Homemade Rice Milk (or Milk Substitute)

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Milk Substitute Milk AllergyAre you or someone you love suffering from lactose intolerance or dairy allergies?  Or do you just run out of milk sometimes when cooking or baking?

Well, today I have an answer for your troubles that you and your wallet will truly enjoy (and the environment will love as well :-).)

We’ve been making our own rice milk for years now, ever since my son was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to dairy, over 10 years ago.

I must say, every time I see the price tags on those boxes in the store, I feel a small (or big :-)) sense of victory that I am not spending money on the packaging and processing.  (Not to mention what a good thing making your own does for the environment!)

Just wait ’til you see how much money you can make….

You can read more over at Money Saving Mom.  And what a bunch of inquisitive readers over there – there are lots of great comments, so be sure to read then and add your own, or come back over here if you have something to share.

It’s a bit easier for me to interact with you here, but no worries – either way I’ll connect with you :-)!

Again – you can find the rest of the post, including the recipe by clicking here.

Do you have a favorite “Make Your Own” technique to share?
Or something that you would like me to develop a homemade version of? 

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  1. What a great idea! (I’d rather interact here–too crowded at the other place!)

    The Vita-Mix really is a good investment.

  2. Thanks for doing the math, it’s always really helpful.
    I used to make rice milk for a little girl a babysat(PPD,on the autism spectrum)who could not have dairy.
    Question:do you think it’s worth it to sprout the rice before turning it into milk, or doesn’t it matter?

    • Mary, I think it’s worth it, sure. It always is. I haven’t done it. Actually, I am completely not an expert on sprouting and I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around the difference between sprouting and soaking. So if you can enlighten me, I would love it. I almost always forget to soak my grains now because it appears I was having a reaction to soaked grains, but I hope to try again soon.

  3. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. Hope to see you next week! Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for
    Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!

    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/10/fat-tuesday-october-4-2011/

    If you have grain-free recipes please visit Wednesday night for a grain-free linky carnival in support of my 28 day grain-free challenge starting Wednesday!

  4. What a fantastic idea. We don’t have any dairy allergies in our house, but what a wonderful idea for those who do!

  5. I love your idea of setting aside the extra rice from cooking and freezing it in a one cup portion. I saw a recipe for rice milk in Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Traditions, but haven’t made it yet. Your post definitely inspired me especially with seeing how frugal it is! :)

  6. You cannot even imagine how excited I am that I found this post. My son was just diagnoised with several food allergies, including dairy. We are about to go broke trying to buy all of these special foods. So the more things that I can make myself, the better off we are. Thanks for posting the link.

    • Brandy,
      I am sorry to hear about the allergies. I hope you stick around. My oldest has a number of life threatening allergies so all of my recipes should be helpful to you. Anything else I can specifically help with? Are they life threatening allergies or not?

      • Adrienne,
        Fortunately, my son’s allergies are not life threatening. He kept having severe cold/sinus problems. He had numerous ear infections and the poor child was living on Omincef antibiotic. We were referred to an ENT and allergist doctor. They decided on putting tubes in his ears and while he was under doing an allergy test. We had prepared ourself that the test may come back for something like dust, dogs, cats, etc. Never in a million years would I have ever dreamed it would be food allergies that were causing his respitory problems. Come to find out my son is allergic to peanuts, eggs, soy beans, wheat, and dairy. So his foods are very limited right now. We are hoping and praying that we can have him retested in a couple of years and he will out grow most if not all of this. (He’s only 16 mnths right now). This has been a life changing event for us in more ways than one. But we are adapting and so is he. So yes your recipes will be very helpful. Thank you.

        • Brandy, I empathize with you. We have been through a lot of the same things. My son had allergies to all of those things and the only thing he has grown out of is soy. It’s not great for boys anyway, in my opinion. Please keep in touch. We have a number of friends who have kids who had respiratory issues that cleared up when they removed allergens. It really is interesting, isn’t it?

        • Brandy, I just wanted to say I can totally relate. My daughter (14 mos) was diagnosed with the same allergies your son has, just 2 months ago. I was pretty emotional and overwhelmed at first, and spent a lot of money buying special foods. I tried to stick with whole foods, meats, fruits, vegetables, and rice, and lot’s of beans (good protein) but recently figured out (based on a reaction) that she is allergic to beans as well. Also, dinner time was always a challenge. I recently found this site, and some other resources, and it is helping me alot. I can’t afford to buy special foods, and hate to feel like I have nothing to feed my daughter. The more I am learning about making things from scratch (like this) and substitutes for things, the more comfortable I am getting, and saving money. :) Good luck on your journey.

  7. Great, simple recipe. Half of my kids only drink rice milk due to lactose intolerance. We switched to raw milk, and they can tolerate it, but they don’t like the taste. Rice milk, even at Costco, is pricey. I will definitely try this. I’m visiting from Not Just a Housewife.

