I grew up drinking a mug of hot milk every night before bed. As an adult, I can’t quite seem to give it up. This ridiculously easy two-ingredient, five-minute recipe gives you a non-dairy option that’s naturally creamy and sweet for when you’ve run out of something for your cereal. This DIY oat milk is perfect for breakfasts; try adding it to oats or homemade granola like our “Energy-Boosting” Granola. Surprisingly, it also works well as a treat for your coffee, baked goods, and even many savory recipes that call for milk. Drink up!
Why Try our DIY Oat Milk?
Oat milk doesn’t have to be for those following a plant-based diet or anyone who’s lactose intolerant! Anyone with a nut allergy can also enjoy this milk alternative. If I’m being truly honest, the real thing that keeps me coming back to this recipe is money. Looking at the price of most store-bought oat milk, especially organic, makes me grimace. This DIY oat milk is just ridiculously budget-friendly.
I love making homemade nut milk, but unless you have access to a store that sells nuts in bulk and you turn your almond pulp into almond flour, it’s just not sustainable. All you need for this recipe are bulk rolled oats that are already lying around in the back of your cupboard.
Let’s talk nutrition. Oats are high in fiber, which makes them great for bloating and intestinal issues. Compared to all other milks, oat milk provides far more fiber. Oats also contain the B vitamins thiamin and folate, as well as minerals such as magnesium and iron. These nutrients are typically deficient in adults, especially in women. This DIY oat milk is also very low in calories and virtually fat-free while also providing a stable source of energy that helps to control blood sugar levels.
Need more convincing? Most homemade vegan milk recipes are nut-based. This requires a level of premeditation for soaking the nuts overnight. With oats, in comparison, you can get away with a speedy 15-minute soak. Plus, because oats absorb water better than nuts, this recipe is creamier than most milk alternatives. Finally, a funny thing: I’ve noticed children seem to react very well to oat milk’s neutral taste.
Separation is totally normal with many dairy-free milks, oat milk included. That’s easy enough to resolve: Simply shake well before use! Properly sealed in the refrigerator, this DIY oat milk should last from 5-7 days. You’ll know it’s gone bad when it starts to smell funny.
I usually make unsweetened oat milk because I like the freedom of being able to use it for sweet or savory recipes. You can, however, also add a date, a touch of vanilla extract, sea salt, or a handful of raisins for flavor. If you’re feeling fun, add cacao powder or even berries for that nostalgia factor!
In terms of straining the milk, fine mesh strainers can let some pulp through. If that’s all you have, then don’t be scared off as they do work fine. But, something we all have at home may yield the best results: A t-shirt! (A clean one, of course).
If you tried the various options at home, please do let us know in the comments what worked best for you! What kind of oats can you use? In our experience, rolled oats are the best way to go. Steel-cut oats are too unprocessed and make less creamy milk. Quick-cooking or “instant” oats work too, but they’re often finely processed, so you risk creating slightly slimier oat milk.
Um, Slimy Milk?
Yep, slimy milk. The “slime” is the soluble fiber of the grain. The fiber is exposed when the oats are rolled, and it softens when you add hot water. This viscosity does partially contribute to our DIY oat milk’s desired creaminess, but it’s best really to discard the soaking water. Rinse the oats well to watch off any of this soluble fiber and add new water for blending. While I usually just strain once, straining twice will remove any of that excess starch, which can also lead to a slimy texture.
Now you’ve made your delicious jug of milky goodness, what to do with all that leftover pulp? Throwing away all that food (and money!) is just not good enough. Try bulking up your smoothies with the pulp to add body, sweetness, and fiber – perfect for a pre-workout snack. You could also use it to make cookies, muffins, or oatmeal.
Why not start by using the pulp to make this weekend’s brunch winner Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal? Alternatively, use a dehydrator or spread out thinly on a baking tray and cook on a low heat in the oven. Wait until it’s totally dry and then use in granola recipes or blend up into flour!
Simple DIY Oat Milk
- 1 cup quick or rolled oats soaked in water overnight
- 3 to 4 cups water depending on how think you like your milk
- Rinse the soaked oats. Place the oats and the water into a blender and blend until smooth. Using a cheese cloth, strain the milk. Discard the oats. Store the oat milk in a sealed container up to one week.