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When you’re in the mood for cereal but don’t have milk, try this method of creating milk from oats. Once you’ve made oat milk, you can use it for any recipe that calls for milk.
Creamy oat milk is easy to make and is very budget-friendly. Plus, when you make it at home, you get pure oat milk with no additives or preservatives.
Need To Make The Switch To Dairy-Free Milk?
Many people out there are discovering they can no longer tolerate dairy. As conditions in our food supply get worse, people are becoming more intolerant of things like dairy, gluten/wheat, soy, corn, and many other foods that we have never had issues with.
If you discover you can’t have dairy, it can feel a bit overwhelming at first to make that change. Dairy seems to be in everything! But this switch is easier than you think, and dairy-free cooking is a cinch. In fact, a good majority of my recipes here are dairy-free because I discovered several years ago that dairy is an issue for me. So dig into the recipes here!
Oat Milk FAQs
People have a lot of questions about making oat milk at home. Let’s cover some of them here.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is non-dairy milk that is made from oats. It is mild-tasting milk that is well suited for just about any type of recipe and is particularly good in coffee.
Is It Hard To Make Your Own Oat Milk?
Not even a little! If you have a blender and a piece of cheesecloth, you’ll have homemade oat milk in minutes!
What Type Of Oats Are Best For Oat Milk?
Always use whole oats. So these would be boxes labeled as “Old Fashioned”, “Traditional Oats”, or “Rolled Oats”. Avoid quick oats or instant oats because they will give you very slimy oat milk.
And lastly, never use oatmeal. While it will definitely give you oat milk, you’ll be dealing with a slimy texture in your finished batch.
Steel cut oats can work in a pinch, but I highly recommend a high-powered blender if you opt to try this.
Is Homemade Oat Milk Cheaper Than Regular Milk?
One word: Definitely! Let’s take a look:
A half-gallon of milk can easily run $6 or more in some areas. Especially if you tend to buy organic milk. But let’s work with the average of $6. (Yes, I know some areas are cheaper, but I need to pick a number)
Here in my area, a 42 oz. container of store brand old-fashioned oats costs $3.97. And for a recipe like this, you only need 2 cups. So if we break down the cost per cup, a cup of oats costs $0.76 (5.25 cups per container). If you use 2 cups, that’s just $1.52 per batch (if you follow this recipe) which gives you a quart of oat milk. So on average, you’ll be spending about $3.65 per half-gallon as opposed to $5 or more. Please correct me if I did the math wrong, but it can definitely be cheaper to make your own at home. That little bit of savings adds up over time! (Please remember these numbers are estimates).
How To Make Flavored Oat Milk
You have a few options when it comes to flavoring oat milk
I’ll start off by saying that regular dairy milk is very sweet, even though we don’t notice it when we drink it a lot. So when you switch to non-dairy milk, the difference can be quite shocking. So until you get used to it, you’ll want to sweeten your milk a bit. Good choices for upping the sweetness are:
- Stevia – Liquid works best, but powdered will work too.
- Honey – See notes below
- Maple Syrup – This is not quite as sweet or intense in flavor as honey, so you may need to use a little more initially. Over time, it’s a great transition sweetener into using no sweetener at all.
- Unprocessed Granular Sweeteners – While these will do a great job of sweetening your oat milk, they will change the color of your milk as well. So these are best used if you are making something like chocolate milk where you won’t notice a possibly off-putting color.
In a blender, blend in 2-4 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder, and then sweeten to taste to get chocolate oat milk. See notes on sweeteners above.
Using a blender, blend in fresh or frozen strawberries. About 1 cup should do it, but you can adjust that amount up or down as you please. Depending on how sweet the berries are, you may need a small amount of sweetener.
Use mild but sweet flavored melon such as honeydew. Use approximately a 1/2 to 1 cup of fresh melon and blend that with the oat milk in a blender until smooth. A high-powered blender will come in handy with this one. Otherwise, you may have to strain out a bit of melon “pulp”.
In a blender, blend oat milk with a half to a whole banana. Keep in mind that you’ll want to drink this the same day. Don’t keep banana milk overnight. As with any banana, the flavor will get stronger as the banana sits. Blending it doesn’t change that. So drink up!
This is an old childhood favorite. When you get to the end of a honey jar or bottle, fill it up with milk and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, shake it up and you’ll have wonderfully sweetened milk and none of your honey will go to waste!
If you want some vanilla in your milk (this is especially good if you plan to use it in coffee), simply pour in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract (not vanilla flavoring), and give it a good shake.
How To Avoid Slimy Oat Milk
Among people who love to make their own non-dairy milk, there is a lot of discussion on how to avoid slimy oat milk. Yes, it’s totally a thing. It’s worth mentioning that slimy oat milk doesn’t mean the milk is bad, it’s just an unpleasant texture for most people. So if you end up with slimy oat milk, don’t throw it out! Just use it for things like baking or making dairy-free Mac N’ Cheese, instead of drinking it. That said, slimy oat milk is also avoidable with the following three tips.
- Use cold water – Warm water will definitely give you slimy oat milk. The colder the water is, the better. Because of this, I will often put a just of water in the fridge overnight to make sure it’s nice and cold for making oat milk the next day. Some folks will also put a litlte ice in the blender to make sure things stay nice and cold.
- Don’t soak your oats – It is common practice to soak nuts and grains before turning them into non-dairy milk. But when it comes to oats, avoid it like the plague. Soaked oats equal slimy oat milk.
