About Rice Milk
As its name suggests, rice milk is a nondairy milk made from rice. Like its relatives soy and almond milks, it is safe for those who are lactose intolerant. It is a popular product amongst vegetarians and vegans, since it does not contain any animal products. Rice milk is low in fat, which makes it a good milk substitute in baking.
Rice milk is produced from boiled rice, brown rice syrup and brown rice starch. Thickening agents are often added to commercial brands of rice milk to improve the consistency. It may be sweetened with sugar and some brands have vanilla added to make it taste more like cow's milk. Rice milk is naturally sweeter than cow's milk.
Because rice naturally has more carbohydrates than regular cow's milk, it may not be suitable for someone that needs a low glycemic load diet. However, rice milk does not contain lactose or cholesterol; this makes it an excellent heart-healthy food.
Rice milk does not contain as much calcium or protein as cow's milk. Those that use rice milk as a primary substitute usually have to find other sources of protein in their diets. Most commercial brands of rice milk are fortified with calcium. One serving of rice milk may provide an equal or higher level of calcium as compared to one serving of cow's milk. Rice milk is also often fortified with niacin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D, and iron.
One cup of rice milk contains around 140 calories, compared to about 180 calories in a cup of whole cow's milk, or 90 calories in a cup of skimmed cow's milk. Rice milk contains about three grams of fat per serving, while whole cow's milk contains a whopping 11 grams of fat. However, rice milk still contains more fat than a serving of skim milk; despite this, rice milk still has a good place in a healthy diet.
Rice milk is a tasty, low fat way to replace cow's milk in your diet, especially if you are lactose intolerant or follow a vegan lifestyle. It is also good for those that allergic to soy. Rice milk does not offer the health benefits of soy, but is still healthy, regardless.
Many people make their own rice milk at home. While easy and inexpensive to make, homemade rice milk lacks the vitamins and minerals that manufactured, fortified rice milk provides. It's a good idea to replace cow's milk with a rice milk that has calcium, vitamins and minerals.
Other substitutions for rice milk include soy, almond, coconut or hemp milks.