In this day and age, almost everyone wants to cut milk out of their diet. From soy milk to almond milk to coconut milk, it’s hard to know what is the best and healthiest milk substitute to opt for. If you are looking for a healthy milk substitute and are trying to lose weight at the same time, look no further than rice milk.
Yes, rice milk! Did you know that rice milk has been available in local supermarkets worldwide for over ten years and comes in delicious flavours like vanilla, chocolate, and almond? While rice milk actually contains more carbohydrates in comparison to regular milk, it is absolutely free of lactose and cholesterol, making it an excellent choice for people who have an allergy to regular cow’s milk.
Aside from being extremely low in cholesterol, rice milk is a superb source of vitamin B, magnesium and is high in niacin, an acid that helps your digestive system stay on track and keeps your your hair and skin healthy. Rice milk has also been recently marked with the FODMAP stamp, which makes it a safe alternative to people suffering with irritable bowl syndrome. If you have been using other milk alternatives to substitute your milk intake, try making the switch to rice milk. Read on to discover the amazing benefits of rice milk.
A little history lesson
While the exact date rice milk was introduced into the world remains unknown, some theorists surmise that its origins derive from the popular Latin American drink called horchata.
The theory is that when the Spanish colonists came to Latin America they were avid about finding alternatives to a drink they originally made from tiger nuts. The deficit of tiger nuts, (otherwise known as chufas) in Latin America, led the Spanish colonists to create a drink from grains of rice.
Now the movement has caught on to all parts of the world and rice milk is used as a popular milk substitution to either avoid milk allergies or as a healthier and less fatty alternative to use in all different types of food dishes.
Let’s talk about nutrition
So why is rice milk a healthy alternative to milk and other milk alternatives? Well for starters, rice milk is generally low in calories. One cup (~225ml) of rice milk generally contains around 120 calories per serving. That is the same amount of calories as contained in an eight ounce cup of 2 percent cow’s milk.
While rice milk tends to be higher in carbohydrates when compared to other milk alternatives, they are the kind of carbs that give you an energy boost and break down fast during the course of a day. Rice milk contains about 6 grams of fat per eight ounce serving, cow’s milk contains around 22 grams of fat per eight ounce serving. If you are striving for weight loss, try replacing your usual one cup of cow’s milk with a cup of rice milk.
If you generally use cow’s milk when preparing rich desert dishes, reach for rice milk instead. You will cut the calories and fat in half without sacrificing the flavour.
How to make rice milk
Now that you know the history or rice milk and all about its nutrition benefits, why not try to make rice milk in the comfort of your own home? Traditionally rice milk is commercially made by processing it and straining it through a mill. If you want to make rice milk in your home however, all you need is a blender and some water, yes it is really that simple! To start, make sure you have the following key ingredients:
- 1 cup of brown or white rice
- 2 cups or 16 ounces of water
- a dab of vanilla extract (for sweetening purposes)
- a blender
Bring two cups of water to a high boil. Add rice and let simmer until the rice has been fully cooked. Once the rice has been cooked, transfer to the blender and add 8 ounces of lukewarm water. Make sure the contents are blended thoroughly. Take a gauze cloth and drape it over a large pitcher, secure with a rubber band. Transfer contents from the blender and strain into the pitcher. Add a drop of vanilla extract to taste. Sip and enjoy a little bit of rice dream heaven!