Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rice is NICE

For YEARS I have suffered with throat problems. It would range anywhere from chronic coughs to the annoying need to clear my throat constantly by 'uh-UHHHHHs' every few minutes. I thought it was just 'me', a seasonal allergy, and later - maybe it was something I ate. It was annoying to me, but annoying to others nearby, as well.

Last fall, after joining my dear mother for lunch, she apologetically offered me a choice of water or Rice Milk as a beverage. Rice Milk? Hmmm - I was game! I tried it, and liked it, and so I kept on using it! I had previous been a fan of using skim milk; Mr. Wonderful uses whole milk - his preference. But, rice milk was pretty tasty, and as a bonus, I could buy ahead, and the containers could be left in the pantry until needed. Pretty cool, don't you think? Small enough container that a single person would use it within the 2 week time frame before spoilage. Also cool! The best thing that I found was, by exclusively using this product my throat issues have cleared up! Only when I have ice cream or another dairy product will the issues return for a day or two. By Jove - I think I've found the answer to my problem!
Since we are accustomed to milk from cows or goats, how exactly do you milk a RICE FIELD?? What exactly IS Rice Milk?Rice milk is a 'grain milk' used as a substitute for cow's milk. (Soy milk is another of the 'grain milk' products) Since rice milk does not contain lactose, it's also wonderful for people who are lactose-intolerant. Rice milk contains very little protein, but provides carbohydrates and is fortified with essential vitamins.

In stores, rice milk can be expensive, due to cost of shipping, lower demand and substantial subsidies paid to American rice growers. Because of these higher retail prices, many people have begun to create their own versions of rice milk at home. There are dozens of recipes for rice milk available online or in vegetarian cookbooks, but the basic ingredients are usually cooked rice, water, sea salt and vanilla. Pretty Basic.The following is one of the recipes I found, but have not tried. It does not sound too difficult, and might cook up easily and be ready to use in just a few hours.

Rice Milk

1 cup raw rice such as short white grain or basmati sweetener to taste
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 quarts of water

Place the raw rice in a very large pot and rinse well under sink until all the talc washes off and the water is clear. Cover with about 2 quarts of water, you can always add more water later. Place on high heat, covered, until the water comes to a rapid boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. (If you are using brown rice, simmer another hour.) Check the pot periodically so that the water does not boil over. Add vanilla extract and simmer for a few more minutes. The water/rice mixture should be very cloudy and the cooked rice grains should have lost its integrity, the grains should be falling apart. Keep covered until until it cools to a lukewarm temperature. When cooled, add sweetener. Then place the ingredients in a blender. Using a soup ladle, place some of the mixture in a blender and blend on high for about 3 to 4 minutes. The grains should be completely pulverized.
Carefully pour into a clean container, or strain through a cheesecloth to remove any sediments first, before refrigerating. Flavorings and sweeteners such as sea salt, vanilla, cinnamon or rice sugar may be added to the mix to improve the taste.

Happy Milking!


April said...

Rice, that's new to me! Anything involving rice...I'm IN! :)

Olde Dame Penniwig said...

Halloo dearie -- that recipe reminds me of "Horchata," a popular rice drink in Mexico. It is very tasty! I've also had almond milk and it was good, too.

^..^Corgidogmama said...

You come up with the coolest things to write about!
You're like an onion...many layers!

ocmist said...

My Mama made that for us for years, and "horchata" is becoming a common drink in regular grocery stores here in CA where there are a lot of Mexican families (My Mom was Mexican that came to America as a small child). Cooked as you said in your recipe with cinnamon, sugar and a little salt, it is wonderful for an upset stomach and will usually cause it to settle very quickly. If you have the flu or have been nauseated for quite a while, this almost always helps a lot if you just sip it by a teaspoonful at a time every few mins. It gets fluids & nutrition into you, and soothes the stomach.

I also found this interesting as that sounds exactly like something a friend of ours has gone through for the past 3-4 years. I think I will tell her about your experience and see if it will help her! Linda (OC's Mom)

ocmist said...

Oh, another thing is Atole (Aw-toll-ay) which is made with water, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

Bring water to a boil and add spices. Mix flour with a little cold water until smooth thin paste, then stir into boiling water and stir until well mixed and thickened. You can also add some milk if it is very thick for a richer flavor. During a cold winter, add chocolate for a wonderfully warming drink.

This is also good for an upset stomach (thinned), and was the only thing that would bring relief to my brother-in-law when he had bad acid reflux pain and/or ulcer pain.

PS. I've seen a "mix" in the grocery stores that says it is Atole, but it isn't made of the same stuff and tastes much different than "Mama used to make."

PSS: Cinnamon is a spice known for its soothing properties on the stomach, not to mention a teaspoonful a day has been shown to lower blood sugar (if you don't eat a bunch of sugar with it, of course :)

farmlady said...

This is Horchata. I love it. Here in California they sell it in just about all the major grocery stores.
I never had a recipe before. I will try it.

Barb said...

Love these interesting posts you have been doing.
Very educational, but presented so well it keeps you reading.

great job!!
see you Friday and "get r done'. =))

Barbara jean

Dismom said...

Thanks for the recipe-I'll have to make for when I watch my nephew sometime. He has autism and is on a Gluten free Casein free diet-so this would be perfect since he misses milk so much!