Do-It-Yourself Experiment: Making Homemade Rice Milk

After Adrienne posted about how to make homemade rice milk, I’ve been wanting to try it. I mean, who couldn’t find it fascinating that you could basically blend rice and water together and turn it into milk?

Personally, I was a bit skeptical that it would really work that well. It seemed too good to be true.

I cooked the rice and then put it in the Vita-Mix with water, a dash of salt, vanilla, and honey (see the recipe measurements and instructions here).

And then turned on the Vita-Mix and let it run for two minutes.

The result? Beautiful rice milk that tasted identical to rice milk we’ve bought at the health food store.

It was delicious in Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Waffles–and it took all of five minutes to make!

Note: I did try keeping some of the rice milk in the refrigerator and it didn’t taste all that great after a few days. So I’d recommend making it fresh or using it up within a day or two.

Have any of you tried making rice milk or other non-dairy milks? I’d love to hear about your experiences!

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Comments

  1. Casey says

    I have made almond milk several times. Still experimenting to find the perfect ratio. I soak almonds overnight, then drain & rinse. Throw them into blender with water and blend for a couple minutes. Then strain twice through fine colander. My current ratio is about 3/4 cup almonds to 4 cups water. I haven’t added any sweetener or vanilla, but I hear agave is a good choice. Look forward to reading other reader’s posts. Want to try rice milk, it’s on my DIY list. Wonder if it matters what kind of rice. Brown? Jasmine? Basmati? Plain old white?

    • Julie says

      There is a little difference according to my kids( ages 10,10 8, 4). But they still drink it. We use organic brown rice and I don’t sweeten it any more. My kids only use it on the cereal a few morning a week and they usually sweeten the cereal, so i don’t add it to the milk. Also, if you are going to use it in mashed potatoes for example, I would not sweeten it. From past experience it doesn’t take very good and in my kids opinion neither do nut milks in potatoes. If you are going to sweeten, I would either use agave or a few medjool dates. For our nut milks we use 1 cup nuts to 4 cups water. HTH

  2. Tracy Robinson says

    Wish I’d had this recipee 3 years ago when my son couldn’t drink milk! I tried 3-4 other rice milk recipees & only had 1 batch work 1 time. It was always a huge mess, but this looks FAR easier then the other techniques & less messy.

    • Becky says

      I tried it using a Magic Bullet, and I don’t know if I just didn’t mix it long enough or what (I did a few shorter segments rather than 2 min at once because the MB instructions say never to use it for more than 1 minute straight), but the rice never did seem to disappear as much as I thought it would/should. Had to shake it really well every time I wanted to use it, and even then it was more like thin rice milk with tiny rice floaties. Hubby wouldn’t use it for his cereal (using store-bought for that), but I can use the homemade stuff in some baking. I need to try it again to see if I can get a smoother, less rice-chunky result.

  3. says

    I too make milk at home, I think you don’t even have to cook the rice, I do it with almonds and all I do is soak it in the refrigerator in 2 cups of water to 1 cup of almonds usually 12-24 hours no longer. Drain and rinse the almonds (you can reserve the liquid and water your houseplants with it, when it gets to room temp :) ) Put in 2 cups of filtered water into your blender, and then the almonds. Blend well, don’t even need to do it the 2 minutes. At this time I use cheesecloth to also make my almond meal for baking with!! Take a couple of layers of cheesecloth over a pitcher and pour in a little of the almond milk, usually about a 1/3 of the batch, press well, until all the liquid is removed and you have a hard dry ball of almond meal, reserve that in a container and continue the process with the other 2/3 of blended almonds. Then return the liquid to the blender and blend in vanilla, honey, or other sweetener to taste (I’ve used agave, honey, minced dates, etc.) I also like to use about 1/4 tsp of guar gum to give it a little thicker consistency. It usually stores well in my refrigerator for almost a week, (though I usually use it up faster than that LOL). Homemade alternative milks do have a tendency to separate like OJ does but a little stirring or shaking and its all good!! AND, the almond meal makes excellent cookies, scones, and cobblers!! :D

  4. Laura says

    This looks good. BUT- I’m betting it’s low on calcium. If you’re using it as a full-time dairy substitute, you probably need store a store bought version, or a way to add that calcium back in. (unless you have access to nutritional info on this). I’ll gladly use this recipe- and it’s a great deal (the boxed versions are so pricey!). I’m also trying to feed a soy/dairy free child and still provide calcium…..Thanks for the recipe!

