I’m a big fan of life’s little pleasures. I try and take note of all the small, positive things that happen and keep them in mind, the day -to- day treats that are worth remembering and without which life would be a much more unfriendly place. One of my ‘small things’ is a cup of tea. It might sound a little lame, and I can think of sexier simple pleasures, but seriously, I couldn’t function without tea in my life. I like a big cup of tea in the morning, topped with rice milk and drunk while sat in bed; it’s a ten minute lull before the day really begins where I can think ahead and pull myself together. I’d go as far as to say that tea is therapy – warming, comforting, the mechanics of making the tea are a meditative process in themselves, especially if you make it with proper leaves, in a proper pot, like a proper person should do. Yes, tea with rice milk is, for me, a simple, celebratory pleasure. Black tea, on the other hand, makes me want to cry, which is why it’s very, very important that you always have some rice milk to hand. That’s where this brilliant and revolutionary recipe comes in.
I got the concept from this excellent little video. I know there are various suggested ‘best’ methods of making your own rice milk but I thought this actually seemed the most logical and is by far the easiest and quickest process. I have varied the proportions and equipment a little but only in order to make the most of such a fortuitous find. Apart from being wonderfully easy to make, it is also infinitely cheaper than buying a carton of rice milk. Most importantly, it gives you a choice and that’s something that can make all the difference when living with food intolerances and allergies. It will keep for a few days in the fridge and will need a good stir, shake or quick blitz in the blender before pouring, just to mix it up a bit again.
You will need a good blender or food processor, fine mesh sieve and large square of muslin for this recipe, but other than that, it’s a breeze. You can find muslin squares in Lakeland Plastics and most kitchen shops.
HOMEMADE RICE MILK
175g white basmati rice
1 litre water
2 - 3 tbsp agave syrup
A very small pinch of sea salt
Place the rice and water in a bowl or jug, cover and leave to stand for 8 – 24 hours. You don’t need to refrigerate it but you can if you wish. Pour the rice and water into your food processor or blender. Add the salt and agave syrup and then blitz continuously for 3 whole minutes – you will have a lovely, frothy white milk but it will have lots of small granules of rice in it, this is how it’s meant to be.
Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with the muslin cloth. Pour in the rice milk, granules and all, and let it soak through the cloth and sieve into the bowl – the muslin is necessary as it is this that will strain out any very fine granules of rice so that you end up with a nice, smooth rice milk without any chalkiness. Squeeze the remaining liquid through the muslin and sieve and then serve.
Store the rice milk in a kilner jar or lidded jug in the fridge, giving it a good shake or stir before pouring. If stored like this it will keep for up to 4 days.