Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rice and Oat Milks

If you have allergies to soy and dairy, you may have experienced a disconcerting feeling from reading the labels of the rice and oat milks sold at the grocery store. Nearly all have many ingredients, and most have soy. Don't despair. It's easy to make your own "milks". First, combine the rice and oats with about three times the amount of water used in the regular recipe. For example, use six cups of water for one cup of uncooked white rice or oats. Bring water with oats or rice to a boil in a large pot. Once the mixture boils, reduce heat so that it barely simmers. Stir frequently and allow to simmer for about three hours (This stage can be completed in a large -slow cooker on low for eight to ten hours). Remove from heat and blend in small batches in your blender or use an immersion blender. For best results, line a colander with cheese cloth and place the colander over a bowl. Strain the mixture through the colander. You can also strain the mixture through a very fine sieve. You can discard the solids after you have collected all of the rice milk or oat milk. You can also flavor the milks with vanilla and sweeten them with sugar or honey if you like.
Try your milk with this hot cocoa recipe:

Hot Cocoa

¾ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
¾ cup sugar
3 ounce dark chocolate bar

Combine ingredients in food processor and pulse into a powder. Stir 1 to 2 tablespoons into hot milk or milk substitute.

Note: Plain, good quality dark chocolate usually does not contain milk or nuts, but read labels carefully before selecting a product.