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Friday, August 31, 2012

*New* and *Improved* homemade rice milk

I like pretty. So I'm shallow, but I like pretty things. I drink my morning coffee out of a pretty cup, because it makes me feel good about my coming day. I have a pretty robe that I put on first thing in the morning, because it makes me feel pretty. I enjoy strolling through large botanical gardens, because pretty makes my heart sing. And I keep my homemade rice milk in a pretty little jug, simply because it makes me smile every time I reach into the fridge to pour some in my tea or coffee.

There's so much beauty in this world, it would seem a shame to drink coffee from a paper cup, or only wear tattered sweats in the morning (there are some days that I do wear my tattered sweats -- I'm usually not at all caring about pretty on those days).  I'd hate to see myself spend all day, everyday, cooped up and hunched over the computer screen, or keep my homemade rice milk in a repurposed cool whip container.

So, when feasible, I choose what is lovely to look at, over what is purely practical. Here's my pretty little jug for holding rice milk. I had it just sitting on a shelf for months. And I was storing my rice milk in the fridge in a canning jar. Then the proverbial light bulb moment -- the pretty things can have a practical use. Do you have some lovely things that you use everyday? Do you find satisfaction in indulging in simple pleasures?

For a bit more on rice milk. . .

More and more I am moving away from soy products. There's some question about whether or not they can be harmful. In an effort to just play it safe, until more is known, I've been relying on my homemade rice milk more often lately. I used to just make it in an emergency (yes, there are rice milk emergencies in my home -- if it means I can eat some of the cake I'm making for the family, I call that an EMERGENCY). But lately I've been using it as my main milk. The rest of the family still enjoys dairy milk (lucky them).

What this means is I've been tinkering with my rice milk recipe. I want it to be even more appealing. So I thought I'd share my *new* and *improved* homemade rice milk. (This is not required reading. You may click away at any time, should recipes on making rice milk make you feel grumpy, and sorry you ever came to creative savv today! I won't be the least bit offended if you leave the page right now.)

Here it is:

A Better Rice Milk

1 1/2 cups (288 g) brown rice, washed
4 cups (950 mL) water
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) oil (any kind of vegetable oil)
up to 2 tablespoons (up to 30 mL) sugar
1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1.25 - 2.5 mL) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) vanilla extract

1)Wash rice, drain. Place in large container with water. Soak for 24 hours.

2)Pour some of water off, but set this water aside.  You'll need it later. Dump the remaining water and rice into blender. Process very well. Add oil, sugar, salt and vanilla, and blend.

Straining is a two-step process.

3)First step -- Pour blended rice through a sieve over a large bowl. Set rice pulp aside (to cook into rice cereal or add to muffins -- we make rice cereal with it. You could also just compost it, but I don't like to waste).

4)Second step -- Now, line your sieve with 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth. Pour the strained milk through this cheesecloth. Pour the set aside water (from #2) through cheesecloth as well.

5)In a microwaveable container, "cook" (in the microwave) about half the milk, for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir well. If there are any lumps, then run this cooked milk through the blender, along with some of the uncooked milk.

6)Blend in the remaining milk into the cooked milk. Add more water, sugar and vanilla to your preferred texture and taste. Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

Rice milk can be frozen, too. So, if 1 quart is too much, you can freeze in portions you would likely use within a week's time.

This makes just short of one quart of rice milk, and leaves about 1 cup of rice pulp.

*a note* I've had differing results from one bag of rice to another, with regards to thickness of homemade rice milk. Some batches turn out perfectly, as directed in the recipe. Other batches require a bit of extra water, sugar and vanilla.

To use the pulp to make a hot rice cereal:

Bring about 1  1/2 cups (355 mL) of water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the rice pulp, 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) salt, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar, 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) maple extract. Stir, bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, until rice particles are thoroughly cooked. You may need to add a bit more water during cooking, to make it the consistency you enjoy.

This is a lot like cream of wheat cereal. I prefer to make this the evening before, then we reheat the next AM. I think it has a better texture the next day. And a large pot of this will keep in the fridge for several days. I eat it as an afternoon snack. Just spoon some up and reheat. Yum! It reminds me of my childhood.


  1. I like pretty, too. I drink my tea from pretty mugs. We don't have fancy furniture or decor, but I try to maximize what I have to make it visually appealing. It makes me feel happier.

    Your pitcher is beautiful! Did you get it someplace fun?

    My mother told me, when I was pregnant, to have a couple of outfits which made me feel good about myself, as the further in your pregnancy you advance, the more like a beached whale you feel. So true! (Even when you aren't pregnant, it's important to have an outfit or two like that).

