No-Cook Rice Milk

Click here to go straight to the recipe.

Some brands of rice milk contain microscopic bits of metal.

I had been planning on writing a post on homemade rice milk at some point, but after reading an article last week in Mother Jones about this latest non-food food additive, I decided I better whip up a batch of rice milk and write a post about it sooner rather than later.

According to the writer (and the scientific sources he cites), nano-size particles (a nanometer is a billionth of a meter) of titanium-dioxide now lurk in, among other products, Dannon Greek Plain Yogurt, Silk Original Soy Milk, Rice Dream Rice Drink, Hershey’s Bliss Dark Chocolate and Kraft’s American Cheese-Like Singles. Why? Because nanoparticles of titanium dioxide whiten white foods like yogurt and rice milk and brighten dark foods like chocolate.

How do nanoparticles affect the body? Well, we don’t know. The FDA says they pose a risk—but has done nothing to curb this trend. Ninety-six food items in the United States now contain unlabeled nano ingredients but as “recently as 2008, only eight US food products were known to contain nanoparticles, according to a recent analysis from Friends of the Earth—a more than tenfold increase in just six years.”

I don’t buy rice milk because of the overpackaging. I’ve seen it only in Tetra Paks, which aren’t recyclable (at least not where I live), and recycling is a last resort anyway. I prefer to refuse packaging, buy whole foods and cook for myself. Rice milk happens to be pretty easy to make.

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown or white rice, long or short grain (I buy mine in bulk in my own container and I chose brown rice for this post)
  • 4 cups water (plus more for soaking the rice)
  • Sweetener (optional)
  • Vanilla (optional)

Instructions

soaking rice

1. Rinse rice thoroughly and place in a bowl. Cover with water by about half an inch. Let soak overnight. This batch soaked for about 14 hours. One of the nice things about this recipe is you don’t use any energy to cook the rice before making the milk. If you prefer almond milk, just replace the cup of rice with a cup of raw almonds, and follow these same directions.

rice after 14 hour soakblender

2. After the rice has soaked, drain but do not rinse it. Place rice in a blender along with the 4 cups of water. If you want to add sweetener, vanilla or other flavorings, do it now. Unlike homemade almond milk, I think rice milk really needs just a bit of sweetener to taste (try a teaspoon of honey). You can add the flavorings after you blend everything and strain the liquid, but then you’ll have to clean the blender out and pour everything back in. It’s just easier to add it now. (I opt for easy.)

blender whirling

3. Whirl the rice and water around in the blender on high for about 3 minutes.

milk in strainer

4. Place a sieve lined with a very thin towel over a bowl. Pour the rice milk into it. Allow the liquid to strain and drip into the bowl below. My thinning, old tea towel is still a bit thick, but it did the trick.

squeeze milk

5. Gather the corners of the towel up and squeeze out the remaining liquid.

two jars of milk

6. Pour rice milk into jars, replace lids and chill. Drink your rice milk within a week. (I tend to avoid eating food more than a week old unless it’s fermented.)

rice sludge

If you have any ideas for what to do with this rice sludge, please let me know. I put mine in the fridge, where I imagine it will sit for several days until I finally compost it. I’ve baked with almond or coconut pulp left from making milk, but not rice.

No-Cook Rice Milk

Yields approximately 3 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown or white rice, long or short grain
  • 4 cups water (plus more for soaking)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or sugar (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Directions

1. Rinse rice thoroughly and place in a bowl. Cover with water by about half an inch. Let soak overnight.

2. After the rice has soaked, drain but do not rinse it. Place rice in a blender along with the 4 cups of water. Add sweetener and vanilla, if desired.

3. Whirl the rice and water around in the blender on high for about 3 minutes.

4. Place a sieve lined with a very thin towel over a bowl. Pour the rice milk into it. Allow the liquid to strain and drip into the bowl below.

