Oat milk is an easy dairy-free milk that you can make at home in just minutes. I love that it’s nut-free, low in fat, and cheaper than store-bought versions.
Tips for Non-Slimy Oat Milk
The biggest challenge I’ve found when making oat milk at home is that sometimes it can come out with a “slimy” texture, for lack of a better word. There are a few things I’ve found that help you avoid the slimy outcome.
- Don’t over-blend the oat milk. If you have a powerful blender, like the Vitamix, I wouldn’t blend this for longer than 30 seconds.
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the milk. I usually use a nut milk bag for making almond milk, but squeezing oat milk through a nut milk bag makes it more slimy than using a fine mesh strainer or seive. You may want to strain the milk twice through your strainer if desired, but avoid pressing the oats in the strainer, as any sort of “squeezing” action seems to produce more slime.
- Don’t heat it up. You know how oatmeal thickens when you cook it? So does oat milk. I recommend using oat milk for cold recipes, such as over cereals, in smoothies, or in iced coffee drinks for best results. (See my note on coffee below for a hot option.)
- Don’t soak rolled oats ahead of time. I know many oat milk recipes call for soaking the oats ahead of time, to help wash off the “slime,” but I found that soaking the oats actually produces a more-slimy result than just using the dry oats right away. This also makes the process faster, so it’s a win-win.
Considering that 65% of adults have difficulty digesting lactose (which is found in cow’s milk), oat milk is a great dairy-free alternative. In addition, oats contain several important vitamins and minerals.
Here’s why you’ll love them:
- A half cup of dry oats contains 10% of your daily iron recommended intake.
- Oats are high in antioxidants, particularly the group called avenanthramides. These antioxidants are thought to be anti-inflammatory and may help to lower blood pressure.
- Know why oatmeal baths became popular for itchy rashes? The antioxidants in oats are known for their anti-itching effects.
- Oats may also help to improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they can be cross-contaminated with gluten during processing. If you need a gluten-free milk, make sure you buy oats that say “certified gluten-free” on the package.
How to Make It
Making homemade oat milk is just about as easy as it gets. You don’t have to soak the oats ahead of time, so it literally takes minutes to prepare.
Here’s how to do it:
- Blend. Combine everything in the blender and blend briefly. If you have a high-speed blender, only blend for 30 seconds, so the oat milk won’t heat up and become slimy.
- Strain. Pour the milk through a fine mesh strainer. Do not use a nut milk bag, and do not press the milk through the strainer. You want to squeeze it as little as possible, to reduce the slime-factor.
- Strain again. For a super-smooth milk, rinse the pulp out of the strainer, and then pour the strained milk through again, to catch any extra debris. This is optional, but it does improve the texture.
- Enjoy! You can use the oat milk right away, or let it chill in the fridge for up to 4 days. This milk is best served cold, as it will thicken when heated.
I’ve tested this recipe using rolled oats and steel cut oats, and I prefer using rolled oats for best results. Steel cut oats need to be blended a little longer, or soaked ahead of time, to get similar results, so keep that in mind.
Can You Use it In Coffee?
Oat milk will thicken up when heated, just like it does when you make oatmeal, so the recipe below is not ideal for making lattes. You can add it cold to coffee, like a creamer, but it will not create a foam the way homemade almond milk does.
I’ve even tried adding oil to this recipe, the way store-bought “barista” milks do, but it still doesn’t foam the way my almond milk coffee creamer does. (It will also take on the flavor of whatever you add, so keep that in mind!)
For a warm drink, I imagine you might be able to add extra liquid to help thin it out? It’s something to experiment with, as I haven’t quite figured it out yet!
More Dairy-Free Milk Recipes
Need more dairy-free milk ideas? Try one of these!
- Almond Milk
- Hemp Milk (No Straining)
- Chocolate Almond Milk
- Vanilla Almond Milk
- 2-Minute Almond Milk (No Straining)
- Instant Golden Milk
- Green Milk
Homemade Oat Milk
- Add the water, oats, maple syrup (if using) and salt to a high-speed blender and blend briefly, about 20 to 30 seconds, until the mixture looks creamy. Do NOT over-blend, as this will make the consistency more slimy.
- Pour the blended mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, and tap the sides of the strainer to make sure the liquid strains through. (Don't use a spoon to press the pulp into the sides of the strainer, or the resulting milk will be slimy. This is also why you also don't want to use a nut milk bag for straining.)
- For an extra-smooth milk, rinse off the strainer and then pour the milk through it a second time. This will strain out any extra debris for an super-smooth milk.
- Use the milk right away, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
If you try this homemade oat milk recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it turns out for you! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
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