      • Ginger M. says

        Agree with Johnlyn here. I eat Paleo (and so am dairy-free). I just had all my labs checked. My calcium level was excellent. (And my doc said I had the best labs she has ever seen! I used to be quite sick before going Paleo.) Please do read the link above. :)

  5. Ruth says

    When I lived overseas I made soymilk, starting from the actual soy bean. That was an all day chore, but it sure was cheap milk! :) And really great tofu sausage came out of the non-milk part too.

    I have made rice milk (the sweet kind called Horchata) but it was a different recipe than this one – main difference is using uncooked rice.

  6. says

    we do the same thing with “raw” cashews. sometimes we do coconut (my fav.) or almond milk but you have to strain both of those. we can’t handle grains at this time so rice is out. We LOVE cashew milk and of all the alternative milks it looks the most like cows milk…

    i use:
    1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
    4-5 cups water
    touch of vanilla
    a couple dates, bit of honey or stevia if you want
    blend in vitamix!

    • JG says

      Uncooked/raw cashews can cause an allergic rash similar to poison ivy because they are in the same plant family. They can also cause stomach upset. Most “raw” cashews are actually steamed to release the toxin and so don’t usually cause problems but if someone in your family is especially sensitive to poison ivy it helps to blanch the nuts in boiling water. Keep in mind that a reactions to this toxin can occur spontaneously—after years of not reacting to poison ivy, you may suddenly have a reaction.

      • says

        @JG that is exactly why I typed raw in parenthesis. One can not buy cashews entirely raw. All cashews have to be steamed enough to hull the double shell surrounding the raw cashew (which is a seed and not a nut) since it contains urushiol, a toxic resin…same family as poison ivy as you mentioned. However the temperature at which the cashews are steamed doesn’t destroy the enzymes therefore creating the “raw” label but does release the toxins. I would surely hope that someone adding cashews to their diet would do a bit of research. We use cashews because they’re loaded with B vitamins, zinc, copper and supply a good amount of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, manganese, and selenium. Cashews are also rich in folate and vitamin K.

        • JG says

          You can buy entirely raw cashews but they are (luckily!) hard to find. Still, even the steamed “raw” cashews can still contain some urushiol, hence my warning. I’d guess that some companies may not maintain the quality control that is required for a completely toxin-free product. I’ve known two people who had reactions to steamed “raw” cashews. One had stomach pain but the other had “poison ivy” rash appear randomly on his body—yikes. So, if one is very sensitive to poison ivy or notices stomach pain or rash after consuming so-called raw cashews, blanching is a worthwhile precaution.

  7. says

    I made this after seeing it on your site the other day. My son can’t have any calcium when he takes a certain supplement. Since we give it to him at breakfast (the only time I can consistantly remember to give this to him) I have been looking for another “milk” to use on the days we have cereal. I used a regular food processor, lowered it to only 3 cups milk, then did a second mixing after draining part of the milk off since not all the rice blended up. It was a very easy process. It did seperate and need mixing after I put it into the fridge. Also, I noticed that there are still particles in the bottom. It wasn’t anything that turned my son off to it when I used his “special milk” in his cereal. I fully expect this is because I used a food processor rather than a blender.

    Thanks for mentioning that the taste changed after a few days. I’ve never actually had rice milk, store bought or other wise, so would not have know when I went to use it in the morning. I wonder how it freezes. Perhaps in ice cube trays. Since he is the only one to use it in our household, we wouldn’t be using a lot at once. I don’t want to have to make a 3 cup batch every week just so he can have cereal one day out of seven. The other alternative is to take out cereal all together from the menu and make his shakes “milk” free.

  8. Chelsea says

    When we were dairy free, a favorite dinner was MSM’s pizza dough made with regular toppings and extra sauce, we just left off the cheese. It tasted great! We were still able to enjoy many of our favorite foods by adjusting condiments, toppings, or simple substitutions. We always saw it as a fun adventure to try and tweak our recipes to being dairy free.

