DIY Rice Milk

Backstory: we had been buying Costco's Kirkland rice milk for some time.  I hate using a cart in that store, and prefer to zip around and between the crowds cartless. So more than once I've carried a heavy multi-pack box of rice milk through the store and out to my car on my shoulder. While it's a great workout (and you get lots of intrigued looks) it's not that fun. And then when I thought about all the trash from throwing out those cartons each week... I realized I should get on the "make your own" bandwagon.

I consulted several sites for recipes and have experimented.  Below is my preferred method for making our weekly stash. We've been free of the store bought rice milk for at least a couple months now and loving it.  Mostly we use the rice milk on home made granola for breakfasts.   It's a little too thin for coffee (I prefer almond mylk for my coffee!) but it's perfect for heavy nut-laden stuff like granola or as a substitute for milk in baking recipes.

Ingredients: all of the ingredients can be easily and cheaply bought at Costco: maple syrup, vanilla extract, Himalayan pink salt and a big bag of white rice.  I've been moving towards buying the raw ingredients at stores and trying not to purchase variations of the same ingredient (buy rice instead of rice and rice milk; buy almonds instead of almond meal, sliced almonds etc.).

Containers: I use half gallon glass canning jars, with wide mouth plastic lids.  Pictured above is our rice milk and kombucha (both home made) in two jars, which fit perfectly in our fridge door shelf.

Want to do something easier? Check out my shortcut version here.

Toast 2 cups of white rice in a wide dry skillet over high heat for 2-4 minutes, shaking every minute (don't let it burn).  It should smell more like rice, but not be burnt.  Catch it before it turns tan. It will shift from translucent to more opaque white.

Soak the toasted rice overnight in the fridge in several cups of water.  What I do is pour the hot toasted rice into the half gallon glass jar (using a canning funnel makes it easier), then pour in 4-6 cups of cold filtered water.  This makes the jar about 2/3 full.  You can soak it at room temp if you like, but I like it soaked in the fridge so it is chilled for morning breakfast.

Blend the rice and soaking liquid until smooth. I use a vitamix blender, but once the rice is soft from soaking I bet other blenders will work fine.

Strain the liquid into a large bowl.  I made a bag using washed thin white fabric sewn into a large bag with rounded edges, using a french seam.  Alternatively you can use a very fine metal sieve or buy a "nut milk bag" on the internet.  When using the bag, I pour from the vitamix in to the bag over the bowl, twist the top of the bag a little and then squeeze the bag to get the liquid out- it takes a couple minutes so be patient.  When the stuff in the bag is pretty dry, discard the rice solids (I compost mine).

Season the finished liquid with 1/4 - 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt. Alternatively, if you are a fan of liquid stevia you could try using that instead of the maple syrup.

Pour the liquid into a half gallon clean glass jar (I just rinse out the soaking jar).  Add 1-2 cups more cold filtered water until the half gallon jar is nearly full.

Store in the fridge. It seems to last 4-5 days. You'll know when it goes bad as it starts to smell and taste sour tasting.

It will separate so when ready to use, stir it (I use a long cooking chopstick to get the goo dislodged from the bottom of the jar; then re-screw the lid on and shake).

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