5. Gather the corners of the towel up and squeeze out the remaining liquid.

6. Pour rice milk into jars, replace lids and chill. Drink your rice milk within a week.

Click here to read my recipe for rice milk made with cooked rice.

Click here to read my recipe for almond milk.

66 Comment

  1. Yes, it’s totally awesome. You can also prepare an almond milk like this or a soy milk from soy beans. It’s supercheap 🙂 I haven’t tried rice milk yet. I have to do it pretty soon! Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. You’re welcome! Thanks for the comment. I forgot to point out how inexpensive this is to make. Let me know how your rice milk turns out 🙂

  2. I’ve never tried rice milk before, but it looks good in the pictures you’ve posted here. How does the taste compare to regular milk? Or does it just taste like rice? (Excuse my ignorance, please!) And I’d definitely love to try this with almonds, since I love almond milk, and I imagine it’s even better when homemade. Do you just swap out the rice for almonds to do it? Thanks for sharing. Love your blog 🙂

    1. I drink cream-top whole milk, so it’s very different from that. It has the consistency of skim milk but a ricey (if I can use that “word”) flavor. I’m not a big fan of adding sugar to food, but I think this needs just a little bit of sweetener too. And yes, you can follow the same instructions for almond milk, with the same measurements (I’ll update my post and mention that). Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you like the blog!

  3. http://sailurecipes.blogspot.com/2008/01/chalimidi.html try this recipe to use up the left over rice.

    1. Thank you so much! I hate to throw anything out, even to the compost pile, if I can use it. I’ll look for jaggary and try making this.

      1. Thanks for great recipe. .first one I’ve seen with uncooked rice. Came out great, and far more pulp than using cooked rice. I think the pulp can be used as a slight thickener in soups. I would start with about 1tblsp per 2cups is soup ..add more for desired consistency. This was only my 4th rice attempr..but have been doing almond fir a while.

      2. The Zero-Waste Chef says:

        Great! I’m so glad it turned out well. Thanks for the idea to use up the pulp 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on Permaculture Hamilton and commented:
    This is The Zero-Waste Chef’s recipe for homemade rice milk, sans unappetizing metal bits. See our “Big Dairy” post on May 28 for background http://wp.me/p3TkW3-zQ.

    1. Thanks for the reblog! And for your “Big Dairy” post 🙂

  5. So simple! Thank you for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it.

    1. You’re welcome. Thanks for checking it out 🙂 Let me know how it turns out.

  6. I love this, I struggle with milk as my body does not like lactose. I am definitely going to try this as it’s cheaper than buying lactose free milk. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome and thank you for the comment 🙂 I hope the rice milk works out better for you. Almond milk is also easy to make using this method. By the way, I love your blog!

  7. […] was really happy with this milk, although I was unhappy about the cost until I came across Zero Waste Cheif Blog post on rice milk.  I had seen rice milk on the shelves in supermarkets and health food shops […]

  8. […] nuts. Sometimes, I eat bread along with the salad, sometimes not. The dressing is a hummus-vinegar-rice milk mixture, mixed with some […]

  9. Do u know if this rice milk priduces the same carbohydrate content as stated on the side of a carton of rice milk ? I am currently on a calorie counting diet and would love to know if I could replace this recipe for the carton stuff.

    1. Hmmm, that’s a good question. I think some rice milk has pureed rice in it and that would have more carbs that this. I found this calorie counter for recipes: http://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php

      When I entered the ingredients for this, it spit out the nutrition facts BUT it assumed I’m eating the rice, which you don’t really. I’m sure a little rice gets in, but not that much. Sorry I don’t have a better answer.

    2. Someone from another blog had said homemade rice milk had about 51 calories, compared to store bought which is around 130 calories.

      1. Thanks for the info! I have never figured out the calories of recipes but I have seen websites that will calculate that for you.

  10. You can use the rice “sludge” to thicken soups, stews and gravy, and add to smoothies. It works well and of course, it’s nutricious, too.

