Homemade Oat Milk

It is said that as many as 65% of the world's population might be lactose intolerant. That's a lot of people, but when you start to think about the fact that no other mammal on the planet drinks milk past infancy OR drinks the milk of another mammal, maybe it's not so surprising?

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Lots of people are finding that dairy products don’t agree with them in one way or another. I seem to have no issues digesting milk, but I do find that it aggravates my respiratory allergies – at least I think I’ve deduced dairy to be the culprit. I was pretty disappointed to come to this realization, especially when so many foods that we, as North Americans enjoy include dairy. So regardless of whether you’re one of those people with a diagnosed intolerance or not, it’s nice to have alternatives to milk. I’ve tried many alternatives and while I do like almond milk quite a lot, nothing that I’ve tried so far compares with oat milk.

A bottle of homemade oat milk ion a table with a bottle of chocolate oat milk in the background.

Oat milk has a slight sweetness to it (even completely unsweetened) and a light oatmeal flavor. It’s so delicious on cereal or granola that I would choose it hands down over regular milk. It also steams and froths up like a champ if you’re used to a cappuccino or latte in the morning and blends so nicely with the flavor of coffee. It has a creamy consistency that is more similar to whole milk than to low-fat milk, which makes it feel luxurious as well as delicious. 

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Homemade oat milk being poured over a bowl of granola with berries.

As with all substitute ingredients, it’s important to think about its nutritional value as well as just taste. Oat milk is not as naturally nutrient-dense as cow’s milk, but you’ll find that many versions you can buy in stores are enriched with calcium and Vitamin D, similar to some milks. (My favorite brand is currently Oatly, although it is a challenge to find it in grocery stores because of its popularity.) Oat milk does have a good amount of iron in it too (1 cup of oat milk will deliver 10% of your daily iron requirement), which makes it a great substitute for vegans and vegetarians. It also brings along the good cholesterol-lowering trait of oats, so it’s a good choice if you’re watching your cholesterol.

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A glass bowl with oats soaking in preparation for homemade oat milk.

The downsides? Well, if you are buying your oat milk, while you might be able to find some brands that enrich the milk with good nutrients, you’ll also find some brands that load it up with preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers and sugars, which really decreases it’s nutrient value. So, the answer is to make your own oat milk! It’s really very simple, taking only two or three ingredients. All you need to make oat milk are regular old fashioned oats (not quick cooking oats), water, a blender and a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth. Then, you’ll just need a little patience after the 30 seconds of blender time, as you push the oat milk through the nut milk bag and into a milk container of your choice. Think of it as time to yourself to think about what you might make for dinner, that good book you’re reading or that show you’ve been watching on television, or just life itself.

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Coconut sugar and maple syrup on a table - possible sweeteners for homemade oat milk.

The milk will separate when it’s left refrigerated, but just give it a little shake to reconstitute it before pouring it out. If you prefer your milk sweetened, the recipe below gives you options on how to sweeten, and you can even make chocolate or strawberry oat milk for the kids (big or small). What you’ll end up with is delicious and pure – no preservatives or additives because you made it yourself. That’s a milk substitute that you can feel good about! 

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A bottle of homemade chocolate oat milk with cocoa powder and rolled oats in the background.

If you’re all about feeling good about what you eat for breakfast or as a snack, a glass of oat milk along with a peanut butter breakfast bar will make you very VERY happy! 

Watch The Recipe Video

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Homemade Oat Milk

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Soaking Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 20 m
  • Servings:
    6
    (makes about 3 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or coconut sugar optional
Chocolate Oat Milk
  • 1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
Strawberry Oat Milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, quartered

Instructions

  1. Place the oats in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain the oats in a fine mesh strainer and rinse them under cold water.
  2. Pour 3 cups of fresh water into a blender and add the rinsed oats. Blend at high speed for 1 minute (or 30 seconds in a high-speed blender like a Vitamin). There will still be some particles in the milk after processing. Do not over process as the oat milk can become slimy.
  3. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag or a fine mesh strainer lined with 3 layers of cheesecloth. Add any desired sweeteners to taste to the oat milk.
  4. Pour the finished milk into glass jars or bottles. Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Always shake before serving as the milk does have a tendency to separate, which is perfectly normal.

    For chocolate oat milk, add the cocoa powder to the blender with the rolled oats before blending.

    For strawberry oat milk, add the strawberries to the blender with the rolled oats before blending.
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Comments (3)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    I did everything according to your directions. But the milk would not strain through my milk bag. -sigh- It sure looked perfect, up until the part that I could not get it to “milk”.

    1. Hi Nancy,
      It does take some effort to get the milk to go through the bag. You really have to squeeze it for quite some time. I bet you did everything right, but just need to squeeze the mixture more. If you still have it, give it another try. If it’s too much work, try using a fine strainer first and then pour the strained liquid through the nut milk bag. Good luck and fingers crossed.

  2. I made it and it turned out pretty good. I added honey as a sweetener and a tad of vanilla. Will try it on my cereal in the morning and see how it tastes. Thank you!

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