Easiest Homemade Rice Milk

This homemade rice milk is a super simple recipe, it helps you avoid all of the additives typically found in store bought rice milk, and works great for all of your vegan baking, cooking, and more.

homemade rice milk in carafes with brown rice scattered on marble tabletop

This recipe can be made using either brown or white rice, and literally can be made with only 2 ingredients and in just minutes.

Whether you are dealing with a milk allergy or intolerance, or you just want a simple option on hand for a last-minute handy milk substitute, I have an answer for your troubles that you and your wallet will truly enjoy (and the environment will love as well :-).)

For years now, we've been making our own rice milk and other dairy-free milk alternatives. Our oldest was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to dairy before he was even one year old, and my husband is lactose intolerant, so having a milk substitute on hand has been a constant need in our home.

In fact, we make homemade dairy-free milk several times a week for use in recipes, baking, or adding to hot drinks or to cooked hot cereals. Since moving our diet in a lower-carb direction, we mostly make homemade coconut milk or homemade almond milk  but homemade rice milk was a mainstay for us for a very long time.

Rice is an easily digestible grain, making rice milk a fantastic choice for someone who is struggling with a digestive sensitivity or upset, plus rice is gluten-free and fairly non-allergenic, so rice milk works well for almost any special diet.

If you have someone in your household who suffers from a dairy allergy or intolerance, you know how beneficial having dairy-free milk substitutes around can be. And when you can make them yourself--all the better.

Besides being helpful for food allergies or intolerances, rice milk is helpful for having around the house for those occasions when you run out of milk in the middle of making a recipe.

How I Discovered How to Make DIY Rice Milk

This discovery came one day, years ago, while shopping at a health food store. And I do mean years ago--way before dairy-free milk substitutes were in vogue. While looking at the pricey options in the "milk substitute aisle", I noticed that the only ingredients listed on the boxes were -- grain, water, and occasionally sweetener and flavoring.

There just had to be a way to make this myself and save a lot of money.

So I went home, got out my blender, estimated the amount of rice and water I should use, added a dash of salt and a tablespoon of sweetener, and the rest is money-saving history!

Why Make Homemade Rice Milk?

Control Over Ingredients

Here is an ingredient list from a store bought rice milk:

 Filtered Water, Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola and/or Organic Expeller Pressed High Oleic Safflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sea Salt, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Natural Flavor, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12.

Now, it's nice that they are using filtered water and organic rice and rice syrup and oils and flavoring, but there are some disconcerting ingredients in there.

Natural Flavor

The term "natural flavor" is used as a catch all phrase. According to FDA,

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

Basically, anything added to a food for flavor that is not an artificial flavor is a “natural flavor.” There are some companies that use the term to simply conceal propriety truly natural flavorings, but unless you contact the company, you don't know.

Carrageenan

This thickener could cause some gastric distress and has some other evidence of causing other intestinal issues and even inflammation. A small amount might be tolerable, but those who consume a lot of processed foods should take this into consideration.

Vitamin A Palmitate

Vitamin A is a synthetic form of the vitamin that is prevalent in fruits and vegetables, meaning that supplementation is typically not needed. It is very rare for someone to be deficient in vitamin A. Additionally, there are reports of excess vitamin A being linked to birth defects, liver problems, and bone damage.

Canola Oil

Canola oil has been surrounded by many concerns about its safety. Most of the canola on the market is processed using highly a highly refined process involving high heat, hexane, and deodorization, plus almost all canola oil is genetically modified. As a polyunsaturated fat, it has also been linked to possible inflammatory effects.

You can see how canola oil is made in this video.

I don't think I want this in my rice milk!

Protect the Environment

By making your own rice milk, you are avoiding not only the added waste of the cartons, tetra-paks or bottles, but also the gas needed for additional trips to the store.

Save money

Store bought rice milk is quite pricey, especially when you see how inexpensive it is to make your own.

rice milk poured in a cup

How Much Money Will You Save?

At the time that this post was written, a 32 oz container of organic rice milk cost about $4.35 each (even at a good bulk price on Amazon.com).

We purchase organic rice in bulk--$2.25/lb for white basmati, or $1.35/lb for organic long grain brown rice. You can find organic short grain brown rice on Amazon as well.

Organic white rice is a great choice when buying in bulk. It stores well, and has less of an issue with arsenic contamination.

If you assume that a typical household would consume about 2 32 oz. containers of rice milk each week, your savings could be:

Cost of Boxed Rice Milk:

$8.70 per week for 52 weeks = $452.40 per year

Cost of Homemade Rice Milk:

Using Bulk Organic Long Grain Brown Rice:

Use 3.25 oz rice per week to make 64 oz of rice milk = $.27 (if using organic long grain brown rice) = 14.04/yr.

Approximate Annual Savings: $438.46.

That's a lot of savings!

And you save even more when you add in the savings in car use and gas by not making another trip to the store.

