Oat Milk 101
Updated: Feb 3, 2022
I have had a long and complicated history with milk. I stopped drinking dairy milk when I became a vegan for environmental reasons in 2010. Then I learned that the almond milk I was drinking instead was killing the bees and was water intensive, plus the packaging was wasteful. So I switched back to local dairy milk in returnable glass containers, but my kids didn’t like the taste of “cow milk” and it turns out my body doesn’t like it either. So, I switched to oat milk, which had become a thing, and everyone was happy except for the packaging issue. So we tried to reduce our milk intake by avoiding cereal and milk as a beverage, but smoothies are big in our house and I just can’t drink black coffee, so… I learned how to make oat milk. And it turns out it’s super easy.
Readers, it is silly how EASY and INEXPENSIVE it is to make oat milk. You’ll save money and reduce your waste and it won’t even take you ten minutes!
You will need a blender of some sort. I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender would work just as well. You will also need a nut bag to strain the milk. This seems like a specialty item, but they are easy to find. I’ve tried doing this with a kitchen strainer and with cheese cloth and I’m telling you, get a nut bag! I use Ellie’s Best “Bigger, Better Nut Milk Bag”.
All you really need to make oat milk are oatmeal and water. In fact, I make it that way often, but if you are hoping your milk will taste like the delicious oat milk you buy at the store, then you should add some salt, vanilla, and local maple syrup or local honey. I like to add just a pinch of salt, a couple drops of vanilla, and splash of maple syrup to three cups of water and 1/2 cup of oats, but the amount you use depends on your tastes.
RECIPE (hold onto your hats, guys!)
Put water and oats in a blender or a bowl (if using immersion blender). The ratio is 3 cups of water to 1/2 cups of oats. Make as much as you want.
Add salt, vanilla, and local maple syrup or local honey to taste, if using.
Pour mixture through the nut bag into a pretty pitcher, mason jar, or whatever*.
Drink! You will need to stir or shake your oat milk before using, just like you shake your store-bought oat milk.
This recipe will leave you with a small amount of damp oat particles in your nut bag. I add these to our morning oatmeal, cookies, baked oatmeal, or granola bars. You can also add it right into your smoothie to bulk it up. Or feed it to your chickens!