    1. That’s brilliant Judy! Thanks for the idea 🙂

  11. Reblogged this on bginny69 and commented:
    I’m making this for my kitty. I’m going to try cooking the rice I’ll be straining out (for me).

    1. Thank you for the reblog! I hope your kitty likes it 🙂 Someone recently told me to use the pulp to thicken soup. I thought that was brilliant!

  12. Hello. For the left over rice sludge, this could be a pancake base! Add some vegi and an egg, some spice. Just an idea, I used left over soy bean sludge to make pancake before. It was quite good.

    1. Ooooh, that’s a great idea Alice. I make vegetable fritter/pancake type things and think rice sludge would work really well. Thanks for the tip!

      1. Similar idea from me. I used it to make a gluten free pizza base

  13. I find it interesting that you choose to use raw rice to make this milk. May I ask why? Rice is a grain (which need to be soaked and cooked before being eaten).

    1. Hmmm, you’re right Bob. I should revise this and soak the rice overnight. Thanks for pointing that out.

  14. In the website/blog one of the commenters says the calories count compared to store bought. This would be under “Dairy Alternative: Homemade Rice Milk” in the search results dontwastethecrumbs.com/…/dairy-alternative-homemade-ric…

    1. Thanks for that Yvon. I’ve seen that website a few times. Good info on there 🙂

  15. I use ground rice and the bits after straining are made into smooth rice pudding, honey, cinnamon, cardamom etc. added and micro’d or cooked on the stove with some rice milk.

    1. That sounds delicious Donna. Thanks for the great idea 🙂

  16. Does it settle? I make rice milk and I have to shake it every time, as the solids settle on the bottom.

    1. Yes some sediment does settle (but not a huge amount) and have to shake it a bit.

  17. Recently found out I have a milk protein allergy, a well as egg, wheat and brewers yeast. I am soaking my rice now hoping to figure out SOMETHING that I can eat. The past couple weeks have been miserable and all this stuff at the store is ridiculously priced. Thank you for posting this as I might have hope after all to eat “normal” stuff again. Will let you know how/if it turns out.

    1. Wow, Autumn, that sounds rough 🙁 I hope the rice milk works for you. Good luck and let me know!

  18. i soaked the rice over night it looks the same. i was told you are supose to cook all grains? did i do something wrong ? help me please. i messed up the first batch i cooked the rive then measured it was really water down.

    1. Hi Hary, you can make it either way but if you use uncooked you have to soak the grains. Here’s a recipe for rice milk made with cooked rice: http://dontwastethecrumbs.com/2013/09/dairy-alternative-homemade-rice-milk-2/ I haven’t made this recipe myself but it looks good. I hope that helps and I hope you’ll try again. I have cooked lots of things that didn’t turn out the first time I tried them.

  19. I imagine that you could use the rice pulp to make rice crackers with some herbs and chia or flax seeds. 🙂 Just mix the pulp with your favorite binder and some flavorings and stuff and then spread thin on a baking sheet or a dehydrator sheet and dry it out till crispy.

  20. Will try this recipe but at the moment I’m thinking you can use the rice sludge to make a body or facial scrub. Perhaps adding a little oil (to get a moisturizing effect) and if the sludge is too smooth a little baking soda can be added to it.

    1. That’s a great idea Hannah. Thank you!

  21. Vegan all the way. says: Reply

    When I made flax milk I added a tomato, and the filtered out part, I mixed with a probiotic capsule and dehydrated it at 105 degrees. It was delicious. You might have to germinate the rice, or maybe it is just too hard for what works with flax seed or sunflower seeds.

    1. That sounds really good. Thanks for the idea!

  22. Doesn’t cooking the rice release the remainder of anti nutrients still in the rice even after soaking. And if so, if its not cooked could this cause a digestive issue or at least lost nutrients being passed through the GI track. I think it’s important to get this right!! The recipe is the same 1-4 ratio 1cup soaked and cooked rice, 4cups water 5 pitted dates for sweetener. (or 3 tbs maple syrup) I drink it as is without straining (using a vitamix helps with this very little grit or sludge.) If it settles shake it and add it to smoothies yum!!

