Have you tried oat milk in your coffee yet? Oat milk is creamy and quite tasty, assuming you enjoy the flavor of oatmeal. If I had to come up with another name for it, I’d call it, “essence of oatmeal.” Never mind, let’s stick with oat milk.
Oat milk captured my attention as an eco-friendly, plant-based milk alternative. Oats can be good for farming land and good for us, too. It’s a win-win situation, so I’m excited to share this oat milk recipe with you.
Oat milk really has a lot going for it. It’s special diet-friendly, since it’s dairy free, vegan and gluten-free (if you’re using certified gluten-free oats). It’s nut free as well, unlike my other favorite homemade milk alternatives, cashew milk and pecan milk.
Plus, homemade oat milk is the cheapest of the bunch, the easiest to blend, and yields little-to-no waste, unlike almond milk. Ready to learn how?
How to Make Oat Milk
Here’s a rundown:
1) Soak a cup of oats in water for about 15 minutes.
This brief step is worth the effort! After soaking, your oats will blend up better and strain out more easily.
2) Rinse and drain the oats.
This ensures that your oat milk has a nice, clean flavor and creamy (not slimy) texture.
3) Add some fresh water, maple syrup and vanilla.
We’re going to add the water in two equal batches (I’m convinced that the oats blend more thoroughly this way). You’ll also add a bit of maple syrup, vanilla extract, and the teeniest pinch of salt to enhance the milk’s flavor.
4) Blend until smooth.
This will take a minute, but even cheap blenders should be up for the job. Then, add the remaining water and blend again.
5) Strain and chill.
Pour the mixture over a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. The sieve will catch any stubborn oat bits that refused to blend into creamy oblivion. For best flavor, chill your oat milk for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Oat Milk Notes & Tips
- Fact: Oat milk inevitably tastes like oats. It reminds me of cereal sometimes. Since it’s not entirely neutral in flavor, it’s going to work better in some recipes than others. (If you’re looking for a more neutral milk alternative, try cashew milk.)
- Store-bought oat milk foams up nicely. Store-bought oat milk contains some additives that help it foam (homemade does not). That’s why oat milk is becoming more and more popular in coffee shops as a dairy-free milk alternative. I’ve been having fun playing with store-bought oat milk in our new milk frother (affiliate link/a wedding gift).
- Homemade oat milk thickens when heated. This can be quite undesirable, leaving an oatmeal-like film at the bottom of your pot. I tried making homemade hot chocolate with oat milk, and I didn’t like the results. I’ve experimented with a workaround for this issue and haven’t had any luck, unfortunately.
- Is oat milk healthy? Oats are nutritious, so I’d say yes. Oat milk is basically just oats diluted in water, so oat milk offers a lower level of nutrients (and fewer calories) than a thick bowl of oatmeal. Nutrition is relative. My recipe differs from most store-bought options because it is free of preservatives and additives, including added vitamins and minerals.
Change It Up
This recipe, as written below, yields lightly sweet oat milk with the consistency of skim milk. It’s suitable for serving with cereal, etc. Here are a few ways to change it up:
- For thicker oat milk (closer to half-and-half or whole milk), experiment with less water. For the thickest results, use as little as 2 cups water.
- For more savory applications, reduce or omit the vanilla extract and maybe also the maple syrup. Keep in mind, however, that dairy milk contains some naturally-occurring sugar (lactose), so it’s naturally a little sweet.
- For some warming spice, blend in 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or pumpkin spice blend, or more to taste.
Please let me know how your oat milk turns out in the comments. I want to hear how you put it to use.
Interested in more oat recipes? Here are a few favorites:
How to Make Oat Milk
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 ¾ cups 1x
- Category: Alternative milk
- Method: Blended
- Cuisine: Vegan
Learn how to make oat milk with this easy recipe! Oat milk is delicious and inexpensive. It’s also vegan, dairy free, nut free and gluten free.* Recipe yields about 4 ¾ cups oat milk.
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats*
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Tiny pinch of salt
- First, we’re going to soak the oats for 15 minutes so they blend and strain more easily. Place the oats in a pitcher or bowl, and add enough water to cover by a couple of inches. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Drain the soaked oats in a fine-mesh sieve, and rinse them thoroughly under running water.
- Next, transfer the oats to your blender. Add 2 cups of the water, plus the maple syrup, vanilla extract and tiny pinch of salt. Blend on high speed until the oat milk is smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups water and blend again.
- To strain, place the fine-mesh sieve over a pitcher and pour the mixture through. Taste, and add more maple syrup for sweetness, if desired.
- Oat milk tastes best after it’s been chilled in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Stir before serving. Oat milk will keep well in the fridge, covered, for up to 5 days.
*Make it gluten free: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Suggested equipment: My Vitamix blender (affiliate link) blends oat milk and nut milks like a champ.