  9. Catherine says

    I just bought a used Vitamix off of ebay for only $180 (including shipping!) so check there. I was worried about no warranty and was about to buy a refurbished one off of the vitamix wesite for $200 more but figured that if it broke I could send it in to get fixed and probably break even. I LOVE IT! I have had it a half of week and already made flour, smoothies, soups, and ice cream….now I’m going to make milk! Thanks for the recipe!

  10. kryatal says

    My son has a lot of food allergies and drinks rice milk so this would be great for me to try. My only concern is how long is it good for once its made. With store bought it is only good for 7 days after opening. Anyone have any ideas about this?

    • Emily says

      If you read the bottom of her post she said it didn’t taste right after three days so you need to make it as you need it.

  11. BethB says

    I’ve seen my MIL do this for nut milk.

    Although there is a family story about her making really terrible soy milk then trying to save it by making equally terrible bread. That didn’t work so she made bread pudding. No one ate it so she froze it. The freezer caught on fire and she still tried to serve it because she didn’t want to waste food. She laughs at it now. It sounds like something I would do. :0

    One question, what about calcium? The store bought stuff is fortified. I know there are many other dietary sources of calcium but I was wondering if you’re worried about that.

    • says

      My knee jerk response is to add some sesame seeds to whatever kind of milk you are making. You can make sesame milk too. I’ve done that already.

      Sesame seeds are extremely high in calcium.

      • beth b says

        I use sesame seeds in the energy bites I make. Unfortunately, I have to grind them because we noticed they were passing through the 2 y/o’s system without being digested. TMI, I know.

  12. Katy Joosten says

    Beth B. asked what I was going to ask :) Can anyone think of a clever way to “fortify” it?

  13. Katie Holt says

    I foun a brown rice milk recipe online that I’ve been using for my kiddo who doesn’t tolerate cow milk. You cook 1 cup of organic brown rice in 8 cups of water for 3 hours. Then you put half the rice mixture in a blender with the same about of water and whir it up, strain it twice. It makes enough for a week for my guy and he seems to like it.

  14. Elizabeth says

    This has to be WAY cheaper than buying rice milk. But I agree– gotta think about mineral supplementation… or make sure you are getting it somewhere else (don’t forget the D or the calcium won’t be absorbed).

  15. Claudia says

    When I was a young girl my mother used to make this for us all of the time. She would soak the rice overnight and put it through the blender. Then she would strain it and add cinnamon or vanilla and a little sugar. We didn’t drink it in place of milk but it was very refreshing in the summer. She also used to puree watermelon or cantaloupe with some water and put in a pitcher. These are the kinds of things we would drink in the summer time.

    • Kerstin says

      Yup! Typical Hispanic drink… Horchata, made from scratch! Just soak overnight with cinnamon sticks (use the Mexican one, tastes VERY different from kind you get at American stores like Jewel, Dominick’s, etc…).

      The “agua fresca” is a wonderful alternative to juice! Fresh fruit in the blender and add water (sweeten if you like). I have come to like a 1:3 ratio, 1 part fruit of your choice to 3 parts water.

  16. Tawni says

    We’ve used rice milk with both our kiddos coming off of breast milk. They’re still on it and love it! I’d LOVE to save money making it at home, however I have reservations about missing the vitamin content. Our Ped said the rice milk they’re on now (from Costco) is a fine milk replacement as long as they’re getting iron from another source (spinach, meat, etc). But if I make this at home, they’ll miss out on the Vit A, D2, Folic Acid, B12, etc that they so very much need at these ages (3 & 1). Have any of you experimented with adding liquid vitamins to your homemade rice milk? I’d want to get the amounts correct!
    Thanks!

    • Janice says

      From what I’ve been reading, many of these vitamins are NOT in good forms anyway. Vit A is Vit A paltimate which is showing to not be good, Vit D is Vit D2 and you actually need Vit D3. The calcium needs magnesium to be absorbed etc. I am not even close to being any type of expert, but I would encourage you to research/read about it. All of this could be so easily be replaced with a good whole food multi-vitamin, I would think.

