Monday, June 22, 2015

How to Make Oat Milk

When a friend was coming for a visit recently, he warned me.

"If you have any Almond Milk, I'd appreciate it.  I can't drink Cow's Milk.".

I didn't.  We don't have any lactose problems, and while I have been drinking skim or 1% it's because I try to shave unnecessary fat out of recipes where I can as a personal challenge.

We went to a warehouse store and found a half gallon of Almond Milk, and presented it to our friend when he arrived.  It was what he wanted and lasted past the length of his trip.

Since there was the better part of a half gallon left in the fridge I tried it.  It was fine, it didn't taste particularly strongly of Almonds so I finished it off.  Toward the end when I got to the bottom where all the sediment was, I noticed the taste getting stronger.  It was fine enough, but since it was markedly more expensive than the gallon of milk I used in my recipes, I thought I'd probably not get it again.

However it did get me to thinking about how this is done.  When a neighbor made up some of his own, Istarted looking into the process and thought I wanted to try it.

Since I truly hate wasting food, I thought I'd search for something I had on hand and would try the recipe with that.

It turned out that many Northern Europeans would drink a "Nut Milk" made from oats.  Oats are very cheap these days, and the recipe is dead simple:

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • Optional sweeteners and flavors like honey or cinnamon may be added
The process was simple, and the whole recipe made a quart of Oat Milk by the time it was done.

But why would you do it? 

If you are trying to get more oat fiber into your diet, this is an easy way since all the soluble fiber is kept in the resulting milk.

The taste?  It tasted like plain oatmeal.  Since I don't cook oatmeal with any milk or sweeteners, it was familiar. 

The Process was very simple.

  • Add 1 cup of Quick Oats to the blender.
  • Add 2 cups of Lukewarm Water to the blender.
  • Blend the two together until completely smooth - a minute or more.
  • Strain the oat mixture in a metal strainer to make Oat Cream.
  • The oats strained may be used in other recipes or eaten as is.
  • Strain the Oat Cream through a nut bag, layer of cheese cloth, or a piece of sheer drapery material to make Oat Milk.
  • Add extra water to get the desired consistency.
  • My yield was 1 1/2 cup of Oat Cream, plus enough water to make 1 quart (four cups) of Oat Milk.
  • Refrigerate the Oat Milk and use like you would other nut milks within a week or so.

Yes, you double strain the mixture.
Yes, you thin it out to a quart since the Oat Cream is extremely thick.

Oat Milk is best in a breakfast cereal, and I am sure there are other places where the extra oat flavor will be welcome like in certain cookies and baked goods.

The whole process took me about a half hour.

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