Oat Milk: How to Make it and What to Do with it

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With food prices still on the rise, it’s getting harder and harder to be able to afford the things we need or want. One switch I’ve recently made to start saving a little money is making my own oat milk from scratch. Food these days is crazy expensive, and while I don’t drink a lot of milk alone, I do love dairy (or dairy alternatives like oat or cashew milk) in my smoothies.

When I realized just how easy oat milk was to make, I decided it was time to give it a try, and I don’t know why I wasn’t doing it sooner!

The benefits of oat milk

While I’ve discussed oatmeal in general, I’ve never gone right into just oat milk. Due to the process of taking the oats and turning them into a drink, you are losing some of the nutrients that you’d get if you just had a bowl of oatmeal, but not all!

Oat milk, thankfully, still keeps a decent amount of fiber content, as well as important nutrients such as B12, calcium, and vitamin D. Oats are also known to help lower cholesterol levels as well as high blood pressure. Not to mention, when you consume homemade oat milk vs normal cow’s milk or store-bought milk, you’re going to have a lot less saturated fat and, instead, replace it with unsaturated fat (the kind that’s healthier for your heart.)

Let’s get making

The nice thing about oat milk is it’s super easy, and you need very few ingredients and equipment.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 4 cups water

Equipment: 

Steps:

  1. Place the rolled oats in a bowl and cover them with water. Let them soak for about 30 minutes to soften.
  2. After soaking, drain and rinse the oats thoroughly to remove any sliminess or residue.
  3. Put the soaked and rinsed oats into a blender and add 4 cups of fresh water (the colder the better). If you want your oat milk to be a little extra creamier, try adding a little less water.
  4. Blend the mixture on high speed for just a few seconds until the oats are completely broken down, and the liquid looks creamy.
  5. Place a nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine strainer over a bowl or pitcher. Pour the blended mix, allowing the liquid to strain through. Gently squeeze the bag or cloth to extract as much milk as possible.
  6. Once you have strained the milk, you’ll be left with oat pulp. You can save it for recipes like baking or add it to smoothies later for a little extra fiber and to cut back on waste.

Pro Tip: A lot of oat milk recipes with leave you with oat milk that can be a little slimy. If you want to get around this, make sure the water you’re blending it with is very cold, and blend it for just a few seconds. Most recipes will say 30 to 60 seconds, but this can leave you with a fairly slimy product.

And that’s it; you’re fresh oat milk is ready to go! Put it in a sealed container, and you can store it in the fridge for 4-5 days. Just make sure you give it a quick shake or stir before each use, as a little separation can occur when it rests.

A little something sweet

If you are the kind of person who prefers your oat milk or other dairy alternatives to be on the sweeter side, that is no problem at all. Right before you blend it, you can add a little extra flavoring. Here are some things you can add to your oat milk to sweeten it up:

  1. Vanilla: Add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. This can totally be adjusted for your preference!
  2. Chocolate: Add 2-3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.  When doing chocolate, I would also recommend adding a little something sweet, like 1-2 tbsp. of white sugar or maple syrup, or honey. Another alternative to making your creamy oat milk nice and chocolaty is to use any chocolate syrup you have lying around.
  3. Cinnamon: Add 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. Adjust the amount based on how prominent you want the cinnamon flavor to be.
  4. Honey: Add 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Adjust the amount to achieve the desired level of sweetness.
  5. Maple: Add 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Adjust the amount based on your desired sweetness.

I have oat milk. Now what?

You may be wondering just what all you can use your oat milk for, now that you’ve got it. The answer? A lot. In pretty much any circumstance where you’d have used your normal milk, you can substitute it for oat milk. Here are some ideas to get you started though:

  • Drink it as is
  • Creaminess for your coffee or tea
  • Cereal and granola
  • Smoothies (this is my favorite use!)
  • Baking substitute
  • Soups and sauces
  • Oatmeal (instead of cooking your oats in water, try cooking them in oat milk for extra creaminess and oat-iness)
  • Desserts like puddings or custards
  • Dairy-free homemade ice cream
  • Hot chocolate

What do you do with your oat milk?

Have you ever made oat milk before? Do you like to add something sweet to yours, or keep it simple? Do you prefer a different dairy-alternative drink? Do you make it yourself? Share in the comments!

About Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college-age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea. Check out her other work on Medium, where she writes about lifestyle, mental health, and writing. 

Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan

Chloe Morgan grew up living with a tight budget. In her late teens and early 20’s all the lessons she’d learned started to slip, like it does for many college age students on their own for the first time, and with their first credit card. As she’s gotten older, she’s started to deal with the repercussions and has taken on a frugal way of living, keeping her costs low, as she pays off debt and saves for her future. Chloe lives in Northern Ontario, Canada, with her cute dog, Rhea.

3 thoughts on “Oat Milk: How to Make it and What to Do with it”

  1. I’ve made oatmilk before. It’s good in smoothies but I found it kinda gross in coffee. The hot liquid cooked it or something? Does anyone have any ideas or other recipes that work well w/,hot beverages? Thanks

  2. Sounds interesting! I wonder if there could be a way to add a little calcium powder to it to add nutrition, or if that would be gross? I’m not non-dairy (I frequently use yogurt and cheese) but just sort of fell away from drinking milk so about all I use it for is recipes, so then I’ll usually just reconstitute some dried milk or just add yogurt, ha ha. Nice to have another option!

  3. I just found your website, Chloe and very happy that I did. I’ll try the oat milk. In these very trying times, I am looking for different ways to make what we have go further. So thanks for you and your site, I look forward to more from you!

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