Those of us who avoid dairy milk, by choice or necessity, we are fortunate to live in a time when multiple delicious and healthy milk alternatives are easy to make. Like many plant “milks”, oat milk is cholesterol and lactose free. It is usually tolerated by people with multiple allergies, so no matter what allergies you might suffer from, there are options. Though if gluten is a problem for you be sure to use certified gluten-free oats for this recipe.
I was just at the store the other day and I came across half an isle of nothing but dairy-free milk alternatives. I was dumbfounded to a degree. I never purchase these milks so I didn’t have a full grasp on how many were out there. Almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk, rice milk, quinoa milk, coconut milk… far too many to remember. I marveled at the all the options until I started reading the ingredient lists. But… the cool thing is that we can make all of these “milks” in our own home, and avoid unnatural additives. Not to mention that we can tailor them to our very own liking when it comes to the pleasing of taste buds. Oat milks found in the stores are very thin in texture, you can control this by adding more or less water to your oat milk.
Oat milk has a distinctive, oaty / nutty flavor. I feel safe in saying that if you enjoy oatmeal, you will enjoy oat milk. A plain bowl of oatmeal can taste rather bland and boring. (yawn). That is why the Internet is laden with hundreds of ways to dress up a bowl of oats. Well, the same can be said and done about oat milk. Plain, unsweetened or unflavored oat milk is … well… plain and boring. Add a splash of your favorite sweetener, a dash of cinnamon or cardamom, or how about some vanilla? Add a banana for a creamy smooth texture… There are simply too many variables to list.
After making oat milk, you will be left with some oat pulp in the nut bag… this is perfect for making Oat Flour, click (here) to learn how. It is so easy, I promise. :)
After soaking the oat groats, rinse them very well (discard the soak water). Soaking will initialize the sprouting process and cut down on some of the phytic acid that can make oats difficult to digest.
Place the oat groats in the blender along with 3 cups of water. You can adjust how thin or thick you want the milk to be by increasing or decreasing the amount of water used.
Blend for about 30 seconds (I blend until I don’t hear the groats moving around in the blender) and then let the “milk” rest for 1 hour before straining through a nut bag. Hand squeeze the milk into a clean container. Rinse out the blender and place the milk back into it. Don’t throw away the oat pulp, click here to learn how to make flour from it.
Add the sweetener and vanilla. Blend together for about 10 seconds.
Place in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
The milk will separate as it sits, when ready to use, just give it a quick shake and you are good to go. I did a few tests on adding sunflower lecithin to the oat milk to avoid the separating but both attempts were a fail. Though it did work with Homogenized Almond Milk recipe.
Nut bag maintenance:
It is important to keep the nut milk bag clean!
Wash with an organic, scent-free soap, such Dr Bronners. Do not use laundry soap. (always refer to the manufactures cleaning method as well)
Rinse well air dry. Ideally in the direct sun to receive free sterilizing from the warm rays. Nylon nut milk bags should not be placed in the sun as the ultraviolet rays can damage the nylon.
Do not hang the bags outside on the cloths line to dry. We don’t want an air-raid of bird poop coming down on it.
Proper bag storage –
I like to roll mine up and store in a glass jar. This will help keep it clean, protect it from dust, and accidental hole damage. A holy bag has no purpose when it comes to nut milk making.
Also, if you use nut bags for multiple reasons, it would be a good idea to store them in separate jars, labeling them for their purpose, such as; nut milks, juicing, sprouting.