I've been allergic to cow's milk for as long as I can remember. So although, I prefer skim milk in my coffee, I rarely drink it and I never buy. My preferred non dairy milk, especially in my coffee, is rice milk. Non sweetened rice milk is the closest to skim milk, in my opinion. But rice milk comes in tetra packs and often has a lot of gross ingredients (canola oil, why?), when bought commercially. So recently I went on the hunt for a rice milk alternative. I have found a few that I enjoy, but when my husband brought home extra oats the other day, and it coincided with running out of milk, I decided to try making my own Oat Milk.
I had been researching making my own non dairy milks for a while, but buying as many nuts as one needs can get expensive! Oat milk, as well as cashew, hemp and macadamia, was one of the milks I tried and liked when store bought. Oats are super cheap, and can be bought in bulk, so it was a no brainer to try making the milk. I read a bunch of recipes but in the end decided to wing it and make it as simply as possible.
1 cup oats
3 cups cool or cold water
Fine mesh strainer (or cheese cloth or nut milk bag)
All the recipes suggest using rolled oat or stone ground oats, but all I had on hand were quick oats so I used those. Some say to soak the oats, some not. I soaked mine for about 10 minutes, maybe less. I added the oats and the water to the blender and let sit as I puttered about the kitchen. Next, blend on high, as high as you can, for 5 -7 minutes. You don't want to blend too long. Once blended, use a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth, etc... and pour into a jar. All I had for straining was a rather large stainer, but that worked fine. I just had a few oatmeal pieces in the jar afterwards. Refrigerate your milk. Makes about 1.5 pints. Use it in coffee, baking, etc... but shake before use!
A few notes:
-Save the strained oat pieces, use as oatmeal for breakfast, in baking, etc...
-The recipes all say this volume lasts about a week but I'm almost done with mine 3 days in just from drinking in my daily coffees.
-Don't heat this milk. Pouring it in coffee, or using in baking, is ok, but heating it on the stove will create a goopy mess. Think oatmeal without the meal.
-Add sweetener and/or a pinch of salt if desired. I like my coffee unsweetened and even sweetened milk is too much for me.
-Bring a spoon. This milk is a little gummy and heavier than most milk I'm used to in my coffee, so it tends to settle. I now have a spoon on hand to stir my coffee as needed. I also end up using more of this milk than I would another milk, so something to think about.
-Make this milk zero waste and plastic free by getting your oats in bulk, recycling a jar for storage, and using the leftover blended oat parts.
Over all, I really liked making my own oat milk. When I make my next batch, I will use more water to oats, to see if I like the consistency better. When I run out of our excess minute oats, I will try using stone ground to see if it ends up being less gloopy. I may make some sweetened to try it with cookies or for drinking.
Next up, I plan to try rice milk! Who else out there makes their own non dairy milk? Tips, tricks?