How to Make Oat Milk
Plus, how to use it in place of dairy milk.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
Oat milk is one of the best plant-based milks you can find. It’s great for baking, making ice cream or adding to a cup of coffee. But if you're an oat milk drinker, you know the store-bought stuff can cost a pretty penny. DIY-ing saves money and is also a fun project. Read on for step-by-step instructions, plus answers to your most common questions.
What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?
Oat milk has a fairly creamy texture, similar to that of dairy milk. The flavor is also like that of milk, with a pleasant sweetness, creaminess, toasty-ness and distinct oat flavor. We'd venture to say that oat milk more closely resembles the mouth feel and flavor of dairy milk than any other milk alternative.
How to Make Oat Milk Step-by-Step
Homemade Oat Milk
Oat milk is both inexpensive and incredibly easy to make it home, and its foaming properties and pleasing taste make it a satisfying non-dairy alternative to your morning coffee routine.
Following these simple steps will lead you to a container of oat milk in your fridge that you can use in just about any recipe that calls for cow milk.
1: Soak the Oats
Measure 1 cup rolled oats into a medium bowl. Add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight, until the oats are softened.
2: Rinse the Oats
Transfer the oats to a strainer and thoroughly rinse them under running water.
3: Blend the Oats
Place the rinsed oats and 3 cups cold water in a blender and blend on high until the oats are pulverized, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
4: Strain the Oats
Place a clean linen towel inside a fine mesh strainer and place it over a large container. Pour the oat mixture into the strainer. Transfer the strainer and bowl to the refrigerator; gravity will strain the milk through.
5: Flavor Oats
When strained, if you desire, whisk in a sweetener like maple syrup. Then add vanilla and a pinch of salt.
6: Store the Oat Milk
Store the oat milk in a covered container in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 days, shaking before using.
How do You Stop Oat Milk from Being Slimy?
No one wants slimy oat milk. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure yours isn't.
- Use only rolled oats. Quick oats will increase the viscosity (the fancy word for slime).
- Blend with ice water. Use ice-cold water in the blender when you’re blending the oat milk.
- Blend on high speed. The less time you have the blender running to pulverize the oats, the better. Getting to high speed as quickly as possible is your best bet.
- Let the oats strain with gravity. Don’t squeeze the oats to make the straining go faster—let gravity do the work.
- Strain a second time. After following the directions and straining once after blending, strain the oat milk again if you're worried about sliminess.
How Long Does Oat Milk Last?
The oat milk you make at home will be good for 2 to 4 days in the fridge. Store-bought oat milk has stabilizers that give it a longer shelf life. Like dairy milk, oat milk should be stored in the coldest part of the fridge, not on the door. Be sure it's covered, and shake before using.
Oat Milk Calories
On average, an 8-fluid ounce serving of oat milk that you buy at the store contains 130 calories and 5 grams of fat. Since oats are naturally low in fat, much of the fat in oat milk comes from oils added to the mixture to help stabilize and thicken the end product. When you make your own, there will be fewer calories and almost no fat. We have lots more info on oat milk nutrition in this article: Is Oat Milk Healthy?.
Is Oat Milk Gluten-Free?
The purest oats are gluten-free, but you need to check the label. Oats processed in machinery that may have been used for other grains might have traces gluten. Always look for a label that clearly states "gluten-free" when you are buying oats for making oat milk at home and when buying oat milk in the dairy aisle.
How to Use Oat Milk
You can use oat milk in place of cow milk in almost any recipe you’ll be making: smoothies, cookies, muffins, macaroni and cheese and so many more dishes.
Drink it straight up out of a glass. Let’s start with the easy answer: you can pour oat milk into a glass and sip it just like regular milk because it's tasty and goes well with a chocolate chip cookie or a slice of cake.
Add it to coffee. A classic pairing? Iced coffee and oat milk. Many people also love oat milk lattes.
Use it in baking. Oat milk is widely recognized by recipe developers and pastry chefs as an excellent cow-milk substitute when baking. Most store-bought oat milk has some fat added to create creaminess so it’s better as a substitute than homemade oat milk. Look for containers labeled “full-fat”.
Turn it into ice cream. Oat milk can be frozen as ice cream using an ice cream machine or without one (for details on the different ways you can make ice cream without a machine, head over to our story How to Make Ice Cream without an Ice Cream Maker). Just like with baking, store-bought oat milk delivers a better outcome for ice cream because of the added fat. For the creaminess of ice cream, some vegan recipes use nut butters. Other recipes use egg yolks and you make a custard just like dairy ice cream.
Recipes with Oat Milk
First you make the no-churn oat milk ice cream; while it’s freezing, you bake the oatmeal cookies. The final combo evokes the childhood combo, cookies and milk, no dunking necessary.
Oat milk makes for silky, flavorful pumpkin pie filling - and the flavor is tied in with a oatmeal cookie crust and mini oatmeal cookies on top.
Mixing oat milk with flaxseed meal and cornstarch makes a perfect batter for dipping toast in. The results are fluffy and custardy. Maple syrup, blueberry syrup, cinnamon sugar—take your pick when looking for a topping.
This recipe walks you through making cardamom cold brew coffee as well as fast from-scratch oat milk.
Unsweetened cocoa powder transforms oat milk into tasty chocolate milk.