Nicola is a mother to two, a stepmother to three, and a wife to one. She prides herself at being able to "veganize" virtually any recipe.
Why Non-Dairy Milk?
With the growing popularity of the vegan movement, there is now no shortage of non-dairy milk options in stores. From almond to soy to cashew, or one of the many other options, the good news is that they seem to be growing in popularity every day as more and more people drop animal products from their lives.
Some people choose to avoid dairy for dietary reasons, some for ethical reasons, and some simply because their prefer the taste. But whatever the reason, one can only see this as a step in the right direction for our planet and for our health.
Homemade or store-bought plant milk?
- Blender: Any blender will do, as long as it holds at least 1 litre (4.5 cups) of fluid.
- Bowl: I prefer plastic, as it is light enough to lift as I pour my milk into the jug.
- Jug: Make sure it's one with a lid! You will be shaking the milk before every use.
- Milk bag: Please see below for details.
- 1 litre / 4.5 cups water, tap or filtered
- 1 cup rolled oats
What Is a Milk Bag?
A milk bag is a fine mesh bag usually made of nylon and measuring about 9" x 12". It can be used to filter oat milk, nut milks, fruit juices, coffee, and much more.
They are easy to clean, by simply turning them inside out and rinsing them in the sink.
From experience, I can tell you they are also very sturdy and strong. I bought several, assuming the seams would split over time. Instead, I have been using the same $8 bag for a couple of years now.
Do I Need a Milk Bag?
No. You do not need a milk bag.
When I started making oat milk, I used a fine mesh strainer that I lay over a bowl. Using the milk bag simply gave me a more filtered milk, a little freer of the oat residue that sinks to the bottom of the jug.
I prefer using my milk bag, but you can definitely get excellent results without it.
- Add 1 litre (or about 4.5 cups) of water to your blender. This can be filtered water, or water straight from the tap.
- Measure 1 cup of oats and add them to the water.
- Blend for about 30-45 seconds.
- Pour the blended liquid through your milk bag, catching the liquid in your plastic bowl. This can be done by placing a strainer over the bowl and resting the milk bag inside the strainer, or by placing the milk bag directly in the bowl.
- Use your hands to squeeze out the milk. I like to imagine myself milking the oats rather than the cow! The more you squeeze, the thicker the milk will be. As you get to the last drops, you'll see that the milk looks a lot creamier. But once it's all mixed together in the jug, you'll end up with a consistency between skim and 1% dairy milk.
- Pour the milk from the bowl into your jug and refrigerate.
What Should I Do With the Oat Pulp?
The remaining oats—the stuff left in the bag after you've squeezed out your milk—is called the pulp.
There are many uses for the pulp, as it really is just oatmeal. Here are a few options:
- Add the pulp to your morning oatmeal
- Add the pulp to virtually any cookie recipe
- Make dog cookies with the pulp by adding peanut butter, flour, and grated vegetables
- There are also recipes online for oat pulp facial masks
- And so much more!
But if you choose to simply dispose of the pulp, turn the bag inside out over the garbage, and then rinse the bag under running water.
Can I Use Oat Milk Like Any Other Milk?
Most of the time, yes. This milk is excellent in baking recipes, cheese sauces, white sauces, and most everything else.
It has very little flavour when enjoyed as a drink. Some people choose to sweeten it with sugar, add a little salt, or even a little vanilla.
The same can be said about using this milk on cereal. There is very little flavour, but with cereals as sweet as they are these days, the lack of flavour hasn't been much of an issue for me.
On the other hand, oat milk does not do well in making buttermilk. If you are making your own buttermilk with plant-based milk and an acid (like vinegar or lemon juice) my understanding is that is not enough protein in oat milk for the chemical reaction needed. You'd be better with soy for that recipe.
Oat milk is so versatile and easy to make. I calculate that it costs me about 40 cents to make a full litre of milk. When you consider what a litre jug of store-bought plant milk costs, making your own becomes quite the no-brainer.
Like any plant milk, give it a good shake before each use and . . . enjoy!