Oat milk has fairly recently surged in popularity in North America – maybe in the last couple of years. It’s been widely available in Europe for years, though, and it’s very easy to make at home, no tetra packs needed. There’s been such a good response to my oat cream that I thought it was high time to share my milk recipe, too.
I’d been making oat milk using this method when I still lived in Canada (we moved in 2016) and briefly switched to buying it after moving to Germany. It’s terribly expensive to buy, though, compared to the price of a handful of oats and some water, and those 1-litre containers really build up.
There’s a lot of talk about homemade oat based milk being slimy – in my experience, this is almost entirely due to over-blending. Using an immersion blender and straining the milk through a sieve rather than a nut milk bag solves the problem, with no weird steps or additives needed.
Luckily, this also means you definitely don’t need an overpriced high speed mixer for this recipe, just a cheap and easy to store immersion blender.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
Rolled oats and water – that’s it!
Begin by soaking the oats in hot water. This allows for a shorter soaking time and results in a better milk than soaking in cold water for a longer amount of time does. You’ll notice that my water is coming from a saucepan – I heated it on the stove because my water heater is uninstalled right now, but tap-hot water works perfectly well.
Once the oats have soaked, strain and rinse, then add the full amount of cool water. Blend until the milk appears creamy but isn’t entirely smooth – you need something to strain out.
Once the milk is blended, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl with a spout (if you have one). You can see here that I’ve switched bowls in order to pour it back into the large glass bowl that I blended it in.
Use a large soup spoon to move the oat pulp around the sieve so that all of the milk goes through it. You’ll be left with about 3/4 cup worth of pulp. Discard the pulp (it can be used in bread, or composted) and pour the milk into a bottle to refrigerate.
Tips and Notes
Like most homemade milks, this will require shaking before use as the oat sediment sinks to the bottom of the container in the refrigerator. You can counteract this slightly by adding a tablespoon of liquid oil when blending, but I don’t find it necessary.
To reiterate: this does not work well in a very high speed blender, like a vitamix. You need that pulp left over or the milk has an unpleasant texture.
I use homemade oat milk the same way I’d use any other non-dairy milk, except when a recipe requires heating (like for dairy free hot chocolate) as it thickens slightly when heated. I don’t mind really but some people really dislike this aspect of it.
Otherwise, the taste is very neutral, perhaps slightly oat-y. There’s not much nutrition in oat milk, so it’s definitely not a good thing for children, for example, to rely on for nutrients – just a good plain non-dairy substitute for people who don’t want to or can’t have dairy milk for baking, or with cereal, things like that.
I know – you’re probably wondering how it’s possible to make substitutions for two ingredients. Bear with me!
While rolled oats are far and away the best option here, I have often made oat milk with quick-cook oats and it turns out fine. Not quite as good, certainly, but if you’re in a bind, they’re all right. Steel cut oats, or oat groats, will not work using this method.
I have never tried making oat milk with flaked grains (or not grains) other than oatmeal. I’m sure someone will ask about a grain free version, hah. I’m pretty sure flaked quinoa could be used in the same way, and I have made spelt milk (also very common here) from flaked spelt using the same method.
Recipes Using Oat Milk
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Vegan Protein Shake
Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Any recipe that calls for non-dairy milk on OE is almost definitely made using this homemade oat milk, unless otherwise specified (usually then it’s full-fat coconut milk).
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- 100 grams rolled oats
- 1 litre cool water
- Hot water for soaking
- Place the oats into a bowl and top with enough hot water to cover (from the tap is fine). Set this aside to soak for about 20 minutes.
- Once the oats have soaked, strain them through a fine sieve and rinse well.
- Add the oats to a large bowl or blender that can mix on low speed. Add the cool water, then blend, ideally with an immersion blender, until milky in appearance but not completely smooth. You should have a fair amount of pulp remaining but no full-sized oats.
- Strain the milk through a fine meshed sieve, into a large bowl with a spout if you have one, and use a soup spoon to move the oat pulp around so that all of the milk is strained out into the bowl.
- Pour the milk into a sealable bottle or container and refrigerate up to five days. Shake before using.