I’ve consumed this Rice Dream Vanilla Classic Rice Drink occasionally since the late 1990s. as a replacement for white dairy milk. At that time, this product was available mostly at just health food stores. But fortunately nowadays, it’s increased popularity practically mandates that most every larger mainstream grocery store offer it. Good thing too, because it’s a lower-sugar-than-soda drink that’s made with whole, brown rice. It goes down so smoothly as it pleasantly cools everything in its path from the tongue all the way down to the stomach. It’s considered a healthier-than-dairy drink by many, as it is appropriate for vegetarian diets. Others drink it as a mandatory substitute for dairy due to allergies. I myself drink it due to the lower and healthier fat content as well as the taste. It’s terrific.
The carton says that this product contains 130 calories per 8-ounce serving, and has 27 grams of net carbs. The mild sweetness herein seems to come exclusively from the brown rice itself and perhaps from the vanilla flavoring too. However, there doesn’t appear to be any added sugar. Still addictive however, as even small amounts of refined carbs (the very finely milled brown rice in this case) are still refined. So as per usual, moderate drinking of this product is key to avoiding the worst cravings for this drink. Though the label describes this product as ” … the highest quality rice drink you can buy,” you still should not consume this beverage like water. Take it easy.
Benefits, Advantages, Pros, and Features
- Nowadays, you can buy this product in the half-gallon version. For a while there in the 90s, I only could ever find it in quarts. Nice improvement!
- No added sugar here.
- This vanilla rice drink is made with only brown rice; though it has been milled to a very fine consistency. So some of the benefits of that originally whole grain are lost, in my opinion. But you’d probably never guess that from the delicious flavor.
- The aroma is mild, yet smells every bit as good as this drink tastes.
- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., the makers of this product, say on the label that it is easily digested, easy on the system, recommend it on cereal, and that this drink is lactose and dairy free, cholesterol free, 99% fat free, soy free, and low in sodium.
- This vanilla flavored rice drink 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 exposure, which can also affect its flavor as well as sap some of the nutrition.
- The bright white to very light brown color of this beverage resembles that white cow’s milk.
- No bland taste here either.
- The one-quart version of this product is packaged in a carton; not a plastic bottle, and the taste therefore, is far less impacted by the leeching plastic compounds from plastic bottles that transfer to the chocolate drink inside, that can destroy its vanilla flavor.
- Rice Dream products are available at health food and bigger grocery stores like Walmart and Giant Eagle here in PA. So they’re easy to find in most areas.
- You need not refrigerate this beverage until you break its seal. Until then, it will keep 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 weeks at least in the refrigerator. It should be refrigerated after opening.
- I like the color and consistency of this product. It closely resembles traditional dairy-based white whole milk in terms of opacity.
- They also include a recipe for bread pudding on the side of the package.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Concerns
- This drink has considerable sugar. But since it occurs naturally, I don’t suppose it could easily be replaced with a lower-calorie alternative.
- Some non saturated fats have been added to help provide that smooth and slippery texture. Still though, I’d ideally prefer no fat; healthy fat or not.
Filtered water, brown rice (partially milled), expeller pressed high oleic safflower oil and / or sunflower oil and / or canola oil, natural vanilla flavor with other natural flavors, sea salt.
- Serving size: 1 cup, 8 fluid ounces (240 milliliters). Servings per container: 4.
- Calories: 130. Calories from fat: 25.
- 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: 27 grams, 9% DV.
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Sugars: 12 grams.
- Protein: 1 gram.
- Vitamin A: 0% DV.
- Calcium: 2% DV.
- Vitamin C: 0% DV.
- Iron: 2% DV.
On the whole, Rice Dream vanilla rice drink is quite the delicious value. Due to its great taste, relatively low sugar (as compared to pop), low fat, and economy, I’d rate this product at 93 out of 100.
Where To Buy Rice Dream Vanilla Classic Rice Drink
So pick up a quart or half-gallon carton of this drink at your favorite larger local grocer here and there. Look for it in the blue, light lavender, and white carton with picture of the white beverage being poured on the front, and with the white cap. They normally do not refrigerate this product.
It’s very easy to enjoy this soy product.
- : Adjusted category and tag assignments, fixed typos, and added white space.
- 2012-06-16: Originally published.