Take a quick stroll down the modern dairy aisle at your local grocer, and you’ll quickly notice that is no shortage of nondairy milk or lactose-free alternatives. The dairy-aisle, with its neverending options, can get a bit over overwhelming. With the consumer demand for plant-based options from vegans, nondairy eaters, and foodies alike, you can now grab anything from almond milk, cashew milk, to banana milk.
With all of the tastiest dairy-free milk substitutions available on the market today, food gawkers are still enthralled with the latest creamy addition to the plant-based beverage line-up: oat milk.
What Is Oat Milk?
Just as you may have guessed, oat milk is prepared by soaking and blending either steel-cut or rolled oats with water. The soaked oats are then strained using a cheesecloth, which removes the creamy liquid or “milk,” from the oat pulp, containing some of the oats’ powerhouse nutrients.
Oat milk can now be found in most supermarkets, health food stores, or online, but what makes it most appealing is that it can be prepared easily at home and customized to suit your taste with affordable ingredients.
Although oat milk is not suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, it’s free of many of the allergens making it an ideal option for those seeking a healthier nut-free non-dairy alternative.
What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?
Oat milk is an undeniably trendy lactose-free option for its creamy mouthfeel and slightly sweet flavor, similar to cow’s milk. The taste of oat milk, tastes very similar to oats, literally! To be more specific, oat milk could also be compared to the milk left in the bowl after eating your morning cereal.
Oat milk is an outstandingly mellow, non-dairy beverage, strikingly similar to cow’s milk and highly recommended for those who may be hesitant to explore more overpowering flavor options.
Is Oat Milk Healthy?
So, the short answer is, yes. Oats are one of the best foods to incorporate into your diet. But, with almost anything we consume, it’s essential to be aware of how much of it you’re consuming and what it contains.
As with many non-dairy beverages, such as almond milk, look for oat milk that’s labeled unsweetened, or avoid, “barista blends,” to ensure there are zero grams of added sugar per serving. It’s important to know that even when unsweetened, oat milk still contains one of the highest amounts of calories and carbohydrates of plant-based alternatives, typically clocking in around 90-120 calories and 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per cup.
With that being said, oat milk is still quite nutritionally dense. Unlike other plant-based milk, like rice or almond milk, oat milk wins the race with bodybuilding protein and cleansing fiber.
Oat milk also contains B vitamins, Thiamin, and Folate, which help generate energy from nutrients and help tissues grow and cells operate. Besides B vitamins, oat milk contains a healthy dose of minerals such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.
Depending on which oat milk brand you purchase, you may discover that some oat milks fortify their milk with added vitamins and minerals (like calcium, riboflavin, and vitamin D). You may also spot various flavors and sweeteners, such as vanilla or dark chocolate from companies such as Planet Oat Oatmilk or Oatly.
How Do You Make Oat Milk At Home?
If you’ve ever attempted to make other versions of lactose-free beverages at home, such as homemade almond or cashew milk, you know that it can be a little expensive. But, oat milk is different on many levels, in that it’s ridiculously cheap to prepare, and it doesn’t require hours of soaking time. Oat milk is possibly the best emergency milk substitute. It literally takes minutes to make! every home cook has a canister of rolled oats in their kitchen pantry, as its at-home staple.
If you ever run into a situation again where you desperately need milk for a recipe, but you’re out, quickly whip this recipe up for an easy fix! Or do what we do, and enjoy this smooth, creamy beverage as is when you’re craving a cold glass of milk!
Homemade Oat Milk Recipe
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups ice-cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
- high-speed blender
- cheesecloth (grade 90), sieve, or thin towel
- Discard the soaking water and then rinse your oaks removing the slimy residue.
- Add the soaked oats, along with the ice-cold water and any optional ingredients to the high-speed blender. Blend for roughly 20-30 seconds. Do not over blend or you run the risk of turning your oat milk slimy.
- Strain the oat mixture through a cheesecloth, sieve, or thin towel into a pitcher or large container. We recommend straining your oat milk at least two times. Store your oat milk in the refrigerator for up to four to five days.
Can I Make Oat Milk Without A Blender?
In a large bowl, soak the rolled oats in water for about 15 to 20 minutes.
large mixing bowl or pitcher
If you’d love to prepare oat milk, and not having a high-speed blender on hand is stopping you, don’t worry! You can always use a handheld immersion blender or food processor. If you find yourself without any type of blending equipment, you can still whip up some oat milk with a little bit of elbow grease and some added patience. The last method to use is a mortar and pestle or fork.
To begin, you’ll want to soak your rolled oats for much longer than 15-20 minutes. We suggest soaking your rolled oats up to eight hours, or overnight, so they are easy to grind using this last resort method.
No Waste Oat Pulp Recipes
Not only is oat milk one the cheapest dairy-free milk to prepare at home, but it also makes little to no waste! Use the water that was used to soak the rolled oats to water your indoor or outdoor plants, and utilize the leftover oat pulp in recipes.
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pulp Cookies
To reduce food waste, use your leftover oat pulp to make delicious chocolate chip oatmeal pulp cookies. Soft, chewy, and delicate, these cookies have everything that you know and love about chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!
Have breakfast waiting in the morning with overnight oats. Overnight oats are a versatile no-cook method of making oatmeal! Pick and choose your favorite add-ins to suit your taste. You leftover oat pulp from your oat milk will never go to waste with this delicious think-ahead breakfast!
Leftover oat pulp is an incredibly versatile ingredient that shouldn’t go to waste! If you’re not going to use it immediately, pour and freeze the leftover oat pulp into ice cube trays. When you’re ready in your smoothie blender, use the oat pulp as a highly nutritious addition to your morning brunch or post-workout recovery smoothie.
We’re huge fans of this cozy oatmeal smoothie with simple everyday ingredients, bananas, peanut butter, and cinnamon that will surely have you ready to greet the day.