Homemade Alternative Milk
Milk, including non dairy milk, is getting pricey. Did you know you can make your own alternative milks at home?
Rice is affordable and it’s something most of us have around the house, but the same basic recipe will work for all kinds of things including nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. (Soak times vary.)
Rice milk can be made using cooked or uncooked, white, brown or any other rice with varying results in thickness and flavor. No more throwing out leftover rice!
If using cooked rice, just skip past the ‘soak’ step…
To make 2 cups of rice milk:
Soak 1/2 cup rice in water 3 hours – overnight. Strain and discard the water.
Blend rice and 2 cups water. (Try adding 1 or 2 dates to your puree! It adds a nice flavor and helps with consistency.)
Process smooth (or close to it.)
Strain (if desired) your milk using a fine mesh sieve or a couple layers of cheesecloth. (Reserve the rice to dehydrate/grind into flour or add it to your baked goods. No waste!)
Flavor your milk to taste using salt, sugar, syrup, stevia, vanilla, cocoa or fruit – or however you like it! You could also add a little (I wouldn’t go higher than 20%) coconut or other oil for fat content.
Store in a glass jar in the fridge and shake before use. Without preservatives I don’t think I’d want to use this past a few days.
…and that’s all there is to it! So simple and fast and you have dairy free milk without the preservatives, sugar and sodium (and who knows what else) of store bought.
As I mentioned, this can be done with many different nuts, seeds and legumes. The only difference in the process is the soak times.
Soaking helps improve digestibility, and remove enzyme inhibitors from nuts, grains and seeds that nature provides to ensure propagation of the species. Don’t use the soak water for the milk.
Another option is toasting rather than soaking (soaking is best nutritionally) to bring out a richer flavor.
Alternative milks and soak times:
Almond 12 hours, remove skins
Hemp Seed (no need to soak),
Sesame 6 hours,
Sunflower, shells removed 8 hours,
Hazelnut (no need to soak),
Oats (or oatmeal) 8 hours,
Cashew 4 hours,
Coconut 2 hours,
Amaranth 8 hours,
Quinoa 12 hours
The possibilities are endless! The leftover pulp after straining can be used in baking.
Try mixing flavors; add some coconut to the rice milk, or coconut with hazelnut – hmm. I love the homemade coconut milk (could you tell? lol) – and it’s a fraction of the price of store bought! (I actually preferred the flavor of the DIY version too.)
One other thing about rice milk in particular. Rice contains quite a bit of starch, starch will thicken up the liquid when heated. This is very useful information when using your milk. Whatever you use to make milk with, take the starch content into consideration if you’ll be heating it later. It can be strained an extra time or through a coffee filter to help remove fine starchy particulates.
If you find the milk too thin for your liking, take a portion of it and heat it up until it begins thicken. Blend it back into the remaining milk.
Have you tried any DIY milks? What was your favorite?