    1. Hi Mark. I actually want to revise this post because I’ve had much feedback similar to yours (and regular traffic to it every day–so I do have to get it right). It’s on the (very long) to-blog list. Your recipe sounds delicious 🙂

  23. Hi! Just curious as to why you don’t rinse the soaked rice (gently) before blending.

    1. Hi Trisha. My daughter was the first one to make rice milk and she didn’t rinse so that’s how I make it. But I should try that and see what happens. I actually want to revise this post. I’ve had so many questions about it and people have sent me other rice milk recipes that I want to try. ~ Anne Marie

      1. OK no worries! I thought maybe it got all mushy or something. So many recipes, so little time 😀

  24. Isn’t it unhealthy to eat uncooked rice though?

    If not, there might be an even easier way to make rice milk: put rice flour and water in a blender (along with sugar, oils, vanilla and salt). If it’s safe to consume raw rice, then I’ll definitely try it.

  25. You can make a sort of cottage with the sludge, just add some olive oil, salt, herbs of your choice and sometimes a bit of carrot or tomatoes

    1. What a great idea Maria. Thanks for that 🙂 ~ Anne Marie

  26. Hi! Love the recipe and your site.

    To answer your question, “If anybody has any ideas about what to do with this sludge, let me know,”
    I’d suggest dehydrating it, throwing it in the blender, and using it as a cosmetics base. Without doing anything special, at this point it can be used as an oil-absorbing face powder… Think Shiseido Blotting Papers!

    1. Thank you for the nice comment and the brilliant idea Anastasia! ~ Anne Marie

  27. Ideas for rice sludge: add 3/4 cup of oats 1 cup water 1 tea spoon chia seeds, 1t spoon cinnamon, 1/2 t spoon vanilla, 1 table spoon honey, 1 grated apple all mixed together in backing dish 1 cup mixed berries on top and sprinkle with shredded coconut and sunflower seeds and bake in 180 degree Celsius for 25 -35min serve with yoghurt once cooked ( rice oat sludge berry bake) if want more pudding texture add more water if want more protein can add eggs.

    1. :O Thank you for this Melissa. It sounds delicious! ~ Anne Maie

  28. Thanks for sharing this recipe…. It came at the right time as I am currently experimenting with a Four grain Energy milk recipe from a local Thai recipe, which is a bit labor intensive… I will soon share the recipe and process… It requires lotus seeds, job’s tears, brown rice and kidney beans, which have to be slow cooked for some time and then faster later one… Coconut Palm Sugar and you have a tasty meal replacement… at the moment, I still have a lot of leftover and need to figure out what to do with it…. All work in progress, but trying on figuring out more local recipes…

  29. Perhaps rice pudding??

  30. You can make some amazing rice pulp fritters with the rice pulp!!!! It’s amazing! Just get all the pulp fry them into little balls and boom! Amazing rice pulp fritter, goes good with some spicy sauce.

  31. Save the pulp, put on cookie sheet and dehydrate in oven on lowest heat until completely dry. Run through blender or food processor to make rice flour, which can be used in recipes in place of flour.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Rosie. I started to do this with almond pulp leftover from making almond milk. I’ll try it with the rice milk too. Thanks for the idea. ~ Anne Marie

  32. Have you ever made cheese with your rice milk?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      No I haven’t but I would love to try. Have you? I’d love to hear about it. I would also love to make cashew cheese. It’s on my “to-cook” list.

  33. One recipe tester roasted the rice in a pan for about 4 minutes before soaking. It improved the taste and settled the issue about being cooked.

  34. I mixed the rice sludge with a mashed up banana and a teaspoon of honey and make mini pancakes out of the batter.

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