Making Oat Milk at Home
Happy December! I am super excited to wear cozy knit sweaters, warm gloves, and drink lots of hot cocoa. AND to have more time for indoor projects, like making homemade oat milk! I have been wanting to make milk at home for a while, mostly out of curiosity. The main “milk” that we drink in our home is oat milk. But I was puzzled as to how milk actually comes out of oats… So it was time for a kitchen experiment! 🔬🧪🧫
In reality, making oat milk is extremely simple and quick. Just combine water & oats in a blender, along with any extra flavorings you’d like to add. I added a bit of cinnamon, a pinch of salt and some maple syrup for a sweeter oat milk. Blend the ingredients until they are smooth, which takes less than a minute. Strain the mixture and refrigerate it for cold and refreshing homemade dairy free milk!
Why Drink Oat Milk?
If you have a dairy and/or nut allergy or sensitivity, oat milk is a great alternative. In fact, this Ted Talk explained how oat milk is the best for our personal health, as well as the health and sustainability of the planet. Nice! 🌎🌍🌏Saving the world, one glass of oat milk at a time!
But oat milk is nothing new. During World War 2, dairy was rationed so some folks turned to making oat milk instead. And some sources say that plant-based milks have been around for centuries, after finding recipes for almond milk in medieval cookbooks!
Why Would I Make Oat Milk at Home?
I wanted to see how simple it was to make oat milk at home, in case it made sense to stop purchasing it from the store. Here are my scientific observations from this experiment.
First, oat milk requires minimal ingredients. You could get fancy with flavor additions, like pumpkin spice, berries or peanut butter. Or you could get crazy and add digestive enzymes to improve the texture. You can completely customize your oat milk however you like, unlike the finite number of options at the grocery store.
Second, oat milk takes very little time to make. From raw ingredients to milk in a glass jar, it can take less than five minutes. It is highly suggested to chill your oat milk before you drink it though, as warm oat milk has a thinner, more watery texture.
Third, the quantity of oat milk produced is totally up to you! I made a small batch, starting with just a half cup of rolled oats and 3 cups of water. This made a little over 3 cups of oat milk, which is far less than the amount in a carton at the store. But it was a great amount to experiment with. Next time, I’ll make a bigger batch to enjoy.
Fourth, the taste between homemade oat milk and store-bought oat milk is noticeable. Obviously the milk in the store has additives to improve its texture, color, etc. Most have a list of at least a dozen ingredients, instead of just the few that comprise homemade oat milk. And anything you make at home often tastes better simply because you put a little more time and effort into it. Plus, as mentioned above, you can customize the flavor of your homemade oat milk with endless possibilities!
Finally, there is the shelf life. Naturally, store-bought oat milk is going to last weeks longer in your fridge. Homemade oat milk should be consumed within a few days after you make it, since there are no preservatives. Therefore, if you drink a lot of oat milk, making it at home may be the best option. But if you only drink it in sparse amounts here and there, a small carton from the store could be better.
How to Enjoy Oat Milk
Oat milk can be used in many recipes in place of dairy milk. It’s my go-to substitute in baking recipes such as in quick breads and cupcakes. I also use it to replace buttermilk in recipes, since it curdles after about ten minutes when combine with lemon juice or vinegar.
Of course, oat milk tastes great with cereal and granola. And a tall glass of cold oat milk mixed with coffee concentrate and melted chocolate makes for the perfect pick-me-up drink. 🥛☕
What’s your favorite way to enjoy plant-based milk? 💚
Bonus: the “pulp” or blended oats that get strained out from the milk can still be consumed! You can bake it into cookies or pancakes. Or mix it in with cereal or hot oatmeal.
Homemade Oat Milk
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 3 cups water
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth and homogenous, about 30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer. I find it easiest to strain the oat milk into a wide bowl, and then pour it into smaller jars or glasses.
- Chill in the fridge for at least a couple hours. Shake well and enjoy!