  8. Hi, Adrienne! Thanks for thinking of this as a kitchen tip for running out of milk! Would you say the homemade rice milk can be used in any baking or cooking recipes, or would certain ones work better than others? :)

    Secondly, I was thinking of linking directly to the tip at Money Saving Mom… would that be okay? :)

    Great post, by the way — I saw it earlier this week! :D

    Tammy

    • Hi Tammy -
      I guess you could link to either one (my blog or Money Saving Mom), but it might be confusing to some readers since I submitted it…whatever you think :-). Since it’s my guest post maybe it won’t be confusing. Just use your best judgment.

      Yes, you certainly can substitute for either baking or cooking. It’s more an issue of what kind of recipe since rice milk tends to be a bit lighter than regular milk (maybe not skim :-). I should add more info to my post about it….I have been using this for years, actually. It’s gotten me out of quite a few binds in the kitchen.

      Thanks for the compliment!

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I use rice milk and this will help me out.

  10. What a great idea, and an easy recipe! My daughter is sensitive to dairy, and we use boxed rice milk, it is nice to have an alternative! Thanks for sharing! ~April

  11. What a neat idea, I’ve never had rice milk before, what do you use it with? Or do you just drink it like regular milk?

    Thanks for linking up to It’s a Keeper Thursday, I am co-hosting this week so be sure to stop by.

  12. Wow! This is awesome. I would love it if you linked this up over on my blog carnival Family Time Tuesday!

  13. I can’t believe it’s that easy! I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve always just eaten my cereal dry or avoided recipes that called for too much milk because I couldn’t justify paying the high price of rice milk. I’ll be making my own all the time now :)

  14. Excellent alternative. Thank you very much for linking up and sharing this solution on my site this week.

    I am also sharing a link over on Facebook.

  15. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasure’s Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later today when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  16. Thank you so much for linking up to “A Little Birdie at Rook No. 17″! I visited your link to Money Saving Mom and shared it with my Facebook fans.

    Jenn

  17. I switched from dairy decades ago – and started making fruit smoothies with almond milk (water and almonds, mixed in a blender). The past year, my husband decided to go off milk as well. Almond milk in the store, while delicious, is crazy-expensive, so he makes it himself. Water, soaked almonds, a little vanilla and agave. It’s delicious, and inexpensive, and we even get nut-pulp to use in various recipes.

  18. Any movement in developing a ‘Quinoa Milk’?

    • Are you looking for quinoa for a specific reason? Is it the nutritional profile that you like?

    • Lynn in Oz says:

      I tried some quinoa milk here in Australia from the supermarket – I have to say it was utterly disgusting :( revolting colour and taste . I use rice , oat, coconut or almond milk and vary it , but the quinoa one is one I will giving a wide berth after this ! Double yuk !

  19. Thanks for responding Adrienne. . . Yes, nutrition is very important. I make almond milk and I like it. I am looking at other drink possibilities. Quinoa is one that peeks my interest, primarily because it is considered by some as a full protein. Taste is also important!. . .

    • You’re welcome! I will try and see how it tastes. Haven’t made quinoa in awhile though. My family isn’t too keen on it. You could for sure sub the same amount of cooked quinoa for the cooked rice. That’s my standard “grain milk” recipe. I am guessing that the flavor won’t be that great, however.

  20. I’ve done some research on Quinoa milk. Most say to cook it first and then milk it. One indicated grinding into flour and then milking. Both ways definitely say wash, wash, wash to minimized or eliminate the bitterness. One even suggested adding a few sesame seeds. Guessing that is for flavor? I will do some experimenting on my end also. . .

  21. Adrienne. . . I must be missing something. I read the intro to Rice Milk and the comments, but I cannot find the recipe itself.

  22. Never mind. . . I see I had to go to ‘Money Saving Moms’ to access it.

  23. Hi Adrienne. . . I got around to trying the Quinoa milk. I used the same recipe as your Rice milk. Wow, hardly any tailings at all, and t is very good! I tossed in a tablespoon of sesame seeds before cooking the quinoa. Why? I don’t know! In any respect am enjoying a cup of hot chocolate from it now. I also made your coconut milk. I like your quick and simple recipe. I make 2 qts at a time, and any not to be used in that 4 to 5 day refrigerated life span, I will follow your ice cube tray freezing suggestion. Thank you. . .

    • Hello Vernon. You are so welcome! I was trying to sort out the coconut milk for awhile b/c there are so many other recipes on the internet, but I just don’t have time for cutting fresh coconut or straining it out. Sometimes I do spoon off the really thick stuff from the top and dry it to make coconut flour, but typically I just stir it in and add more water. Thanks for coming back to share!

