Dairy free you ask? How can it be? Well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. You know how much I love to cook. And I’m going to sound like a broken record, but since we did the Ultimate Reset, I’ve really incorporated even healthier recipes into our diet. I use to make this with fat-free coffee cream. Now, we try to have little or no dairy, so I decided to try this with rice milk. I made it the other day with store-bought rice milk and we were in love. So, I decided to make my own rice milk and make a whole new batch.
I LOVE clam chowder
I don’t know about you, but I love clam chowder, but not the heaviness or the dairy. I haven’t eaten it in years and I decided the other day that I had to try making a dairy free version. Worse case scenario, the dogs would eat it, right? lol It came out so delicious, if I do say so myself. And our friend Vic is one of the most picky eaters we know and he LOVED it, so seriously, give it a try. Let me start by saying, I’m not going to claim this as a healthy dish. However, it’s much healthier than any chowder I’m aware of. And, it is dairy and gluten-free. If I did my calculations accurately, each bowl is about 148 calories with only 2 grams of fat. So, I’m thinking, if you really want a rich, great tasting chowder, this is the way to go.
Tip: You can either use store-bought rice milk or make your own. The same thing goes for the potatoes. I chop a fresh potato up in pieces. But, if you’re pressed for time and you have some breakfast potatoes, you can use those. (Notice I said breakfast potatoes, not has browns. There’s a difference). I’ll proceed with the Step by step instructions and then post the ingredients at the end. Deal? Cool.
OK, so I’ve seen a bunch of recipes for rice milk. They are all basically the same, but some use more water. You can basically adjust it to your liking. The nice thing about making your own is you can use whatever type of rice you want. I used organic, brown rice. I use 1 cup of rice per 8 cups of water. Yes, I said 8 cups. Remember, this is for rice milk, you want the rice to be as soggy as possible. I made a batch today so I could post you pictures and the recipe. While making it, I realized (after thought) I probably should have cut down on the water a bit to make thicker milk. That way, I wouldn’t have to thicken it for the soup. For the milk, proceed as follows. If you plan on making it for the soup, cut back about 2 cups of water. You can always add more if you need it. Add the rice to the water, let it boil and stir once. Put it on low and let the rice sit covered for 3 hours. You want it good and mushy because it makes better milk.
I blend up my milk in two batches because it expands in the blender. So, once your rice is ready, pour half of it in a blender and blend it up until it’s really smooth. I have a very strong blender, so I don’t even need to do it for a minute, but do what works best for you.
Once that’s done, get a big bowl and a fine mesh strainer, pour the milk into the strainer. Take a spoon and spread it around. If you have a strong blender, you won’t see much rice fiber in the strainer. Continue with the remainder of the rice. Make sure you rinse your strainer and spoon each time.
If you find you still have a lot of rice fiber, repeat the entire process again, but make sure you rinse your blender, bowl, strainer and spoon first. Once you do that, you’re done. You now have your rice milk. Now, if you’re just using it for milk, feel free to flavor it with vanilla, a little date paste for sweetening, etc. Experiment, it’s good to drink. If you’re using it for the soup, I don’t recommend you add those ingredients. (Here’s what the rice fiber looks like)
On to the soup
While your rice is cooking, chop up your onions and celery and cook them in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until they are nice and soft. Wash, peel (if you wish) and cut your potato into small chunks. Put all this aside for later. (Forgot to get pictures of the potatoes, sorry)
Once your rice milk is finished, pour it back into a pot. If you want it thicker, you can use a mixture of some of the milk along with non-gluten flour. You can even use cornstarch if you would like. Make sure you take about 1/2 cup of milk in a separate bowl, add the flour or cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Slowly add this back to the rice milk, constantly stirring until it thickens to the consistency you’d like. (Like I said, next time, I’ll use less water when making my milk so that I’ll end up with thicker milk).
(Note: as it cooks longer, it thickens up). Once you get it to the consistency you want, add the bullion cubes, clams; including the broth, onions, celery, potatoes, bay leaves, old bay seasoning. Place on low and let it simmer a good hour, stirring periodically. There you have it. Yummy, thick, rich, gluten-free, dairy free clam chowder.
Ingredients for the Rice Milk
- 1 cup of rice (I used organic brown rice)
- 8 cups of water
Ingredients for the Soup (please feel free to add more or less to your liking)
- 1 medium potato, cut into little chunks
- 3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (optional)
- 4-6 seafood flavored bouillon cubes (more to taste)
- 3 cans Snows chopped clams (including the broth)
- Fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste (I use Himalayan Salt)
There you have it. I’d really appreciate if you let me know when you make it, what you think. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.