At the end of 1997, as my youngest son became a one year old, we found out he was allergic to homogenized milk. Our pediatrician recommended using Rice Milk. She explained that Rice Milk was the easiest type of milk to digest because it comes from rice, had the same nutritional benefits found in rice, and would be a healthy milk alternative. We would not have to worry about my son not receiving enough calcium since rice naturally has this. Following our Pediatrician’s advice, I was relieved when I found the Rice Milk in the local grocery store. Even though it was one dollar more per 1/2 gallon when comparing the price of homogenized milk, I felt it was worth the price. My son’s health was important to us. If he needed Rice Milk, then that is what he would receive. Instead of weekly purchasing one gallon of homogenized milk, I purchased a 1/2 gallon of Rice Milk and a 1/2 gallon of homogenized milk. This gave my son, who liked the taste of Rice Milk, plenty per week, and my husband had his homogenized milk. Both were kept happy. Peace reigned at home.
What I did not tell my husband at the time, was that I began substituting Rice Milk for the homogenized milk in the dishes that required milk. I wanted my son to be able to eat the same things we did. This meant when I made French Toast, pancakes, waffles, biscuits, and like, I used Rice Milk. If I baked a cake, brownies, or cookies, I used Rice Milk instead. My husband never noticed the substitution, nor has anyone else. The Rice Milk did not change the flavor of any of these dishes and many have complimented me about how tasty these dishes or sweets I created with Rice Milk were.
What I did notice about cooking with Rice Milk is that I did not have to figure out a conversion when substituting. If I had used or a recipe required 1 cup of homogenized milk for a dish or sweet, then instead I substituted with 1 cup of Rice Milk. The sweetness of the Rice Milk was not noticeable in the dishes, sweets or gravies prepared with it. Even souffles turned out great and delicious. Some dishes did come out noticeably lighter or fluffier. My best guess is because there is no milk-fat in Rice Milk.
I have continued to use Rice Milk as a homogenized milk substitute, even though my youngest son has outgrown his milk allergy. As years passed, I became lactose intolerant. I like the taste of Rice Milk. It tastes like a sweet non-fat milk with a hint of plain white rice flavor. Rice Milk is lactose and gluten free. The vanilla and chocolate flavored versions of Rice Milk are delicious too; gives nice variety. Ecstatic when the chocolate flavored Rice Milk was put on the shelves at the grocery store. I had loved chocolate milk and hot chocolate. It had been rough giving those up. The chocolate flavored Rice Milk is a delicious chocolate milk, and when heated a delectable hot chocolate; great served with marshmallows! Wonderful to have these favorites back.
Alicia Rose, personal experience December 1997 to present
Rice Milk, Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_milk
Rice, Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice