These days, being lactose intolerant is a little bit easier thanks to all the options we now have in terms of milk substitutes. There’s almond milk, soy milk, and our personal favorite – oat milk.
As delicious as these alternatives may be, they are unfortunately a bit pricier than regular milk. So what do you do if you don’t want to shell out for a milk substitute but still want to be able to enjoy it? You make your own!
As daunting as it may seem, making your own oat milk isn’t as difficult as you may think, and you only need a few ingredients and tools to do so. Although most people use a cheesecloth to drain the oats, you don’t need one to make oat milk.
Making Your Own Oat Milk
To make oat milk you will need four cups of water and a cup of rolled oats. You can play around with the amounts and adjust it to your liking depending on how thick and creamy you want your oat milk.
Take your ingredients and toss them into a blender (or try these tips to make oat milk without one) to blend on high-speed until the oats are dissolved. Once that’s done, you can take a fine mesh strainer to strain any bits of oat that didn’t get mixed in properly.
For best results, strain the milk a second time. If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer you can also use a nut bag, although nut bags tend to let through more pulp than the strainer. You can also make your own cheesecloth using a t-shirt to strain your milk.
Be sure to blend for about 30 to 45 seconds at a time so that your oat milk doesn’t get too slimy. Be sure to use rolled oats instead of steel cut or quick oats as they tend to have the best results.
The best part about making your own oat milk is that you can customize it however you want. You can make flavored oat milk by adding in a dash of vanilla extract or even using cocoa powder to make chocolate oat milk.
Storing Oat Milk
After you have made your oat milk, be sure to store it properly so that you can keep it fresh for as long as possible. Simply store it in an air-tight jar and place it in the fridge.
Oat milk should be good for about five days, but you can always check to see whether or not your oat milk has gone bad by giving it a whiff. If it smells bad, chances are, it is bad.
Tips When Making Oat Milk
Although the process of making oat milk is pretty simple, there are some tips and tricks for you to consider that may go a long way.
When buying your oats, be sure to get organic and gluten-free oats. This is because oats that aren’t organic tend to be processed alongside other foods that may contain wheat, barley, or rye. Not to mention that non-organic oats have been found to contain an herbicide called glyphosate.
Many times, people find that their oat milk gets a bit slimy during the process. This can happen as a result of over blending. To avoid slimy oat milk, make sure that you are also using cold water in the oats as heat will give your oat milk a gummy texture similar to that of oatmeal.
Be sure that you are straining your oat milk more than once to get rid of any bits of oat that have been left behind. The last thing you want to end up with is chunky oat milk.
How to Use Your Oat Milk
Although oat milk is great on its own, it can also be used in cereal, in your coffee, or even blended into smoothies for a creamier texture. Unfortunately, oat milk doesn’t tend to froth because it has no fat in it, so it isn’t ideal to use in lattes.
You tend to leave behind so many oats after straining your oat milk, so you can also use the remaining pulp in a variety of things. Mix it in cookie dough to make oatmeal cookies or add it into your granola. If you aren’t too keen on eating oat pulp, you can also use it as a face mask to get smooth skin.
Oat milk can also be added to your baked goods and can even give them a nice toasted oat flavor. It makes a much better alternative to milk than soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or even cashew milk because it has the viscosity that is most similar to that of regular dairy milk.
It also won’t give you any added flavor to your foods like coconut milk would. You can mix oat milk into cake mixes, cupcakes, banana bread, or even cornbread. It’s a great way to make your baked goods vegan.
In fact, oat milk can even be used to cook savory dishes to make them creamy. The only thing you won’t want to use oat milk for is custards. This is because oat milk won’t set and won’t give your custard the texture it requires.
Use oat milk as a substitute for regular milk when making things such as butternut squash soup or even in your mashed potatoes. One thing to note, however, is that oat milk should not be used as a substitute for heavy cream, so if a dish calls for that, do not use oat milk instead.
Another great way to use your oat milk is to create a delicious roux for pasta. Use oat milk mixed with olive oil and flour and whisk all the ingredients together. When you’re done, add it to your pasta to make it creamier.
Benefits of Oat Milk
Aside from the fact that it is delicious, oat milk has many other benefits to it. It’s packed with loads of fiber and vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin A, iron, potassium, calcium, and riboflavin.
It’s also great because it tends to work for people with food allergies who may not be able to drink regular milk but may be allergic to nuts or soy. It’s also vegan and can be made gluten-free.
Thanks to the many vitamins that oat milk has, you’ll find your skin, hair, and nails look much healthier and even your mood may be slightly improved.
Oat milk has also been known to lower blood cholesterol because it is full of beta-glucans, which are a soluble fiber that has many heart health benefits. Unlike other dairy alternatives, oat milk also has calcium in it so you won’t have to feel bad about missing out on it when switching from cow’s milk.
Oat milk is a fantastic alternative to regular milk that is healthy and simple to make. Even without a cheesecloth, making oat milk can easily be done. Simply use a t-shirt, rag, or just a fine mesh strainer to make sure you are getting as much oat pulp out of your oat milk as possible.
Be sure to double strain your oat milk for best results!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.