I’ve drunk this Rice Dream Enriched Original Organic Rice Drink occasionally in recent months. as a stand-in for white dairy milk. Nice that nowadays, the increased popularity of rice drinks demands that almost every larger grocery store offer it. So today, Rice Dream products are easier to find. There is also a non enriched version of this product, reviewed here.
Good thing, because it’s a lower-sugar-than-soda beverage that’s made with whole, brown rice. It flows down so smoothly as it pleasantly cools everything from tongue to stomach. This original flavored ricemilk is considered a healthier-than-dairy drink by many health food experts, as it is appropriate for vegetarian diets. Others drink it as an essential substitute for cow’s milk, due to allergies. I down it because of its lower fat, zero saturated fat, and the light yet curiously odd taste. It’s a refreshingly delicious palatable liquid.
The carton says that this product contains 120 calories per 8-ounce serving, and has 23 grams of net carbs. The mild sweetness herein originates in the brown rice exclusively. No added sugar or other sweeteners here.
Still addictive however, as even small amounts of refined carbs (the fine-milled brown rice in this case) are still refined. So, moderate drinking of this product is key to avoiding creating the worst cravings for this drink. Though the label describes this product as ” … the highest quality rice drink you can buy… ,” still, steer clear of consuming this beverage like water. Go slow.
Benefits, Advantages, Pros, and Features
- Nowadays, you can buy this product in the half-gallon version.
- Certified USDA organic.
- No added sugar here. But they do add some vitamins so that this treat more closely approximates cow’s milk in terms of nutritional value.
- This drink is nearly white in color, just like dairy milk, though it’s not as opaque. It has a less dense, thinner consistency.
- They make this with only brown rice; though that rice, though whole grain, has been milled to a very fine texture; so fine in fact, that it remains pretty well suspended in the liquid. So some of the benefits of that originally whole grain are lost, in my view. For one, the glycemic index of milled rice may be higher than when the rice is left whole. So with such milling here, I get more of a “sugar high” from this product.
- The aroma is mild, yet smells every bit as pleasant as this drink tastes. Indeed, it smells very much like it tastes.
- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., the makers of this product, say on the label that it is easily digested, and easy on the system. They recommend using this as a base in smoothies and puddings.
- They advise that this rice drink is lactose and dairy free, cholesterol free, 99% fat-free, soy free, 100% vegetarian, and low in sodium.
- This original flavored beverage has no saturated fat, and contains a bit of “good” fat (mono- and polyunsaturated fats). These great nutritional numbers suggest that this product is indeed heart-healthy.
- The packaging protects the liquid from excessive light, which can impede its flavor as well as some of the nutrition.
- The bright white to light brown color of this beverage resembles that white cow’s milk.
- No bland taste here; just a mild yet substantial flavor, just like whole rice, though this does taste a bit sweeter than cooked brown rice at the dinner table.
- The half-gallon version of this product is packaged in a carton; not plastic, and the taste therefore, is far less contaminated by the leaching compounds from plastic bottles that can transfer to the drink inside.
- You need not refrigerate this beverage until you open it (break its seal) for the first time. Until then, it keeps well in a cool place for up to a year, according to the best-if-used-by date on my carton.
- After you open it, this drink keeps for a couple of weeks at least in the refrigerator. It should be refrigerated after opening.
- They also include a recipe for Chile Cheese Polenta on the package side panel.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- This drink has some sugar (10 grams per serving). But since it’s naturally occurring sugar, replacing it with a lower-calorie alternative sweetener might not be practical, and would indeed make this product less natural and less organic to boot.
- Some non saturated fats have been added to help provide that smooth and slippery texture. Still though, I’d prefer no fat; healthy fat or not. If only they could learn to make it taste fatty but without the fat.
- The package warns not to use this drink as an infant formula (for children under age 5).
Filtered water, organic brown rice (partially milled), organic expeller pressed safflower oil and / or sunflower oil and / or canola oil, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin D2, vitamin B12.
- Serving size: 1 cup, 8 fluid ounces (240 millilitres).
- Servings per container: 8.
- Calories: 130.
- Calories from fat: 20.
- Total fat: 2.5 grams, 4% DV.
- Saturated fat: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Trans fat: 0 grams.
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5 grams.
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.5 grams.
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams, 0% DV.
- Sodium: 105 milligrams, 4% DV.
- Total carbohydrate: 26 grams, 9% DV.
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Sugars: 12 grams.
- Protein: 1 gram.
- Vitamin A: 10% DV.
- Calcium: 30% DV.
- Vitamin D: 25% DV.
- Phosphorus: 15% DV.
- Vitamin C: 0% DV.
- Iron: 2% DV.
- Vitamin B12: 25% DV.
On the whole, Rice Dream vitamin fortified original flavored rice milk is quite the delicious value. This version of the product is a bit less flavorful than the vanilla version, and so I do not like it quite as much as the vanilla. But due to its gently sweet and grainy flavor, relatively low sugar (as compared to pop), low-fat, and affordable cost, I’d rate this product at 91 out of 100.
Where To Buy Rice Dream Enriched Original Organic Rice Drink
So pick up a quart or half-gallon carton at your favorite larger local grocer or health food store. I’ve seen this at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and Giant Eagle. Look for it in the blue, light lavender, and white carton with picture of the white beverage splashing around on the front, the yellow and red “organic” emblem, and the white rectangular cap. They normally do not refrigerate this product.
- Brown Rice on Wikipedia
- Rice Dream Website
- Where To Buy Rice Dream Enriched Original Organic Rice Drink
- : Adjusted category and tag assignments, fixed typos, and added white space.
- 2012-07-05: Originally published.