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9 Reviews

Manufacturer: Imagine Foods / Non-dairy alternative to milk with added calcium.

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    9 Reviews
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      03.01.2014 15:28
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      Tasty and refreshing.

      Rice Dream is a product I started using as a cow's milk replacement. I now don't use cow's milk anymore so I'm quite familiar with all of the different kind of soya, nut and plant based alternative drinks that are on the market and how they compare with one another. I currently buy Rice Dream only occasionally due to a number of factors including price of the product, suitability of the product for various meals, and use in baking and/or drinks.

      I'm reviewing the Rice Dream Original + Calcium which is sold in a 1 litre sized carton. This can usually be found in the section with UHT milks that do not need refrigerating prior to opening. The carton shape is long and tall with a slanted top which allows easier pouring. The carton is easy to store in the door of the fridge and can also be laid on it's side without leaking. There is an abundance of information printed on the carton pack. On the back the brand explain exactly what this product is and why we should be buying it.

      The brand state in this description that Rice Dream can easily become part of a "healthy lifestyle". They describe the drink as being "light and fresh" and suitable for many things including "pouring on breakfast cereal...a family meal, adding to your pick-me-up cup of coffee or simply as a refreshing drink". The drink is comprised of a blend of water, rice, sunflower oil, calcium phosphate, sea salt and added vitamins D2 and B12. It contains no lactose, no dairy and is also soya free. It is also labelled as gluten and wheat free and is suitable for nut allergy sufferers. It is suitable for vegetarians, vegans and also Kosher diets. The drink contains no added sugars or artificial sugars and is a good source of D2 and, particularly important to vegetarians and vegans, the essential vitamin B12. The brand are proud of the fact that the rice used in the product is Italian.

      An easy to read nutritional guide is on the side of the carton alongside the list of full ingredients. A 200ml sized portion contains 94 calories and 2.0g of fat. This amount also contains 240 mg of calcium which is as much calcium as cows milk would provide. The added D2 also aids absorption of this calcium.

      When I first tasted Rice Dream I was surprised at how sweet it was. I thought it must have vanilla flavouring added. It is certainly a lot sweeter than most other plant based milks I've used. It has a pleasant, sweet smell as well which is nice since if I try to drink something like sweetened soya as a stand alone drink I find the aroma quite horrible. Rice Dream has a watery consistency and is hardly creamy at all. It is almost like a coconut water texture. As such it can really quench a thirst.

      I use these cow's milk replacement drinks for many things. I eat cereal or porridge every other day. What I find is that Rice Dream makes cereal taste very, very sweet, particularly if it is a sugary cereal. On plain cereal it tastes more acceptable but on something such as coco pops or frosted cereal it is almost too much! Another thing I've found is that if used in porridge it changes the texture of the porridge to a great degree. The porridge dries up more quickly during cooking time and when ready to eat has almost like a fluffy, whipped consistency which I am not that keen on. I am also a bit wary of using this in baking although I still do, since I know that the sweetness of the milk will have an effect on the finished flavour. If Rice Dream is added to something savoury, for example, I feel like I need to balance the flavour out by adding salt or herbs or something like that!

      Ultimately I think Rice Dream is most suitable for drinking on it's own or for adding to hot drinks. It is also a healthy sweetener if you usually add sugar or syrups to your cereal although I'd repeat that unless you have a very sweet tooth you should avoid using this on very sugary cereals.

      I will continue to buy Rice Milk to enjoy as a drink as it tastes good, is refreshing and is more preferable to me than cow's milk. I don't buy this as often as other replacement milks though as the price is a barrier. It costs around £1.38 to £1.50 depending on where you shop. It's a high quality product so I'd say the price is justified but I personally need to buy cheaper drinks more often! However, I would certainly recommend this to anyone who likes to try new and interesting drinks, anyone with a lactose intolerance or anyone who wants to tend towards a more vegan lifestyle. This product won the "Superior Taste Award 2012" which is testament to it's quality.

      The drink used to be hard to find but I'm seeing it more frequently on the shelves of major supermarkets. It can also be found at health food stores like Holland And Barratt.

      The brand produce a whole range of drinks including Rice Dream Chocolate and Vanilla as well as Almond Dream, Hazelnut and Almond Praline (which is gorgeous!), Oat Dream and Coconut Dream.