    1. Hi Kris,
      Almost all of our furniture has been handed down or inherited. But I do the same, try to make it look it's best, even if the pieces wouldn't be my first choice. Next I want to make the family room more appealing, instead of a dumping ground for all the excess.

      Your mom was right about having a couple of outfits that make you feel attractive, pregnant, or not. If I think I look my best I just smile more, and a smile is the most attractive thing you can wear. Now when I shop for clothing, I'm super picky and will try on endless pairs of jeans to find just the right pair. And will only buy a shirt if it really is very flattering. It does simplify keeping my closet tidy, and makes sorting clothes to give away a breeze.

      The pitcher came from a discount store and was inexpensive, so no place really fun, but I like it a lot. I have a bit of confession to make, my one huge weakness with shopping is dishes and tableware. I try to keep it practical, at least. But I've been collecting dishes since my teens! I'm to the point where I'm just replacing cracked and chipped plates and cups, so I keep my eyes open when in vintage shops for my patterns. I frequently find plates in perfect condition that are my pattern, for less than a discount store like Marshalls, or an online site like Replacements. So there's my little confession.

      Hope your tea tastes even better when it's in a pretty mug!

    2. Tea tastes better in china or porcelain. Really! I love it when someone comes to visit who also appreciates pretty things.

      Dishes and tableware are so much fun! While I appreciate all the wonderful advantages we have in our modern times (medicine, time-saving appliances), a little piece of me wishes that we lived in more gracious times with evening gowns and beautifully set tables. But then, we wouldn't have air conditioning and would feel hot in our clothes ...

    3. I know, modern life has many advantages and some disadvantages. I'm really trying to include some of the old-time gracefulness into my life. I can't do it everyday, as some days I'm running behind trying to catch up all day long. But I am trying to incorporate some beauty into every day. The other day, I went out and clipped a bunch of roses to set next to the sink, just so I could see them everyday when doing kitchen clean-up. Those sort of things make me feel cheerful. And a cheerful me is a better me.

      I think there is something to the tea tasting better in china or porcelain. I think the porcelain holds the heat of the tea better than pottery. Or maybe that's just my imagination. Anyways, if you lived nearby, I'd be visiting often and admiring your pretty things!

  2. You sound so much like my sister that likes pretty things. She too has pretty mugs and a pretty robe and nice dishes. I like pretty things and like to look nice, but comfort is what I look for first. I don't really care what my mug looks like if the feel of the handle is just right. It's an added bonus for all of us I guess if we find something comfortable and pretty.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Sometimes comfort does win out. Although I like my cup to be pretty, I would hate it if it didn't feel right in my hand!

      I know you have an eye for what is lovely. I've seen your nature photos on your site. They always make me feel happy!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. I just decluttered my dresser, and took down a load of 'pretty' mugs that were just sitting there doing nothing apart from look nice, so that now I can have tea in a pretty mug!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Now , please, come declutter my dresser! I keep looking at it thinking I have to make some time to clean it up again.

      So nice that you "found" some pretty mugs! Enjoy your tea in the pretty mug tomorrow!

      So glad you stopped by!

    2. Well, if you'll come and declutter the bookshelves in our living room, I'll do your dresser!!

    3. Deal! I'll be over this afternoon. Oh rats, the Concord stopped flying. There goes that plan!

  4. I'm in the minority here, I don't really care about pretty mugs. But I do like getting outside among the trees, so maybe different people have different ideas about beauty :)

    Thanks for the rice milk recipe, I have been meaning to try rice milk, maybe it would be better to make it myself, so I can control the amount of sugar.

    1. Economies,
      I totally understand about your ideas about pretty mugs and the outside. That's how it works for me also.

    2. I think you're both right, beauty is everywhere. A pretty mug may be pointless to some, but seeing the beauty of the natural world is highly valued.

      The beauty of nature is what is so often copied into the design of everyday objects. I suppose that is one thing that I like about floral designs on dishes. They just remind me of the beauty of a well-tended garden.

  5. I'm curious, why do you microwave half the milk? ---Lee

    1. Hi Lee,
      By microwaving half of the milk I get the desired consistency. Fully cooked rice milk is very thick. The soaked and blended milk (but uncooked) is quite thin. Cooking half the milk, then combining with the remaining half, gives me the viscosity that I prefer.

      Have you ever made rice milk before? Have you found a method that you prefer?

      Thanks for the question, and thanks for reading.

  6. i use about 1/4 teaspoon of xantham powder blended into about 2 litres of "raw" rice milk to emulsify.

    it is awesome!

    very little settling of fine blended rice.

    i add agave for sweetness.


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