What is Oat Milk?
What is oat milk, you ask? In fact, it’s literally ‘milked oats.’ Oats soaked in water, then blended and squeezed through cheesecloth. Commercially sold oat milk often contains fillers and gums, yet a plant based milk recipe can be achieved without these extras.
Many people like this alternative plant based milk because it is gluten, nut, and dairy free. This provides an option for those suffering from many common allergies. Not all brands are certified gluten-free, so make sure to look for this label when purchasing.
It’s simple plant based milk
This time I’m sharing a clean + simple oat milk recipe. Grocery stores are becoming inundated with plant based milk options, yet plant based doesn’t equal clean. It can be frustrating to read label after label in search of a whole food option, so I decided to create my own. This recipe is super simple, and is definitely less expensive than anything I’ve found at the store. Plus, it tastes great!
Which oats are best?
Rolled, quick cook, gluten free, steel cut…Which oat is the best for milking? You can really use any oats you have on hand. However, in my opinion, rolled oats are usually best for making this plant based milk. Steel cut oats (like the ones pictured here) are often too raw and can lead to a result that’s less creamy.
If you use quick cook oats, then that will take you in the opposite direction, as they are much more processed and can lead to a thinner, slimier beverage. And who wants a slimy drink?! Rolled oats (whether traditional or gluten free) seem to be the happy medium here to create the perfect creamy non-moo juice.
Benefits from this Homemade Milk
While this porridge grain turned beverage doesn’t quite pack the nutritious punch that whole oats do, there are still many benefits from sipping this cold, creamy drink. These include:
- Lower cholesterol levels: A study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine showed this result through the regular consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks.
- Fiber boost: 1 cup of my recipe below contains 3.3 grams of fiber, 13.2% of the recommended daily intake. Use this as a base for a green smoothie, and your gut will be thanking you for helping to keep it regular.
- Promotes heart health: The soluble fiber in this easy blender based recipe is also excellent (and necessary) to keep hearts healthy
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: not only does oat milk promote human health, it also promotes environmental health. It takes hundreds fewer square miles to produce than dairy milk, and uses 1/8th of the water consumption used in the production of almond milk.
- Fortified with B vitamins: most commercially available milk is fortified (as are other dairy and non-dairy milk products). Oat milk specifically is loaded with B vitamins, which helps the body stay energized, and also promotes heart health.
Other ways to use plant based beverages
Another reason I love blending my own like this is for the creaminess. I’ve noticed many coffee shops starting to use oat milk in specialty coffee drinks. This is due to its ability to foam and nicely thicken beverages. I’ve even created my own Cinnamon Dolce Latte recipe, which capitalizes on the cream factor.
Now that I know how to make my own milk, I even like using the leftover pulp in the cheesecloth from this homemade recipe, as extra fiber in some homemade granola bars, a smoothie boost, or dried and added to yogurt with berries. Zero waste and a whole host of extra health benefits! I use it all the time when blending, cooking or baking recipes from my two cookbooks – Simple Green Smoothies and Simple Green Meals.
Good news! Yes! Making your own oat milk will save you a minimum of several dollars per week vs. store bought, depending on how much you use. Yet if you choose to buy your oat milk, then check out my master guide to the best oat milk brands.
Oat milk is higher in fiber than traditional dairy milk. It also contains extra B vitamins. Both fiber and B vitamins help lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health.
Oat milk is considered perishable and should be refrigerated. If kept well sealed in your fridge, it can last up to 10 days.
The answer is both! If you’re looking for additional B vitamins and are dealing with a nut allergy, then this oat milk recipe is for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking to lose weight, then almond milk is lower in calories and fat. There’s a right plant based milk for everyone!
Creamy Oat Milk Recipe
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3 cups water, + enough water to soak oats
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, optional
- 2 tbsp maple syrup, optional
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- Pinch sea salt, optional
- Soak steel-cut oats in bowl of water (just enough water to completely cover the oats) for 20 minutes prior to blending. Drain excess water.
- Place the soaked oats and 3 cups water in high-speed blender.
- Strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth into a wide glass bowl.
- Discard pulp from bag or cheesecloth.
- Rinse the blender and pour the milk back into the blender from the bowl.
- Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla (if using), and salt. Blend for 10 seconds.
- Save pulp for using in smoothies, baked goods or overnight oats.
- As an alternative to maple syrup, use fresh pitted dates to sweeten instead.
- Alternate flavoring options include 2 Tbsps cacao powder for a chocolate option, or 1/2 cup berries for a berry flavored oat milk.
Oat Milk Alternatives
Looking for other great + clean plant based milk recipes? Check out some of our other great creations, or leave a comment below with your favorite homemade milk creation: