There are so many non-dairy milks on the market, how is one to choose? I like to use different types of milk alternatives for specific applications. For example, in a dessert, chia pudding, or savory dishes, I use coconut milk. For drinking, frozen desserts, and cold coffee, I use rice milk. And for cereal, hot lattes, and baking, I use oat milk. Depending on the brand you buy they can be a bit pricey, and some have cross-contact issues with nut milks. If you feel there’s no safe option available for you, or if you cringe at the price every week, why not make your own?
Making your own oat milk is not only easy, but economical. The cost of 1 cup of oats is minuscule considering that I buy a whole 1 lb bag for $3.50 CAD. It keeps for a few days in the fridge. This recipe is relatively stable but you may need to give it a light shake to stir up any sediment before use. Get yourself a nylon jelly bag (I bought mine at a kitchen store, 2 for $6) and a glass jar with a locking lid, and you’re good to go!
Free from peanuts, nuts, dairy, egg, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish
Alternatives: Use gluten-free oats
1 cup large flake oats
3 cups water
1 tsp avocado or canola oil
a pinch of salt
optional: 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 1 tbsp honey
Soak the oats in water for about a half hour, then strain and discard that water.
Blend the water, oats, oil, and salt for 2 minutes until it is creamy and frothy. Line a large glass jar with a nylon jelly bag, wrapping the elastic edge back up around the lip of the jar. Make sure the jar you are using has a lid to hold the bag in place while it strains. Pour the oat mixture into the jelly bag. Close the jar and let sit for 3 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so to squeeze all the moisture out of the pulp. After about 3 hours it should have fully strained. Remove the jelly bag and rinse thoroughly. The one I use can be washed in the dishwasher for convenience (major time saver). You can add honey and vanilla by whisking it in thoroughly. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Consistency and texture of oat milk
This recipe for oat milk is ideal for baking and cooking. The texture is thick and creamy. It may have a slightly slimy quality, which is normal. Because of this I don’t think it’s ideal for drinking by the glass. If you prefer a more watery consistency, add an additional 3/4 cup of water and use a cheesecloth-lined strainer or a “nut milk bag” instead of a jelly bag to filter the mixture. This will allow less of the oat to filter into the final product.
Using oat milk in baking and cooking
Use oat milk in equal ratio whenever a recipe calls for dairy or nut milks in baking. It may congeal if overheated, so be cautious when adding to soups or other hot dishes. Heat gently and stir often. When making an oat milk latte, I use less oat milk than one would use of dairy or nut milks, and heat slowly and gently if preparing on the stove top. If using a heated frother it should froth up just fine.