Rice milk and almond milk are two popular dairy-free milk alternatives.
But which one truly takes the crown? Well, let’s dive into the details and uncover the ultimate verdict on this dairy-free showdown!
Comparing rice milk vs almond milk
|Rice milk||Almond milk|
|Type||Plant-based (grain)||Plant-based (nut milk)|
|Common allergens||None||Tree nuts|
These are two different kinds of vegan, plant-based milks, as rice is a grain (nut-free) and almonds are a type of tree nut.
Folks who are avoiding gluten should double-check the label, as some rice milks might contain gluten-derived ingredients, but generally speaking, rice milk is one of the least allergenic milk alternatives.
However, rice milk is high in carbs, and not suitable for paleo or low carb (keto) diets, but almond milk is A-OK for both paleo and keto.
Differences between rice milk and almond milk
The biggest difference between rice milk and almond milk lies in their primary ingredient, which, as you might have guessed, is right there in the names. Rice milk is made from, you guessed it, rice, while almond milk is crafted from—hold onto your hats—almonds! This distinction lays the foundation for many of the other differences we’ll explore.
Rice milk keeps it simple with milled rice, water, and sometimes a touch of sweetener and thickener for a creamier texture. Almond milk contains almonds, water, and usually a thickener. Both come in unsweetened, sweetened, and flavored varieties.
In my experience, rice milk has a milder flavor that’s naturally sweeter than almond milk. It’s light and not too overpowering, which makes it great for adding to various dishes without stealing the show.
On the other hand, almond milk brings a delightful nuttiness to the party. It’s slightly thicker than rice milk and often has a creamier texture that works great in coffee, smoothies, and breakfast cereals.
How to use rice milk vs almond milk
Here’s some more ways to use these two milk alternatives:
- Cereal (try this homemade coconut cinnamon cereal!)
- Creamy soups and sauces
- Baking (try it in muffins and pancakes)
- Smoothies (good with peanut butter and bananas)
- Coffee lightener
- Overnight oats
- Rice pudding
- Hot chocolate
- Almond milk lattes and cappuccinos
- Protein smoothies/shakes
- Oatmeal and cereal
- Homemade vegan ice cream
- Baked goods
- Dairy-free pudding base
- Creamy pasta sauces
- Golden milk
Can you substitute almond milk for rice milk (and vice versa)?
In many recipes, you can totally mix-and-match with rice milk and almond milk!
Just remember, they have slightly different flavors and consistencies, so expect some subtle variations in your dishes. It’s always a good idea to consider the overall flavor profile of the recipe before you go and make the switch.
Nutrition: Rice milk vs almond milk
Both rice and almond milk have about the same amount of fat per serving and are often fortified with essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
But here’s where the nutty and ricey contenders differ… Almond milk is lower in calories and carbs compared to rice milks. It’s also one of the lowest glycemic index milks, which means it’s not as likely to spike your blood sugar compared to rice milk, which is among the highest-carb milk options.
Here’s how 1 cup of rice milk compares to 1 cup of almond milk:
|Per cup (237 ml/8 oz.)||Calories||Total fat (sat. fat)||Total carbs||Total sugars (incl. added)||Protein||Calcium||Vit D|
|Rice milk||70||2.5 g (0 g)||13 g||<1 g (0 g)||0 g||20% DV||25% DV|
|Almond milk||30||2.5 g (0 g)||1 g||0 g||1 g||45% DV||25% DV|
How to store rice milk and almond milk
For both rice milk and almond milk, keeping them in the fridge is a no-brainer. Cold storage helps maintain their freshness and prevent spoilage. It’s usually a good practice to shake the carton before pouring it to ensure everything’s evenly mixed.
In terms of shelf life, both rice milk and almond milk usually last around 7 to 10 days after opening. But remember, this is a general estimate, so it’s a good idea to check the label for more specific guidance.
And if you’re buying non-refrigerated cartons, they can usually be stored for several months, but still, check that label for any special instructions.
Rice milk vs almond milk: The ultimate verdict
So, which milk alternative should you use? I prefer almond milk for most things (coffee, cereal, baking) because it’s slightly higher in protein, lower in carbs, and has a more balanced flavor and nutrition profile overall. Of course, if you have nut or other allergies, rice milk might be a great option for you!
Both rice milk and almond milk have their own nutritional profiles, but generally, almond milk is considered to be a more nutritionally balanced option due to its higher protein and lower carbohydrate content compared to rice milk.
Rice milk is a non-dairy milk alternative made from milled rice and water, often with added sweeteners, while almond milk is made from blended almonds and water, offering a nutty flavor and usually higher protein content than rice milk.
The healthiest milk alternative depends on your specific dietary requirements. If you need more protein, almond milk might be your choice. If you’re looking for a nut-free option, rice milk is the way to go. Always consider your nutritional needs when making your decision.