Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Make it Yourself: Oat Milk

Soak your oatmeal for at least four hours before making Oat Milk

Have you ever purchased oat milk?  I have - I wanted to taste it so I could I understand what  I was serving on the days where I'd entertain a friend with lactose-intolerance or on a vegan diet or just trying to avoid dairy.

What I discovered is that oat milk isn't just for those with specific dietary restrictions.  It has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel that is the perfect addition to a smoothie, but would also works well in a "cream" soup as a replacement for half and half or heavy cream.  I tried this in a carrot-cumin soup the other day, and the soup went from being a watery concoction crying for substance to a velvety delight.

The problem with buying your own oat milk is that along with the relatively high price per liter, it also comes with preservatives and stabilizers - which means there are lot of other things in their besides oats.  Beyond all that, since I don't have specific dietary restrictions that place oat milk on my shopping list on a regular basis, I almost never buy it.

Oat Milk and a Blueberry-Ginger Smoothie
And now I don't have to because it's snap to make it.  Oats and water.  Soaked at least four hours or up to overnight, and blended.  You can strain them if you wish to use the mixture as a replacement for the milk.  When I make smoothies with it, I don't bother as I actually like the additional texture provided by the soaked oats.  If you do strain it, you can add the oat pulp to cookies or bread.

I typically use either Oat Milk or Almond Milk when I make smoothies rather than regular milk - I prefer the flavor, and find that they don't curdle when I add a fruit with a high amount of acid the way cow's milk does.   Add fresh or frozen fruit, dates, honey or maple syrup if you want a sweetener, and a little chia or ground flax seed to increase the health factor.  I sometimes throw ginger into a blueberry smoothie or ground cardamom into a raspberry smoothie.  Basically, your imagination is the limit!

Oat Milk

1 cup oats
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, optional, but adds important flavor

Soak the oats and salt in the water up to four hours or overnight.  Pour the entire mixture into a blender or food process and process for a minute or so.  Strain the oat milk through a fine-mesh sieve.  Store in and air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.  Shake before drinking as this has no emulsifiers and will settle.

Makes four cups.

UPDATE: if you are having trouble getting oat milk with a smooth mouth feel, try using mid-grain oats, not steel cut or the old fashioned kind.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

UPDATE #2:  I found that straining the oat milk through a sieve 3 times, rinsing the sieve between each round, makes for a smoother product.  Here's how I do it:  strain the oat milk from the blender through a sieve into a bowl.  Rinse the blender; spoon the oat pulp out of the sieve and save for another use; rinse the sieve.  Then pour the oat milk back through the clean sieve into the clean blender.  You'll see that a bit more of the fiber has collected in the sieve.  Rinse the bowl and the sieve.  Pour the oat milk back through the sieve into the bowl.  Take a sip, and enjoy your (smoother) oat milk.


  1. Going to make this right now. Thanks for posting.

    1. Hi Eboni, let me know how it goes! I hope you enjoy...

  2. Hi Ann,
    When I try to make oat milk with the soy machine, it comes out to be dusty, not nice in the mouth.... How about yours? Is it smooth and liquid or it has oat powder in it?

    Sorry for my English...

    Thank a lot

    (Today I've made oat and spelt milk, good taste, but still dusty...)

    1. Hi Nami, Thanks for your comment - I'm sorry you're having trouble with the oat milk! Mine comes out nice and smooth. Are you letting the oats soak for at least four hours? I tried spelt milk as well but didn't like the flavor - it never had the smooth mouth feel, but the oats worked great. What kind of oats are you using? I wonder if that makes a difference. I use the medium grade oatmeal - not the quick stuff, but not the old-fashioned or steel cut either. If you are using steel cut, you'd probably need to soak them for even longer. Let me know if that still doesn't work and I'll experiment again on my end too.

    2. Hallo Ann, thanks for answering!
      I have used oatmeal and whole spelt grains.

      This time I didn't soak the grains in water, but other times I soaked them 4 hours or overnight.
      It's true that if you leave them overnight the "dust" is not so thick, but it still present....

      I don't know if I'm blending (mill button) to much or too less. I don't put oil or salt, just water, grains and sweetener (dried grapes or agave syrup).

      I'm becoming crazy, also because I can't stand milk anymore (also the one lactose free!)

      Thanks again!!

    3. Ok, I used old fashioned oatmeal.... I did not know what it was!!! I'm writing from Switzerland ......

    4. Hi Nami - Great to hear you are writing from Switzerland! I spent a lot of time hiking in the Alps in various parts of Switzerland when I was living in Munich. I really miss your beautiful mountains! I made this oat milk again this morning after an overnight soak. My guess is that the "dust" problem can be partially fixed by using a very fine filter, as with a fine mesh sieve, there was still some residue left in the liquid. Try a coffee filter - it will take longer, but should eliminate the dusty mouth feel. Also, the more you "mill" or "blend" it, the better off you will be.

      I used the rolled oats this time, and liked the texture of the milk - it was smooth in the mouth, though would have been much smoother with a coffee filter. I hope this works for you!

    5. Thanks a lot for the tips! I'll follow them and let you know.
      I'm from Lugano :)

  3. I loved this recipe and I hope you don't mind me pinning it onto pinterest. I've been making coconut milk as a replacement to cows milk, but this is even better. Thanks.
    I'm also living close to the Swiss alps, but after 30 years, I'm looking forward to relocating back home next year to the cotswolds, UK :)

    1. Hi Lou,

      I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it! By all means feel free to share it - that's the great thing about the great www - sharing the good tips around the world.

      Ah - the Swiss Alps. I miss the mountains so much here in Finland - there are days that all I'd like to do is follow the winding trail upward towards some distant peak. But it must be exciting to be moving back to the Cotswalds again - I visited the area many years ago when I was an exchange student in London - so beautiful. Thanks for your comments!

  4. Thanks for tip. Can I drink it while I am on milk diet? Thanks!

  5. Hi there from Philadelphia. Are mid grain oats the same as quick oats?

    1. Greetings to Philadelphia! Yes; but not the same as instant, though instant can be used as well.

  6. Thank you so much for this guide. I still have one doubt: should we keep the water in which we soak the oats, or discard it and use "new" water to make the oat milk. Thanks again. Inês (Switzerland)

    1. Hello Inês! Use the same water you soaked the oats in. Enjoy it!

  7. Hi Everyone! I've just done a few more tests to make an even better oat milk. Please take a look at the updates above. I've also started adding a small quantity of salt to the oat milk for improved flavor. Enjoy!