      You can read more about the whole range at the website:

      http://www.mydairyfreedream.com

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        01.10.2012 21:04
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        A delightful dairy free drink/milk alternative with a variety of uses

        I remember that when I first saw rice milk available in a health food shop a few years ago, I couldn't imagine using it or even how it was made. I am still not sure of the second point but having tasted it, I do know it tastes delicious! I usually buy the Rice Dream brand, because it tends to be the cheapest one readily available to me. In particular I buy the original version that comes with added calcium. The standard original milk tastes exactly the same and apart from the added health benefits, I regard the two as interchangeable.


        WHAT IS A RICE DREAM?

        I usually call Rice Dream a rice "milk" myself and it is usually suggested as a good alternative to the dairy kind. It is a nice product in it's own right though, and that is the chief reason I buy it. Other people may be attracted to it if they can't drink normal milk or if they are a vegan. It would be a useful product if you can't/won't drink milk and at the same time don't like soya as many other milk substitutes are based on that. I do use it when I am cooking/baking for my vegan sister and friends. As you can probably tell, it is made of rice, along with water, a little oil and salt. Therefore it is dairy and lactose free. It is available in both chilled and long life versions, and there are chocolate and vanilla flavoured varieties. I usually buy the long life non chilled milk because it is easier for me to store if I decide to stock up on it while it is on offer. The 1 litre carton is cheapest per ml, but you can also buy little 200ml ones, either individually or in triple packs, which affords a cheap way of trying the drink out.

        Rice Dream suggest that their product can be used as a cold drink, in tea or coffee, on cereals and when cooking. In short, you can use it in any way that you would use other milks. I decided to try it because of its versatile nature, although I think it works better in some uses than others as I will explain below.


        WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

        The simple answer is rice! It is a creamy taste and surprisingly sweet considering the fact it has no added sugar or sweeteners. This has the advantage of meaning that I do not need to add any sugar myself if I use it in drinks, which is not the case with other milks. The rice flavour is strong enough to mean that I think carefully about what I use this milk with. It combines with and enriches some flavours excellently and does not work as well with others. My sister loves it when used in cooking with coconut, whereas I think it doesn't work well when used in coffee flavoured dishes. Partly it's a question of taste, but I would also say that the flavour seems to diminish when I cook with it. The same is also true for it's scent - which is like rice pudding, so rather pleasant! Appearance wise, it is an off white colour and the texture is thinner than regular milk.


        HOW I USE RICE DREAM.

        I like it as a drink on it's own and I find that when chilled it is really refreshing. For a change it can be used with fruit to make a milkshake, which taste rather like a liquid rice pudding! It is safe to say that if you don't like that, the pure taste of Rice Dream certainly won't appeal. I have used it in hot drinks, and while it does not seperate or "curdle", I d not like the rice taste combined with tea or coffee. I do like it in hot chocolate though, but only in the plain kinds. The taste combined with an orange flavoured chocolate does not work too well for me, for example. It seems like too many tastes are competing for attention.

        As an addition to cereal, I like it a lot, especially with porridge. I use it in preference to ordinary milk often, in order to enjoy the different taste. I can't imagine it with rice based cereals such as Rice Crispies because I think the taste would be a bit overwhelming. It can also be used in cooking. I have used it in a white type sauce, because as mentioned above the rice taste diminishes a little on cooking. I have always added additional flavourings that are quite strong though, such as garlic or mixed herbs, and it doesn't dilute the flavour of these. Being thinner than milk, I have to adjust the amount I use of both this and the other ingredients in order to get the right texture for the sauce, but as I make most sauces "by eye" this isn't a problem. If I wasn't cooking for vegans, I would use a different milk though, to lessen the chance of the rice taste altering the flavour result I am aiming for. There is no problem using a small amount in pastry, and that is my favourite way of using leftovers. It imparts no flavour at all in the small quantities used.

        Finally, I like it when used to make icing. There is something about the naturally sweet taste that works really well.


        WOULD I RECOMMEND RICE DREAM?

        I would, I enjoy using it even though I don't have trouble digesting milk. I don't think you need to think of it only as something to use as a milk substitute. I prefer to use it on it's own, to appreciate the flavour. It does work fine when cooked with subject to rice working with other flavours. I would recommend giving it a try, especially if you feel that added calcium would help you. A 200ml glass contains 240mg of calcium, and it is also a low fat drink. I will continue to buy it, and I am keen to try the flavoured versions too. A small 250ml carton costs 85p in Holland and Barrett, while the 1 litre long lifecarton is £1.39 in Tesco. The chilled litre carton now costs £1 in Tesco, so I may switch to that for a while. The price of the calcium-added and the standard versions is around the same. It is widely available in supermarkets, where you will find it with other non dairy milks.


        [This review may also appear on Ciao under my user name.]

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          25.06.2012 02:44
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          5/5!

          I first discovered rice milk a few months ago when I first decided that I wanted to reduce my dairy intake as part of my new Vegeterian diet. I first came across the brand rice dream while browsing alternatives to cow's milk on the internet and I decided to purchase a carton of it in my local Tesco's after reading about it. The whole concept of rice milk didn't particullary appeal to me at first as I had never heard of it and wasn't sure what it actually was, however due to the manufacturer's claims that the drink is a pure source of energy that nourishes the body and vitalises the spirit, I thought it was definitely worth a try!

          I paid £1.39 for a one litre carton of the rice dream branded rice milk. I think that this is a reasonable and affordable price and I have seen this brand of rice milk on offer a couple of times too. There are a variety of flavours available including vanilla and chocolate, as well as a version which has added calcium, however I opted for the original version. The drink is available from a variety of supermarkets as well as online on websites such as Amazon.

          The rice milk comes in a cardboard carton which has a blue and green colour scheme. There's a picture of the creamy white liquid being poured into a glass and the branding makes it clear that it is an organic product. The branding and colour scheme make it easily recogniseable on a shop shelf. Info such as ingredients, nutritional info and so on can be found on the back of the pack along with the suggestion that rice milk can be enjoyed straight from a glass, or used for cooking, soups and sauces. The product should be stored in the fridge once open and once opened it should be consumed within 7 days.

          The rice milk is made from organically grown rice and it is free from lactose. It's made by boiling rice and water as far as I know so making it from scratch would be a reasonably simple process although I prefer buying it ready made and it's affordable. The rice in rice milk only makes up 14% of the ingredients and other ingredients include sea salt, water and sunflower oil. As I am very health concious, I was put off a little upon realising that the drink contained salt, although the drink doesn't taste at all salty and there is only 0.10 grams of sodium per 200ml. The ingredients all in all seems to be relatively healthy and unprocessed with no strange chemicals or added sugar.

          The drink is white in colour and looks just like a glass of cow's milk, although not quite as creamy in colour - it's more of a light white colour. The conistency of it is quite light if that makes sense - almost like water. It's smooth in texture with no nasty lumps or grainy bits. The drink hasn't really got a noticeable smell in my opinion. Taste wise, this is really unusual. I wasn't expecting it to be as sweet as it is and it's much tastier and sweeter than soy milk is. It isn't fake tasting at all and tastes really refreshing. It's versatile and can be used for a variety of things. I usually drink it on its own although it's also nice on muesli and it doesn't interfere with the taste of food/drink at all.

          Overall, I reccomend rice dream as it's really tasty, affordable and versatile. In my opinion it's a great alternative to cow's milk as it has no cholestrol and it's a nice change from soya milk as it's sweeter. It's very low in calories too at 138ckals per 250ml. Highly reccomended - 5/5!

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            18.07.2010 15:51
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            An alternative to cows milk that contains calcium

            My daughter has recently been diagnosed as having an intolerance to cow's milk. Basically her system can't digest lactose very well, which is a natural occuring sugar found in milk.

            Since removing dairy from her diet her symptoms are virtually non existant. However we now have the problem of supplementing enough calcium into her diet through alternative sources.

            At first my daughter was distrought that she couldn't have milk and after trying a few alternatives, we have now settled on Rice Dream with Calcium. We have tried goats milk and have found that the taste is too intense for my daughter. Rice milk is quite a mild pleasant taste, and if taken combined with other food, can be quite nice.

            Rice Dream is made from fermented rice, is low in saturated fat, contains no cholesterol or lactose which makes it easily digestible and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The slightly sweet taste is mainly due to the naturally occuring sugars found in the rice milk.

            My daughter can now have her hot chocolate and cereal in the mornings giving her some semblance of her regular diet. Other that the added calcium there is not much nutritional value to this product, it is mainly a replacement product to allow her to resume her regular diet and make eating as normal as possible for her.

            It is not recommended to give rice milk to children under the age of 5, this is due to traces of arsenic that have been found, although they are lower than the official government guidelines. I do not give my daughter this in large volumes, I do limit her intake, this is just given to 'boost' her calcium intake.

            Each 200ml of Rice Dream with Calcium contains:

            94 calories
            0.2g protein
            18.8g carbohydrates
            2.0g fat
            0.2g saturated fat
            0.2g fibre
            0.1g sodium
            240mg calcium (equivalent to 30% recommended daily allowance)

            This is an easy to use carton which has a built in plastic type of opening which is easy to close and keep the product fresh. Once opened this can be kept refrigerated for up to 7 days. Unopened this can be stored without the need for refrigeration.

            Also contained on the carton are some handy recipe ideas, but I've not tried any yet.

            Rice Dream is also available in other variants such as organic, chocolate, hazelnut almond and vanilla. I've only ever tried the calcium option.

            I purchase this from Morrisons for £1.29 for a 1 litre carton, but I do tend to buy a few at a time as they sell out pretty quickly, and can often be out of stock.

            I will continue to use this as an alternative for cows milk until I can find a more suitable alternative, I would recommend you give this a try if you or a family member are lactose intolerant and want a pleasant mild tasting product.

            Note:

            If you suspect you or a family member has an intolerance to cows milk, please get advice from a health care professional before excluding from diet.

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              31.05.2010 10:31
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              A wonderful product!

              I adore Rice Dream. I am a vegan with a soya allergy, which is why I started using rice milk, but the reason I have continued to use it is because it tastes amazing. It is quite bland (in a good way!) and goes with anything. It makes great porridge, tastes good on muesli, although beware that if you are having it on Rice Krispies you need to add something strong like blueberries to cut the rice-monotony.

              What I love about Rice Dream is that, unlike other rice milks I have tried, it is nice and subtle, not too strong, and still a little sweet and tastes nice. It easily keeps for a week in the fridge, and can be stored outside of the fridge until you need to open it, and at £1.29 for a litre in Waitrose, it is very reasonably priced. It has a bit of added calcium and it is a great alternative to milk for those with high cholesterol, as it has none.

              It is also great for baking and cooking - my non-vegan friends and family have frequently eaten muffins and cookies made with rice milk, totally unaware that they contained anything "weird and vegan", and have enjoyed them. It is subtle and blends in, and has never caused any baking disasters.

              It doesn't have any weird ingredients and, as milk alternatives go, is relatively unprocessed.

              All in all, I would highly recommend Rice Dream!

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              21.01.2010 10:31
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              A really good and fresh alternative to dairy

              Having recently made the switch to veganism, I have been buying lots of alternatives to dairy milk. Whilst out shopping with my partner yesterday, I bought yet another brand of soya milk and he, being very supportive of my switch, offered to buy me some rice milk to try. We bought it home and put it in the frisge. It was 99p for 1 litre, making it pretty much the same price as the dairy milk I usually buy.

              My first taste test for any milk is how it tastes in tea. I made a cup of tea and it was very fresh tasting compared with soya, although a little sweeter than dairy. That's ok for me, as I have sugar in tea, and I just reduced that in my next cup and it was perfect. OH had a glass, I had a sip of it and it is very fresh and clean tasting. OH drank the whole glass. It isn't creamy in colour like dairy, it is a very nice white colour, so visually stimulates your brain to think of it as milk.

              Later last night, I saw him with another glass of it. My son (9) tasted it and loved it, he described it as sweet and fresh. I went to make a cup of tea at bed time, and there was no rice milk! My loving partner had happily drunk the whole carton! He says he'll never go back to dairy milk - and he's not lactose intolerant, vegetarian or vegan.

              So, from our house, Rice Dream gets five stars! It is lactose free, I think kids with dairy intolerance would love it and it is vegan friendly. A 200ml glass will give 30% of your recommended daily calcium allowance, and 94kcals. It's also cholesterol free!

              I'd recommend this drink, and as I experiment with it in cooking in the coming weeks, I'll come back and update the review.

