Sunday 9 January 2011

Rice Dream Dairy-free Rice Drink

Now, I don't know if this is a genuine old-fashioned remedy or if it's just a case of my mother-in-law being a bit loopy (!) but her tried-and-tested cure for treating diarrhea is to drink rice water - in other words, the water you've used to boil rice in. I have no idea if it works or not because I took one minute sip once and thought it tasted disgusting ! I was worried that this is what Rice Dream would taste of !

We were sent three varieties of Rice Dream to review but it actually exists in six flavours - Original Organic, Calcium enriched with Vitamins, Chocolate enriched with Vitamins, Vanilla Organic, Hazelnut - Almond, Calcium enriched with vitamins chilled. The first person to see the cartons in the fridge was 9-year-old Sophie who enthused "Oooh chocolate milk, can I try some ?". I warned her that it wasn't normal chocolate milk but she was welcome to give it a go.

She poured herself a huge glass and guzzled the lot in one go, declaring it delicious. I had a tentative taste and I must admit, I wasn't overly keen because I could detect an aftertaste of rice so it tasted liked drinking chocolate milk with a mouthful of rice. I asked Sophie if she could taste rice and she said she couldn't, so maybe it's just me !

The other flavour - hazelnut and almond - was a bit of an unknown quantity as it's a slightly unusual flavour and one that the girls would not be familiar with. Not at all put off, Sophie gave it a go and said it tasted a bit like caramel ice cream. She then got adventurous and tried mixing chocolate Rice Dream with the hazelnut & almond variety to see if it would taste of Nutella - apparently it did, and that turned into the drink of the week until it was all gone !

We haven't yet sampled the plain "Calcium enriched with Vitamins" Rice Dream but, the good thing is, if nobody likes the taste, it can be used in cooking or in numerous ways in place of normal milk. As the manufacturers explain, "If you’re lactose intolerant, Rice Dream is the ideal alternative. You can use Rice Dream just like milk; enjoy it on your favourite breakfast cereals, in tea, coffee and smoothies, as a refreshing cold drink - or in cooking and baking."

I can totally understand how this would be a fantastic, versatile product for those obliged to follow a dairy-free diet, but I wondered how nutritionally useful it is for people without allergies. Well, the answer actually surprised me. Rice Dream explain : "A delicious, easy-to-digest alternative to dairy and soya milks, Rice Dream is made from the finest Italian rice and is naturally lactose-free. Plus it contains no artificial additives, colourings or preservatives and is 100% natural. One of the major advantages of rice is that it is a hypoallergenic food so, unlike soya, it’s highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Easy to digest Rice Dream is soft on sensitive stomachs, without the adverse digestive effects that cow’s milk or soya can sometimes have. Worried about the lack of calcium in dairy free diets? Don’t be… One 200ml glass of Rice Dream + Calcium provides 30% of the daily recommended allowance, which is as much as full-fat milk." The lack of calcium is one of the things I was slightly concerned about so that's really reassuring.

Rice Dream is helping raise awareness of allergies and food intolerance by supporting Allergy UK’s Allergy & Intolerance Week. Taking place from 24th to 28th January 2011, Allergy & Intolerance Week is in its 10th year and continues to raise awareness of food allergies and intolerances from the mild to the extreme - nut allergies, gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance, as well as other, less well-known allergies. (Allergy UK is a national medical charity established to increase the understanding and awareness of allergy and intolerances, to help people manage their allergies and to provide training in allergy for healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, dieticians and pharmacists. For more information go to

Recent research also shows that GPs confirm that the number of female patients complaining of food intolerances is on the rise. A survey of more than 500 GPs has revealed that an increase in lactose intolerance symptoms amongst women could be due to yo-yo dieting. The survey, conducted recently by medeConnect Healthcare Insight on behalf of Rice Dream, also revealed that more than 75% of people complaining of symptoms of lactose intolerance are female. But the majority of GPs believe that switching to a dairy replacement product could help establish whether they really are suffering from an intolerance and lessen the symptoms. Of the GPs surveyed, 76% think that yo-yo dieting could be a cause of a population-wide increase in dairy intolerance.
In any case, as Sophie has proved, whether or not you need to follow a lactose-free diet, Rice Dream is a tasty and healthy (not to mention convenient and versatile) product that people of all ages can enjoy.

**** Click here for some delicious recipe ideas using Rice Dream. ****
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £1.99 for 1 litre


for more information :

Rice Dream is available in Waitrose, Asda, JS, Tesco & Independent Health Food stores

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Yazoo Flavoured Milk Drinks

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing the different packaging and flavors of this product ... definitely a bit unique from what we have in the U.S. I wonder if the flavor formulations of Rice Dream in the UK are slightly different from the US too?


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