Making your own dairy-free milk is super easy and healthier than buying over-processed commercial milks found in supermarkets. I’ve been experimenting with different types since I went dairy-free a year and a half ago, but have been unable to find an already made one that I liked. Most of them are too watery and lack flavor, in addition to being loaded with refined oils, sugars and synthetic vitamins. So, I have been making my own which is is very easy and, most importantly, the results are delicious!
Homemade is better
Look at the label of any commercial rice milk and you will find not only rice and water but also a variety of other substances used to flavor and fortify it. Among these are vitamin D2 as well as refined oils, and many times sugar. Three things I don’t want it my milk, despite the propaganda to the contrary.
When it comes to vitamin D, D3 is the type that is produced by your body (and obtained from fish and lanolin), not D2 which is obtained from irradiated mushrooms. The later is the one that is almost always found in fortified products (I give you a hint why: cost). There are also studies showing that D3 is absorbed better and faster than D2. As for refined oils, any oil that is not cold extracted (such as extra virgin coconut or olive) is a VERY processed product, subjected to high levels of heat, chemical solvents, and bleaches and deodorizers. Many natural and alternative medicine practitioners consider it a must to remove refined vegetable oils from a healthy diet as these promote inflammation and the formation of free radicals.
Irradiated mushrooms and chemical-ladden vegetable oils? No thanks. I for one would rather eat a more natural product. So here’s a quick recipe to make your own rice milk (I have also made almond milk and coconut milk and will share those recipes in coming weeks).
Cook 1/2 cup of rice in 2 cups of water. Add vanilla if desired. I used Lundberg’s Arborio for its high starch content and because it is sustainable and gluten free, and Simply Organic’s vanilla extract which is also gluten free as well as organic.
Blend. Initially it will be the consistency of porridge so you will need to add more water until it reaches the consistency you prefer. [Some recipes I found online strained the milk after blending. I found this was not necessary.]
Add flavors to taste: sugar, a pinch of salt, or cinnamon. You could also fortify with your own vitamins if you with. Use in smoothies, cereals or wherever you would use your regular dairy-free milk of choice.
Have you experimented with dairy-free milks? Which one is your favorite?