but also canola oil and sunflower oil.
Two. Thumbs. Down.
Don’t even get me started on this brand. Claiming to be lactose-free, casein-free, gluten-free, low-fat and cholesterol free, it sounds like a miracle health food. Nevermind the fact that it contains three different sugars as the first three ingredients. “Rice flour” is ingredient number 7, followed by more chemicals and oh wait, more synthetic vitamins and minerals.
The Cost of Commercial Rice Milk
At $5.34 on Amazon, one quart of rice milk rings up at just two cents less than cashew milk. You’ll be blowing that grocery budget on not only the EASIEST milk to make, but quite possibly the CHEAPEST milk too! You thought coconut milk was cheap? Check out these numbers.
You can buy 50lbs of long-grain rice at Costco for $22.08, or 44¢ per pound. There are 2 1/2 cups of rice in one pound, so that’s 18¢ per cup of rice. Want to guess how much rice it takes to make one quart of rice milk?
But because this recipe uses COOKED rice, your cost is only 6¢ for homemade rice milk, without sugar or synthetic vitamins or fake minerals or oils! (Thanks Marianne for helping me with the math!) And you know what, it actually tastes pretty good!
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 4 cups filtered water
- Measure rice into a blender and add 4 cups of filtered water. Blend until smooth, approximately 1 minute. You may want to blend again for ultra smooth consistency. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy cold; shake before using.
For one cup: ¼ cup rice, 1 cup water
I mentioned this earlier, but you don’t even have to make fresh rice to make milk. Any cooked rice will do, and if it’s leftover coconut rice from taco night, that means you’ll get a hint of coconut flavor in your milk too. YUM!
If you’re looking to flavor this milk, I’m sticking with the standard 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. There are plenty of sugars elsewhere in our foods – there’s no need to add them to our milk! Plus if you don’t try it sweet in the first place, you’ll never know the difference (nor will the kids!).
Other non-dairy milk alternatives that may interest you: