You may have seen it in the grocery store or seen the pins on Pinterest on how to make it. You may have even heard someone in a coffee shop order their drink with it. Oat Milk seems to be a new craze. I avoided it for a while as I don’t love milk in the first place but I kept seeing it over and over. Then I saw that it only takes five minutes to make and I was intrigued.
There were so many questions. Is it really that easy to make? What are the health benefits? Are there dangers? The list went on and on. But the most important question was, how does oat milk taste?
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Why Are People Choosing Oat Milk?
Made from the pulp of oats, Oat milk has been increasing in popularity as many are seeking alternatives to traditional dairy. There are questions as to whether something can be considered milk if it doesn’t come from “lacteal secretion”. For the sake of simplicity, we are keeping the “milk” name here.
With the increase in various food allergies and special diets, dairy doesn’t always fit in people’s diets. Oat milk is a nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free (when GF oats are used and it is processed correctly) option.
Others are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Producing a glass of milk from dairy creates three times more environmental impact than a glass on non-dairy milk. Out of all of the alternatives to dairy milk, oat milk is the least impactful to the environment. Production of oat milk requires the least amount of land and water and has a low amount of greenhouse gas emission.
Oat milk is also much cheaper to make at home than other non-dairy kinds.
Oat Milk Disadvantages
So we have found an allergen-free milk alternative that is better for the planet. What is the downside here? Is there one
Well, oat milk when produced commercially has added vitamins but, when made at home, it lacks them. This includes calcium, vitamin A, D, and B12. This is fine if you have a balanced diet, but the lack of nutrients is certainly something to keep in mind.
Also, oat milk, since it is made from carbohydrates, is higher in sugar than other kinds of milk. And, while it is made from oats, you don’t get the full nutritional benefits of them since it is strained a few times.
How Does Oat Milk Taste?
Simple answer — it tastes like oats! I can see how people use it as a replacement to milk as the texture and consistency are the same. When you first try it, it tastes like milk. And then you get a slight aftertaste and get reminded of what it’s made of. By no means is the taste considered neutral. My boys (5 and 8) said it was good at first and then the taste of oats “smacked them in the face.” There are no more honest critics than children!
How to Make Oat Milk
Blender – Many recipes suggest using a high-powered blender such as the Ninja or Vitamix. After using my thirty-year-old Sunbeam, I would have to agree. You can make the lower-powered ones work but it just won’t break down the oats as well. I also tried the food processor, but I would not recommend. As it just didn’t work at combining the ingredients or breaking down the oats.
Sieve – You are going to want smooth oat milk so it’s best to pour it through a fine mesh sieve to get any larger oat parts out. This worked well for the small batches I was making. If you are making lots of oat milk, a dish towel over a large bowl would work well.
Funnel – This is totally optional. It simply helps to keep things clean while you are pouring the final product into whatever you are storing it in.
Oats – I made the mistake of not making the recipe for days because I only had old fashioned oats when the recipes called for rolled oats. They are the same so either of these would work. Steel cut leads to slimy oat milk due to their tougher texture. Instant Oats also aren’t the best option as they are the most processed and will become mushy when placed in the water. The Kitchn describes the differences between the types of oats here.
Water – The ratio that works best is 4:1 water to oats. This creates a good consistency that’s not, in my opinion, too thick or too thin. Feel free to change it up to suit your taste.
Salt – Just a small pinch. Optional but worth it for the flavor it adds.
Dates, Maple Syrup, Vanilla – These are also optional to add flavor and is purely up to your taste. I found the dates tough to mix in while using my regular blender while both the maple syrup and vanilla mixed in nicely. Be sure to taste the mixture as you go to get the best flavor.
Some recipes call for soaking the oats prior to blending them. I found no noticeable difference between the methods. You simply add the oats, water, and any flavor enhancers to the blender and process for about one minute until they are combined. You will want to cover the top of the blender with a kitchen towel to avoid any mess. Check the mixture for taste and adjust as needed.
Then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or kitchen towel into a bowl twice.
That’s it! Be sure to mix it up before drinkng as some oats will settle on the bottom. Homemade oat milk stores in the refrigerator for about 4 days.
Uses for Oat Milk
Oat milk can be used as a full replacement for dairy milk in all cold recipes. It’s great in cereal or you can pour it in your coffee. Oat milk doesn’t work as well where it needs to be heated. When heated, the oat milk will become
How to Use Leftover Oats
To make it a zero waste recipe, You can use the leftover oatmeal that is in your strainer for other thing. It’s great added to homemade suet balls. Or you can make oat biscuits by combining it with oil, flour, and spices then bake for about 15 minutes in the oven.
It was a lot of fun trying oat milk out and the process of making it couldn’t be easier. I am not sure that we will incorporate it into our diets, due to the lack of nutrients and the “smack you in the face taste.” It is a great alternative for people with allergies. What do you think? Have you tried it before? Comment below and let me know your thoughts.
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