- Don’t blend too long – The moment your oats are blended, turn off the blender! You can aim for approximately 10 seconds of blending, but keep in mind that this time suggestion can go up and down a bit based on the strength and speed of your blender. 10 seconds is great in a high speed blender like a Vitamix, but a lower-powered blender may need more like 20 seconds.
How To Store Oat Milk
Keep your oat milk in an airtight jar or sealed container. Canning jars work great as do glass milk jugs which you can easily find on Amazon (see recommendation below). But keep in mind that homemade oat milk (or any homemade nut milks), will not last as long as store-bought milk of any kind. It doesn’t have the preservatives in it that keep it shelf-stable.
A general rule of thumb is to never make more non-dairy milk than you can easily use within 3 days.
How To Use Oat Milk
Oat milk can be used in exactly the same recipes that dairy milk can be used in. The flavor isn’t strong enough to really change the flavor of any recipe you put it in. The only place you might notice a flavor difference would maybe be an ice cream recipe or something that is heavily dependent on a high percentage of milk in the recipe.
Oat milk works great in recipes like dairy-free Mac N’ Cheese, as coffee creamer, for making non-dairy cheeses (something I’ll be learning more about and sharing on my blog here in the coming months) and so much more. It’s truly an all-purpose milk.
What To Do with Leftover Oat Pulp
The stuff that’s left behind after you squeeze the liquid out of your blended oats is oat pulp. And if you make oat milk on a regular basis, it can add up pretty quickly. But don’t discard it! Short of throwing it in the compost, there are some great ways to use up oat pulp. In fact, it can be added to anything from smoothies to brownies!
I can personally vouch for adding it to smoothies. Blending raw oats into smoothies significantly ups the amount of time you stay full after drinking a smoothie. This is a big deal for people who depend on smoothies for their morning commuter-friendly breakfast.
Keep in mind that oat pulp can be frozen in ice cube trays. So if you end up with a lot of it, this is an easy way to keep it long-term so it doesn’t go bad before you can use it. Bonus if it’s frozen for your morning smoothie!
Need more ideas for using up oat pulp? I found this article that gives you TONS of ideas! Check it out here on the Sarah Bassett website.
How To Make Oat Milk Without A Blender
If you don’t have a blender, a food processor will do the job. But if you don’t have that either, it is possible to make oat milk by hand. But it is rather labor-intensive and requires the use of a mortar and pestle. If you’d like to know how that’s done, check out this article on Baking Kneads. She goes into detail on how to do this.
How To Make Oat Milk Ice Cream
While I haven’t done this yet (I plan too though!), oat milk can absolutely be used to make delicious ice cream. The difference, however, is that you’ll need to add more fat to get creamy ice cream because oat milk does not contain the same amount of fat as dairy milk does. You will most likely have to add more egg yolks to get the job done. I will definitely be posting a recipe for this, this summer!
How To Make Oat Milk Creamer
I have a recipe in the works but until then…
Oat milk makes great creamer. But most of us want a creamer that is thicker to really soften the acidity of our coffee. That, in my opinion, is the best feature and biggest benefit to making your own oat milk because homemade oat milk thickens when heated. All you have to do is pour some in a pot, simmer it for a bit with any additions you want to add, and you’ve got a great, creamy coffee creamer!
Vegan Oat Milk
Oat milk is inherently vegan. But this recipe calls for honey, which is not vegan. So if you are vegan and want to give this a try, simply replace the honey with maple syrup or some other sweetener you are comfortable using.
Gluten-Free Oat Milk
If gluten is an issue for you, beware of the oats you purchase. While oats are indeed naturally gluten-free, they are one of the highest contaminated grains on the market. So if you are gluten-free, make sure you purchase gluten-free oats that are labeled as being gluten-free. If there is no gluten-free label, chances are you’ll have a reaction to them.
Is There An Alternative To Using Cheesecloth?
Yes! You can use something called a nut milk bag. They sell them on amazon and they work really well.
About The Ingredients
(Print the recipe from the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
2 cups rolled oats – These are plain oats with nothing added to them. Use a dry measuring cup to measure this.
4 cups water – Use a liquid measuring cup to measure this.
2 tbsp. honey – Or any sweetener you prefer.
1 pinch of salt – This brings a depth of flavor and enhances the sweetness of the milk. this is a very small amount, so your milk will not taste salty.
How To Make Oat Milk At Home
Place all oat milk ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for 3 minutes.
Lay a piece of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the oat milk over the cheesecloth to strain, being careful to collect the edges of the cloth so the milk doesn’t pull the cloth down and spill out. Squeeze all the liquid from the cheesecloth.
You may want to run it through the cheesecloth twice (double strain) if the first time doesn’t remove all the oat sediment. This is up to you. Once should be sufficient.
Place in the fridge and shake well before using.
Need Recipe Equipment?
More Non-Dairy Milk Recipes
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How To Make Oat Milk
Oat Milk Recipe
- Medium or large bowl
- Milk storage container(s)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp. honey (or any sweetener you prefer)
- Place all oat milk ingredients into a blender. Blend on high for 3 minutes.
- Lay a piece of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Pour the oat milk over the cheesecloth to strain, being careful to collect the edges of the cloth so the milk doesn't pull the cloth down and spill out. Squeeze all the liquid from the cheesecloth.
- You may want to run it through the cheesecloth twice if the first time doesn't remove all the oat sediment. This is up to you. Once should be sufficient.
- Place in the fridge and shake well before using.