Savings Disclaimer:

Of course, it would be best to use filtered water for your homemade rice milk (in addition to using it for all of your of your drinking, baking, and cooking needs). This post talks about how to make your drinking water safe. Our family uses the PureEffect Water filters and we love them.

Our cost for filtered water is about 25 cents per gallon. So that would make our cost for this Homemade Rice Milk to be $20.54/yr so your savings would still be a whopping $471.92.

Want more money saving tips?

The following posts might interest you:

Homemade Powdered Sugar
Homemade Chocolate Chips
Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid
Easiest Homemade Coconut Milk
DIY Foaming Soap
Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ways to Use Rice Milk

rice milk glass cup and glass bottle

Recipe Tips

  • Rice Amount: Use more or less rice, depending on what you would like the consistency of the final product to be. Standard rice milk is thinner than full fat cow's milk, but it's of course your choice what consistency desire.
  • Water: It is crucial that you use filtered water for this recipe. My post on how to make your tap water safe goes into more details about tap water contamination concerns.
cooked rice stored in a plastic bag with Twixit Clip

Cooked rice stored in a plastic bag with Twixit Clip[/caption]

  • Time Saving Tip
    Prepare extra rice ahead of time
    and portion it out in 1 cup increments in small food-safe plastic bags and store in the freezer for future rice milk making. For this purpose, I love using Twixit Clips (any kind of clip will work, but these clips are simply amazing. They last a very long time, have a lifetime guarantee and are so much easier to use than those pesky twist-ties! Simply thaw out the rice whenever you need rice milk. Bonus time saver, if you have a Vitamix or other high speed blender, it can handle the rice frozen! Simply pop the frozen rice into the blender with the filtered water and blend.
  • Flavored Milk:
    Add flavorings
    like chocolate, strawberry, or coconut--the sky's the limit! Think of all the variations you could make.
  • Buy a Vitamix
    If you've been thinking about a Vitamix and someone in your family has an allergy to dairy, you won't believe how much time and money this machine will save you. And clean up is a breeze! There are other high speed blenders, but the Vitamix is my hands down favorite.
  • Quick Cooling Tip - Make ice cubes out of this Homemade Rice Milk to increase longevity, or to have on hand for putting into hot cereals, hot coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate (or this coffee substitute) to cool them off more quickly than regular rice milk would do.
collage of homemade rice milk in carafe and glass on woven napkin with scattered grains of rice
homemade rice milk in carafes with brown rice scattered on marble tabletop

Homemade Rice Milk

This homemade rice milk is a super easy vegan milk substitute, plus it saves you money and helps you avoid all of the additives typically found in store bought rice milk.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: homemade rice milk
Servings: 8
Calories: 8kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 4 cups water (filtered, if possible)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener (or to taste; optional)
  • Vanilla extract (for vanilla-flavored milk; to taste)

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in blender.
  • Blend for four minutes in a regular blender, or two minutes in a high-speed blender like a Vitamix.
  • Use in recipes or drink as you would regular milk.
  • Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 8kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.66g | Protein: 0.14g | Fat: 0.01g | Potassium: 1.69mg | Fiber: 0.02g | Iron: 0.2mg | Net Carbs: 2g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

I'm sure you'll appreciate how this Homemade Rice Milk helps stretch your vegan diet and healthy eating budget!

Will you try making your own Homemade Rice Milk | Vegan Milk Substitute?
What other dairy-free milk substitutes have you tried?

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77 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very happy to know I can make my own rice milk. I will also try the coconut milk and almond milk. I'll be so happy to be able to drink "milk" again!! Thank you for the recipes.

  2. How is the rice prepared? Is it made in a rice cooker? Does the rice get the usual rinse off, when cooking in a rice cooker?

  3. I was drawn in by the beautiful photo and stayed for all the interesting information, thank you for sharing, Adrienne!

  4. Have you ever used this make pudding. I found a recipe on the Davita Kidney website that calls for unenriched rice milk. I live in a small town and can't find it, so I thought I'd make my own. Do you think it will work?

    1. Hi there. Sorry I missed your comment. We actually lost the comments for awhile and finally got them back on the site. I'm going to be updating this post soon w/ a lot more info but yes you can use this! Enjoy!

  5. Just wondering if it works to use this rice milk for things that need cooked like gravy on biscuts or bread ect.....One rice milk recipe I found said it thickens when it is cooked.....That is why I am asking...

  6. 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.

    1. 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?

  7. 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.

    1. 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 :).

      1. 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....

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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..

      1. I wouldn't personally recommend drinking anything that smells "off". I haven't looked into the science of this but please stay well :).

  9. 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?

    1. 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 :-).

    1. 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.

  10. 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?

    1. 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!

  11. 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

    1. 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.

  12. 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?

    1. 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?

  13. 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...

    1. 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!

  14. 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. . .

    1. 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!

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