|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|
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!
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.