  17. Leighann says

    What is the difference between a Vita-Mix and a regular blender? I got a blender for $20 from Wal Mart that’s always served me well, but I’m suspecting that a Vita-Mix (which is a LOT pricier) is a different gadget.

    • says

      Leighann- I just got a Vitamix and my husband said the exact thing when he got home from work that day. Why do we need a Vitamix when we have a perfectly good working blender? Ha. The Vitamix is so much more powerful than your standard blender and can pretty much do anything! I can throw in whole fruits (fresh and frozen), veggies, and ice and have a yummy smoothie in seconds. I can also make soup with whole veggies, broth, and seasonings. You can make your own milk and grind your own flour in a Vitamix too. After a few smoothies and frappuccinos, my husband understood. :)

  18. Elisabeth says

    Can you use white rice to make this? And can you freeze it? (I realize the health benefits of brown rice, but we were given a “pounding” last fall, and I have over 30 pounds of white rice to use up…Even with 7 kids, that’s a lot of rice!)

  19. Chris says

    As someone who drinks skim milk daily but has never tried rice milk, store bought or homemade, can someone please tell me if rice milk tastes anything even remotely like dairy milk? Thank you in advance.

    • Becky says

      Depends on how far you stretch the definition of “remotely,” but I’d still say no, it doesn’t taste anything like cow’s milk.

  20. Joy says

    One of my sons who is now almost 10 was on rice milk as a toddler because of milk allergy. Luckily, he outgrew milk allergy by the time he was 4. But I’m just wondering for those of you who drink rice milk, esp. the store bought, aren’t you concerned about the reports about arsenic in brown rice?

    The scary thing about the arsenic is that there have been reports going back to 2007 about arsenic in brown rice but yet it still seems to be a problem. So it makes me now wonder about what the long-term effects are since my son drank a lot of store bought rice milk 9 years ago.

    • says

      Yes this is a bit of a concern for me. We limit rice milk consumption to make sure it’s nothing outrageous since reports seem to indicate it’s only huge quantities that can cause a problem. I’m not super well read on the topic but from what I have read rice naturally absorbs arsenic in the soil and always has/always will. Yes abnormally large quantities can cause an issue, but so far everyone is saying that nobody needs to limit their rice consumption, just don’t treat rice milk like cow’s milk and have a young toddler drinking 24oz. of it a day. It has been consumed for generations especially in places like Asia in fairly large quantities so I figure as long as we try to be smart about it given what we know now we’ll be okay. It is a dilemma though for those of us whose kids are severely allergic to dairy and soy.

      So what we do is we use rice milk for cooking, baking and with our cereal. Then the kids drink Coconut Milk for a beverage. I’m actually planning to make some rice and coconut milk soon, coconut milk is about as easy to make as the rice milk recipe here and it contains more fat naturally, which is a good thing. I’m comfortable with our plan, the kids eat rice maybe twice a week and consume probably 4-8oz of rice milk a day, which given the 4/1 ratio is likely about 1oz of actual rice per day.

  21. says

    Great! I’ve been wanting to try it ever since I first saw the recipe a few weeks ago since my husband is allergic to milk.
    I’m definitely going to try it when we run out of the store-bought stuff! :)

  22. Nancy Sue says

    Thank you so much for this post! All the rice milks in the store either contain a barley component and/or a thickener made from carrageenan (seaweed) which contain hidden gluten in its processing. For a person with severe celiac disease, this is a wonderful recipe. Thank you again!

  23. Lynette says

    It cracks me up that this is called “milk.” It is rice and water and basically a “milk-substitute.”

  24. Priscilla W says

    Has anyone made this & then froze it in an ice cube tray…and then used those frozen cubes to a shake/or ice cream treat from the blender?

  25. Janice says

    I made this in a blender (4 mts.) as suggested and it was basically thin gruel :( Mostly watery, with a bunch of rice sludge in the bottom. I’m guessing a Vitamix must be the only way to make it work right. I strained mine twice (recipe doesn’t even say to strain it, but I can’t fathom not!), and it still has fine sludge in the bottom.