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What is Rice Milk?
Rice milk is a dairy-free type of milk that is prepared with boiled rice, and brown rice starch and syrup. There are no animal byproducts in this milk, making it a very popular option for vegetarians and vegans, while still delivering a number of critical nutrients. Furthermore, since it is a dairy-free option, there is also no lactose found in this rice-derived milk, so people with lactose intolerance often turn to this option. The flavor of unsweetened rice milk isn’t particularly appealing to many people, so it is often sweetened by manufacturers to more closely resemble traditional cow’s milk.
Not only is this milk alternative ideal for vegans and those with lactose intolerance, but it is also a healthy option for other people who want a unique mineral and nutrient boost without taking in as much fat or calories.
Rice Milk Nutrition
This popular milk alternative has a wide range of impressive nutrients, including roughly 140 calories per cup, and only about 3 grams of fat – much less than 10 grams of fat in a cup of whole cow’s milk. There is no cholesterol in this milk variant, making it much better for heart health, and the majority of rice milk brands are fortified with other minerals. Since cow’s milk does provide a better range of minerals, rice milk often has added levels of calcium, B vitamins, iron, vitamin A and vitamin D, to make it roughly equivalent to cow’s milk.
Rice Milk Health Benefits
There are quite a few antioxidants and acids found in rice milk that can help the skin, including para-aminobenzoic acid, which is linked to protecting the skin from the damaging rays of the sun, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes.
Prevents Chronic Disease
The various antioxidants that are found in rice can help to boost the overall strength of the immune system, helping the body resist oxidative stress and inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases.
There is no cholesterol in this milk variety, which is good news for people struggling with obesity and cardiovascular issues. Drinking this can lower your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Improves Bone Density
Due to the lack of lactose in this milk alternative, it is easier on the digestive system and can promote improvement in the bacterial environment of your gut, protecting you against infection and indigestion.
How to Make Rice Milk?
While purchasing rice milk from a trusted manufacturer is usually recommended, some people choose to make their own rice-derived milk at home, which isn’t all that difficult, provided you have rice, water and a natural sweetener, such as honey, dates or cinnamon.
Step 1 – Cook 1/2 cup of brown rice and set aside.
Step 2 – Add the cooked rice, 2 cups of water and your natural sweetener to a blender or food processor.
Step 3 – Once the mixture is smooth, strain through cheesecloth into a glass container.
Step 4 – Allow the rice milk to sit for 3-4 days in the refrigerator before serving chilled.
Rice Milk vs Almond Milk
The primary difference between rice milk and almond milk is the source of the milk. Almond milk is made with ground-up almonds, similar to the process of making rice-flavored milk, but the fat content, calorie count and active ingredients in the milk are completely different. That being said, almond milk and rice milk are both lactose-free and are popular plant milk varieties in various parts of the world. Furthermore, neither of these are natural sources of calcium or vitamin D, so they are both typically fortified beverages.