Not that long ago the option to avoid dairy at your local coffee shop rest in the hands of soy milk. These days, the dairy-free milk market is booming with endless variations of almond, rice, coconut, hemp, oat milk and more.
A perfect way to go easy on your budget and control the number of additives from store-bought dairy-free milk, try making milk at home.
And nothing is easier than DIY oat milk.
Creamy oat milk has recently seen a surge in availability and understandably so. Cheaper to make than nut milk with a lower environmental impact, this dairy-free option is worth a try in your next latte.
The Good News On Oat Milk
The main ingredient of oat milk is, of course, oats! Rolled oats, steel-cut or even whole groats can be blended with water to make oat milk. A great alternative to those with a nut allergy and while gluten-free in nature, those with a gluten sensitivity should purchase certified gluten-free oats to make oat milk.
Oats more easily absorb water than nuts. Blending oats extremely well using a high powered blender and then straining out remnants of pulp gives oat milk that creamy texture, without adding unnecessary additives, one might miss from cow’s milk. The health benefits to this mean the majority of fiber (oat milk is the clear winner on the fiber front), protein, vitamins, and minerals are not left in the pulp.
Arguably one of the easiest and most inexpensive dairy-free milk options to make, oats can be purchased at very reasonable prices at your local grocery store. Make sure to check the bulk section for some increased cost savings and waste reduction. For those bulk buyers conscious of their overall impact, you’ll be happy to hear that oat milk has less of a carbon footprint than other plant-based milk. The New York Times released an article last year and according to the Water Footprint Network, almonds require six times as much water to grow than oats do.
High in essential fiber, sustainable, inexpensive and ridiculously easy to make? Oat milk, we didn't know we needed you until we had you.
- Prep Time
1 cup rolled oats (if using steel cut oats, submerge oats in water and soak for at least 20 minutes)
3 ½ cups water
Pinch of salt
½ tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
Other Optional Ingredients For Added Sweetness:
1 date, pitted or;
1 Tbsp honey or;
1 Tbsp maple syrup
- High powered blender
- Cheesecloth or nut-milk bag
- Fine mesh strainer (optional but preferred straining method)
- Bowl or pitcher, for straining
- Mason jar or pitcher, for storage
- Add oats, water, pinch of salt and additional ingredients to your high powered blender. After securing blender lid, blend on high for 1-2 minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Taste test! Check to see if the oat milk flavor is to your liking. If not, add more flavoring and blend again for 1 minute. Remember: You can always add but you cannot take away.
- Once your oat milk is where you want it, secure your cheesecloth or nut-milk bag over your bowl or pitcher to strain pulp. Alternatively, if you have a fine mesh strainer on hand this will work very well in separating pulp and liquid. If using a strainer, use a spatula or spoon to move liquid through tool.
- Transfer oat milk liquid to a sealed container, such as a mason jar or pitcher, and place in refrigerator. The oat milk will keep for up to one week.