  24. What a great idea! I had never thought of making my own rice milk. It sure looks easy enough. Thanks for inspiring me to provide healthier options for my family. Blessings…

    • This is really such a breeze, Daisy. Saves tons of money, tons of packaging, and even with a regular blender, cleanup isn’t that bad. With a Vitamix it’s super quick. Thanks for the encouragement!

  25. My rice milk always come out bitter and definitely has a “grain” taste to it. NOTHING like the store-bought variety. Any tips to make it better?

    • Do you have a Vitamix? I am not sure otherwise, but theirs might be white rice which will be thinner and of a lesser nutritional quality. Bitter is strange though. Have you added some vanilla and a bit of sweetener and salt?

  26. Cheeryshirley says:

    Adrienne ~ I’ve been looking around in your tremendously wonderful blog, and have seen “millet milk”, “pumpkin seed milk”, etc, but could not find the recipes for these. I am very interested as we are absolutely non-dairy and prepare most things from scratch (hubby’s multiple sclerosis)! Could you send me your milk recipes? I would love to make from the cheaper grains rather than nuts. Thanks so much! Cheeryshirley

    • Hi again, Shirley! The Rice Milk recipe is on the post when you click through to Money Saving Mom. I’ll go make sure you can get there easily. You can use any other grain as a sub for the rice. For seeds and nuts the measurements will be different – I haven’t posted those yet. I haven’t perfected it by any means but I currently use about 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds with 4 cups water. Try that and see how it goes :-). Then of course add the optional salt and flavoring that you would like.

  27. I’ve made two batches of this recipe (thanks). The intensity doesn’t seem to be there. It tastes more diluted than the store bought. Any suggestions?

    • Depends what kind you typically buy and what is in it. Some add fillers, flavorings, extra sweetener. If it’s not thick enough, try more grain or add some of those other things. Your store brand may be from white rice….let me know your thoughts based on my suggestions. Hope that helps!

  28. If you don’t have a VitaMix, what is a good blender to use for making this?

    • I would think any blender, but you may want to poke around on Amazon to find one w/ a good rating. One of the best things about the Vitamix is that they are super easy to clean, but you can make do with something else.

  29. NicMert says:

    I’m thinking about adding protein to my rice milk. I was wondering if you have tried adding hemp protein or something else (not whey or soy) to the milk. Would I add it in the Vita-Mix and would it keep in the fridge or would I have to just add it as I used it? Any thoughts or ideas about this?

    • I am not sure – you could probably do either. Just maybe try 2-4 cups of the milk blended and see if it stays mixed in fairly well. Let me know! I make a protein shake for my husband pretty regularly with hemp or other protein powders. I have a great protein shake I used to use years ago…I should share it sometime :-).

  30. Does anyone know if rice milk spoils? How quickly?
    I make rice milk and almond milk in my Vitamixer and both seem to go rancid within 3 days.
    Any suggestions?

    • Sure – they all spoil. I don’t think it should spoil quite so quickly. Maybe 4 days? The packaged stuff I think says about long on the package. Store it on the top shelf to help.

    • If I may say here, they don’t actually go rancid, But because they are whole foods with no preservatives, and in the case of nuts, actually raw, the enzymes cause the milks to sour as they work to break down the sugar–they’re actually fermenting in your fridge. Soo they’re really not bad, but they just don’t taste great anymore.. but I wouldn’t keep them any longer than a week….. HOWEVER, you can freeze what you don’t use in the first day or so in ice cube trays and keep in a zipper bag in the freezer. Then you always have your ‘milk’ ready for your next smoothies or concoctions. :-) Hope this helped..

  31. I always have white “sticky” (Calrose) rice. Will that work for milk instead of brown rice?

  32. Any suggestions on filtering it? My kids complain it is grainy compared to what we buy.

  33. Adrienne, rice milk, candida?? do they mix? as someone who’s been working on pancreas issues, I am envisioning this as a glucose drip….

    Do you have any info on how this ranks on the glycemic index? I know you can sub nut milk or coconut milk, but rice IS so much cheaper….

    Any feedback would appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • We don’t use rice milk or any other grain milk much anymore. We almost exclusively use nut, seed, or coconut milk. The glycemic index is higher (79-92) from what I have read, but we don’t drink it straight, either. We would typically use it for baking. Also, not all of my readers are on a candida diet. Thank you for reading :).

      • i understand that you are being user friendly. That’s what i love about your posts. I was asking specifically to the candida and GI issue–wanting to know if you had problems with it because of either of those. I didn’t think about baking. that would be pretty good then….

  34. Denise Womack says:

    I love cooking and baking and making my own things from scratch. With recent developments of gluten, dairy, corn and other food sensitivities; migraines and sinus issues I have been looking for new recipes to try. I just recently discovered your website and have been printing off alot of your recipes. I would love a good recipe for oat milk and for homemade Tuscan seasoning. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • I’ve been planning to post oat milk – for now, try my rice milk and sub in cooked oats for the rice. Tuscan…hmmmm….where have you used it before?