Homemade Oat Cream
So there’s an oat cream that’s been widely available in Europe for years now, and recently in North America, but it has palm oil in it (which is a big no). Even organic palm oil – imported from long distances, leads to greater deforestation, and least importantly in this conversation, also bad for you. This is like a cheaper, more environmentally friendly homemade oatly.
The four ingredients in this vegan oat cream, on the other hand, are cheap and widely available in NA and the EU. Oats, a little oil (grape seed, sunflower, even olive), water, and a tiny bit of salt. I tried coconut oil in the first test to see if it’d replicate palm oil but it gets too hard when refrigerated.
It’s a quick and easy recipe, with just a little bit of soaking time, about half an hour. Blend, and you’re done. I don’t even have a real blender – just a stick blender – and you definitely don’t need a high-powered expensive mixer for this.
Why do I need to add oil?
Oats contain virtually no fat. Compare to dairy cream, for example, or even cashew cream, which both contain a lot more natural fat. The oil makes things creamier, it’s emulsified (the molecules are so tiny, it’s like the water and oil combine) and results in an overall better end product.
I use any oil I have on hand here. A very light tasting oil like grape seed, which is what I’ve used in the recipe below, will be virtually imperceptible in the cream. You can also use olive oil if you know you’re making a savoury dish, or sunflower, or even organic canola oil. Don’t use an oil that solidifies at room temperature. You want a pourable cream, not margarine.
How can I use oat cream?
Use it like any other plant based cream, or even like dairy cream. In coffee (I don’t drink coffee, but it should be fine!) or tea, added to sauces and soups, over fresh berries, on top of porridge, or mixed with some vegan pesto for an easy pesto cream sauce.
Try subbing your homemade oat cream for some recipes that call for full fat coconut milk. Not whipped cream, but a creamy soup, or a light curry, or to make a pudding. It has a very subtle flavour and generally blends in to any dish, sweet or savoury.
It’ll keep for at least a week in the jar in the fridge, maybe longer. It doesn’t make a huge batch so you shouldn’t have to worry about the cream spoiling before you can use it. And if you run out of milk, you can thin it out with water to make a quick oat milk!
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- 130 grams rolled oats
- 500 ml water
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil*
- Tiny pinch sea salt
- Place the oats in a bowl and cover with hot water for at least 30 minutes, or up to two hours. Longer and you risk the dreaded slime.
- Drain and rinse the soaked oats in a fine sieve. Add to a tall container or blender along with the water, oil, and salt. Blend, using a hand blender or regular, for 3-5 minutes or until very smooth.
- Pour the cream back through the fine mesh sieve and use a spoon to gently scrape until only oat goop remains. You can add the remaining oat mixture to bread, or compost it. It is possible to use a nut milk bag but this can contribute to an undesirable texture.
- Pour the cream into a jar or container and seal. Keep refrigerated for up to one week. It might last longer, but I haven't tried keeping it over a week.