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How to make oat milk at home and save tons of money
You'll also avoid preservatives and get the exact flavor you want.
Jen WheelerEditor / Chowhound
After 10+ years in customer service, Jen is now an editor at Chowhound and still can't believe she's basically living her childhood dream (of writing for Gourmet magazine). Naturally, she loves to eat, cook, read, and write. Baltimore-born and raised, Pacific NW-matured, she still prefers blue crabs to Dungeness.
Oat milk has made the leap from niche vegan milk to mainstream supermarket staple. But the truth is, homemade oat milk is incredibly easy to whip up and much more affordable. Here's how to make oat milk in any flavor you want -- and what to do with it.
CNET sister site Chowhound's video producer Olivia Geyelin shows you how it's done in the video above.
Why make oat milk?
Many commercial oat milks have unnecessary additives to help them last longer and be shelf stable after processing. Making it yourself means you know exactly what's in it. It also means you can control the level of sweetness and overall flavor according to your personal preference.
The best brands of oat milk can be expensive, so making it at home also saves you money. Of course, the price of store-bought oat milk varies by specific label and store location, but buying a few cups of oats from the bulk bins will always be cheaper in the long run. Plus, it's the type of incredibly easy DIY project that feels extra satisfying for being so simple (and tasting so good).
As for why oat milk over other nondairy milk, it's a favorite for an inherent natural sweetness from the oats and a creamier texture than soy milk and some other alternative milk options. It's generally considered to be the closest plant-based milk comes to the taste and texture of cow's milk, so even regular dairy drinkers are liable to like it. And since it's not a nut milk, it's more broadly allergy-friendly. And even better, it's considered one of the most environmentally friendly alternative milks too.
What ingredients do you need to make oat milk?
You'll want to be sure to buy old-fashioned rolled oats, and certified organic is preferred to ensure there's no cross-contamination. If you're gluten-free, be sure you buy oats that are certified gluten-free too. If you use quick-cooking oats (which have been much more processed), you're more likely to get slimy oat milk. But less processed steel-cut oats are too coarse to work well.
Since the other main ingredient is water, make sure you use good-tasting, clean water too. If you don't like to drink the stuff from your tap, you don't want to use it for oat milk either.
After that, it's up to you. You can add a sweetener like maple syrup or honey (or blend pitted dates with the oats and water), sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt and/or cinnamon, or even add a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder for chocolate oat milk. A splash of vanilla extract is also a nice touch in any case, but totally optional.
What equipment do you need for homemade oat milk?
A blender is a must and the higher-powered the better. If you have a less powerful blender you may end up with chalkier oat milk, but you also may not notice too much if you're mixing it into other things. A nut milk bag is ideal for straining -- but you can also use paper towels or cheesecloth over a large bowl, a fine mesh strainer or even the cut-off end of a clean nylon stocking. A large mason jar or other tightly lidded container is needed to store your milk.
In addition to using the right kind of oats, make sure your water is ice cold -- if it's not straight from an arctic-level fridge, add a few ice cubes to the blender. This helps prevent slimy oat milk.
Similarly, don't overblend, which also heats up the oats and can make them slimy. Blend for 20-30 seconds max.
When straining the mixture, while you should squeeze firmly to get all the liquid out, don't overdo it (that's another cause of slimy oat milk). You'll be able to feel the liquid start to get more viscous toward the end of the squeezing process, so stop when you notice that.
It's totally natural for oat milk to separate while sitting in the fridge. Simply give the container a good shake before using it.
How to use oat milk
You can drink your delicious oat milk straight (over ice if you like), put a splash in your coffee (hot or cold brew), use it in smoothies or use it in place of dairy milk in baking and other recipes. Or pour it on a bowl of cereal.
This story was originally published on Chowhound.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.