Sometimes I make rice or almond milk, to avoid eating dairy or just because I haven’t been to the shop or the farm to buy milk. It’s easy to make, and cheaper than packaged milk alternatives.
I could buy cartons of rice or almond milk, but that costs more and the packaging isn’t recyclable (too many layers of cardboard, foil and plastic all stuck together). I buy my almonds and rice in brown paper bags, so there’s much less waste. I’m saving these cartons to use as soap moulds, but they’ll still end up in landfill eventually.
To make rice milk, first cook some rice. Brown rice has a better flavour than white rice and more nutrients.
Blend 1 cup of cooked rice with 3 cups of water, a pinch of salt and a dash of vanilla essence.
Strain this liquid through a teatowel folded over, or other clean cloth, into a jug or jar. Add more vanilla essence or a little maple syrup to the milk if needed. Use the pulp to bulk up cakes or muffins, thicken soups or stews, or add to porridge. Or feed it to your chookies if you run out of baking time.
That’s it! I store it in a ceramic jug or glass jar in the fridge.
To make almond milk, soak almonds overnight or at least 6 hours to plump them up. I don’t bother skinning them. Conventional almonds are likely to have pesticide residue, especially on the skin. You may want to slip the skins off at this stage if you’re not using organic or biodynamic nuts.
Soaked almonds, with soaking water tipped into measuring cup.
The half cup of dry almonds has almost doubled while soaking. I measured about 2 and a half cups of water to add to these.
A dash of vanilla essence.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt. Normal salt is fine. Pink salt contains more minerals.
All ingredients in the blender.
Whiz it all together.
Strain into a jar or glass milk bottle. I don’t mind bits of almond in my milk, so I just use a teastrainer, giving it a jiggle to get the liquid through. If you want it strained finer, use a folded teatowel or special nutmilk bags.
Use the almond pulp to make a smoothie (the blender’s full of almond already…), bake it into muffins or cakes as in the rice milk recipe, or keep it in the fridge to add to your cereal or muesli in the mornings.
It will separate after a day or so in the fridge. Just shake it again before using.
Almond milk naturally contains good levels of calcium, especially if you eat the pulp too. If you mostly make rice milk, without eating dairy, make sure you eat lots of green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds and nuts, and sardines to get your calcium.
Easy, yummy, dairy-free milk.