The current star in the non-dairy milk aisle is definitely oat milk. It's nut- and soy-free, making for a great alternative for people with allergies. Plus, it's creamy, with a neutral-to-slightly-sweet flavor that works well in everything from coffee to baked goods.
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Making it yourself is worth the (minimal) effort for a number of reasons. "Typical oat milks are made with added ingredients such as sugar, stabilizers and gums," says Eliza Savage, RD, CDN.
"While many of these ingredients are GRAS (that stands for "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA) it's always prudent to keep foods and drinks as additive-free as possible (if you're able to). By making your own oat milk, you can control exactly what's in it."
The process itself is really simple: Just combine oats, water and a pinch of salt in a high-speed blender, blend briefly and strain. Savage cautions that the type of oats you use matters.
One thing to keep in mind: "Due to the nature of blending oats with water, oat milk tends to have higher carbohydrate counts than nut milks such as almond or hemp," Savage tells us. "If you are watching your carbohydrate intake, I recommend using oat milk sparingly."
Nutrition per cup of oat milk: 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 0 g added sugar), 4 grams protein
Oat Milk Recipe
What You'll Need
“Choose a high-quality oat such as Bob's Red Mill. I recommend purchasing an organic or non-GMO product because traditionally grown oats are sometimes exposed to harmful chemicals like glyphosate," she says. “If you’re sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, definitely choose a certified gluten-free brand of oats."
How to Do It
- Line a large jar with a fine-mesh nut-milk bag, or cover the top with two layers of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
- Combine 1 cup rolled oats, a pinch of fine sea salt and 3½ cups cool filtered water in a high-speed blender. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds, until mixture is creamy and oats are pulverized.
- Pour milk through bag or cheesecloth. When all of the liquid is through, squeeze bag (or cloth) to extract as much milk as possible. Cover jar and refrigerate. (Yield: 3½ cups, or 7 ½-cup servings) Milk will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.
Tips for Getting the Best Oat Milk
While making oat milk is a pretty straight-forward process, you'll want to follow these best practices to ensure your cup is perfectly creamy:
- Be careful not to over-blend, which can leave you with milk that has a slimy texture.
- Feel free to sweeten the milk, if you like. Just blend in a little bit of maple syrup or raw honey.
- If the milk is grainy after straining, clean the nut milk bag (or get fresh cheesecloth) and strain again.
- Use a little less water for creamier milk or a little more for thinner milk, depending on your taste.
Creative Ways to Use Oat Milk
Because oat milk has a slightly sweet, oaty flavor, it works especially well in sweeter applications.
- Oat milk makes a creamy, lightly sweet cappuccino.
- Use it in place of dairy milk in Peanut Butter Oatmeal Muffins With Jam.
- Try it as a base for an inflammation-lowering, immune-boosting golden Turmeric Latte.
- Its slightly oaty flavor makes oat milk perfect in cereal or porridge.
- Use it as a sub for almond milk in a Vegan Hint-of-Sweet Avocado Shake.
What to Do With Oat Milk Pulp
You can use the pulp that’s left over from squeezing out the milk in pancake batter or quick bread. Swap it in for some of the flour, but note that you may need to adjust the liquid in the recipe.