Rice milk is often used as an alternative to milk.
Rice milk is one of the most popular grain milks, often used as an alternative to dairy milks, soy milk or various nut milks. Along with oat milk, it is one of two grain milks widely found in the West, although rye milk, spelled milk, wheat milk, and quinoa milk are also found in packaged form. Because rice milk uses an affordable ingredient, rice, and because it’s relatively simple to make, homemade rice milk has become quite popular with those interested in an inexpensive alternative to dairy or other non-dairy milks.
Brown rice is most commonly used for rice milk.
More typically, rice milk is made from brown rice and is naturally sweetened by an enzymatic process that generates a good amount of glucose. Even so, some rice milk is sweetened, usually by adding a sweetener such as sugar cane syrup or sometimes agave or honey. Packaged rice milk can also be found in other flavors, usually with vanilla or cocoa added to give it the proper flavor, and this can also be made at home when making rice milk.
Many people are allergic or sensitive to dairy products or avoid them for ethical reasons.
To make rice milk from scratch, all you need is rice, water and a cotton cloth or a blender. Some people use very little water with rice, while others use a lot of water, and it is up to each individual to experiment to find the level that is best for them. Likewise, you can squeeze rice milk from rice using something like a cotton cloth, or simply mix rice and water in a blender to make a puree that acts like rice milk.
Generally, about 4C (1L) of water is used for 1C (250mL) of rice. Some people recommend substantially more water for rice, up to four times as much, which naturally results in more watery rice milk. Different varieties of rice will also produce different flavors and strengths, so it may be necessary to change the amounts of water to better match the rice used.
The simplest way to make rice milk is to simply add boiling water to the rice and let it boil for about an hour. Once cooked, the entire mixture can be poured into a food processor or blender and pureed until completely smooth. If you want to flavor it, it is added at this point, as well as the additional sweetener. All in all, this method takes about an hour and can be scaled to almost any size to make large amounts of rice milk.
The other way to make rice milk is to rinse the rice until it is clean, pour boiling water over it and let it sit for an hour or two. About a quarter of this soaked rice can then be taken out of the water and added with fresh water in a blender and blended to a rough texture. This rough mixture is then added back to the original rice, where it is brought to a boil for about half an hour. The entire mixture is then placed on a cotton cloth and the liquid is squeezed out, giving the rice milk a slightly different texture and strength than the simpler method.