I was a vegetarian for many years. For a briefer period of time I was vegan. Vegans choose not to eat any animal products, which would include eggs, cheese and milk to name a few limitations. When I first became vegan I needed to find a milk substitute because I do enjoy cooking with milk, including cream based soups and casseroles. I first tried soy milk but hated the after taste which made me make a sour face. I did not like the taste of soy milk in prepackaged products, whether it was vegan organic soups made with soy milk, or frozen entrees, or just trying soy milk straight up to drink or poured over cereal. Then I tried rice milk. The taste difference for me was like night and day, and I was happily pleased with rice milk as a “real” milk alternative.
Before the 1990’s boxed drinks were not so common place as they are now. Today it is common to find boxed juices and milk products and milk alternatives and even soups and much more in boxes. I first discovered box drinks overseas in the 1980’s long before they became commonplace here in the United States, where they are now very popular. Rice Milk was the first boxed drink I ever tried.
Rice milk is great because unlike regular refrigerator milk, you don’t need to refrigerate it until you open it. It has a fairly long shelf life too. So, for example if you are one of those people who doesn’t know how much milk you will need in any given period of time, rice milk is great so you don’t have wasted milk to throw out because of short expiration dates.
Sometimes for weeks I would not use “milk” and sometimes I would use quite a bit because of cooking or having company. Rice milk is agreat solution not only for vegans, but for anyone who likes to have milk on hand for an emergency or a snow storm, power outage, bad weather etc.
Rice milk has a naturally sweet taste. So if you are making a recipe that calls for sugar, you need to scale back the amount of sugar you use to not make your recipe too sweet.
Also, if you are using rice milk as a cooking ingredient to replace regular milk, do not accidentally use flavored rice milk, such as vanilla rice milk. Choosing a flavored rice milk could ruin a recipe! So be warned!
Rice milk makes recipes creamier. You can use rice milk for many many recipes, from vegan fettuccine alfredo, making home made creamy potato soup, mushroom soup, leek soup, or vegetable casseroles. You can make vegetarian lasagne or baked ziti, or pumpkin bread or pudding, fantastic rice pudding, vegan mashed potatoes, even chocolate frosting for cake! The uses for rice milk are almost limitless.
Rice milk is great for those people who are lactose intolerant, and for people who lead a vegan lifestyle. But you don’t have to be lactose intolerant or vegan to enjoy both the taste, benefits and ease and convenience of rice milk in every day cooking.
You can use rice milk to make smoothies and shakes, to make vegan ice cream, and puddings or to make creamy hot oatmeal with fruit.
My experience with rice milk is I like to use an open carton within 3 days for best tasting freshest results. If you don’t feel you can use a whole carton, you can buy small juice box size (individual servings) of rice milk and you will not have to worry about how fast you use up the product for freshness once opened.
My favorite brand of rice milk is Rice Dream.
You can visit their web site to learn about the variety of their flavors and products by visiting this link
You will also find many recipes on their site.
Be aware that rice milk will also have more calories than fat free or skimmed milk cow’s milk. Be sure to read the nutritional label if you are counting any type of nutritional aspect of what you ingest. Rice milk is also available with added nutrients which some vegans may find beneficial.