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                30.09.2009 18:37
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                Not a bad product at all for those who can't have dairy, or those trying to be healthy.

                Rice Dream is a dairy-free milk alternative that comes in a variety of flavours, including chocolate and hazelnut-almond. But this is the original version of the product, essentially the basic milk type.

                This isn't a bad product, it give you the versatility of using milk without the lactose which is why I bought it. You can use it in drinks and cooking and is, surprisingly enough bearing in mind the name - made from cold pressed rice. It has a creamy taste but an odd look at texture - it looks a bit like watered down milk, not completely opaque like you would expect. It also has little flecks in it that rise to the top - presumably from the pressed rice. This is not an appetising look to it and did put me off a little, especially when you us it in coffee which just makes the white flecks even more obvious to the eye.

                In hot drinks this gives more of a creamy taste to the drink than full-fat milk does - which is odd as it's much healthier. This is definitely good for coffee addicts that crave creamy lattes but hate the fat. I found it to be a bit odd in tea, it sort of overpowered the taste of the tea - which was surprising as it was Earl Grey which is rather strong.

                This is great in cooking and on cereal, but the flecks really put me off drinking it straight or putting it into drinks. If you can get past that then this is a perfect replacement for cows milk.

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                05.07.2009 10:49
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                A great dairy alternative.

                My husband cannot tolerate dairy products as he has a problem with eczema. He does like to eat a lot of cereal though so we are always looking for dairy milk alternatives to pour over it. Rice Dream is the latest in a long line of milk alternatives to enter our fridge. According to husband, it is the nicest so far.

                I have tried Rice Dream, which is rice based, and would have to say that I do prefer soya based milk alternatives. However, there are health risks reported with too much soya intake so if that is something that concerns you I would say that Rice Dream is one of the best rice milks around, certainly the nicest I have tried.

                The Rice Dream I am reviewing is the Organic Vanilla flavour. The packaging is attractive (very different form the dooyoo picture.) The cardboard carton is custard yellow, pale blue and green. There is something about the combination of colours that make this product look really fresh and appetising. The carton has a clip down plastic pourer, so no dodgy cutting off the corner of the box and spilling it everywhere! The packaging is fully recyclable.

                Rice dream is a dairy milk alternative made from, you guessed it, rice. You can drink it on it's own, use it for cooking and baking or to pour over cereals. If you add it to hot drinks you need to let them cool slightly first or it will curdle. The Vanilla flavour really is lovely to drink. It is smooth and sweet and the vanilla flavour is nice and natural. It is completely different to cow's milk, so you need to bear in mind that it will taste different.

                Rice dream is low in fat, easily digestible, cholesterol free, lactose free and suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 100ml of the product provides you with 51 calories and 0.1 grams of saturated fat (nice and low.) It will also give you 4.6 grams of sugar, although none of this is added, it is sugar produced during the fermentation of the rice.

                Rice Dream is also available in plain organic, plain with added calcium, chocolate flavour and hazelnut and almond flavour. You can take a look at their range and get more information at www.taste the dream.eu. A 1 litre carton costs around £1.60.

                All in all a really tasty dairy alternative, but please remember it's not supposed to taste like cow's milk!

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                27.06.2008 14:44
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                A great alternative to cows milk!

                I have been diagnosed as lactose intolerant for nearly 2 years now, so finding a milk without lactose was a must. Having tried soya milk and not liking it, I decided to give rice milk (and in particular, Rice Dream with added Calcium) a try.

                Rice Dream now comes in a box with a design slightly different to that pictured, however the logo it pretty much the same. On the front it says that it is "deliciously different" - I'm not sure what this means, but I found this to be the nicest alternative to milk that I have tried (I have also tried an oat milk). The front of the packaging also states that it is a non-dairy alternative made from rice, with added calcium (a must for those of us who are lactose intolerant). It has 0% lactose, 0% cholesterol and low saturated fat, so it is also a good alternative for those who are on diets and need to watch what they eat/drink.

                According to Rice Dream's website - In one 200ml glass it provides 30% of the EC recommended daily allowance of calcium. It can also be used on cereals and in cooking & baking.

                Ingredients include: filtered water, rice (14%), cold-pressed sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, sea salt.

                I would definitely recommend Rice Dream rice milk to anyone who is looking for an alternative to cows milk.

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