Homemade Oat Milk – Easy, Fast, Cheap

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When I mentioned that I was working on a homemade milk post many of you asked for a low-cost and nut-free homemade milk recipe. I decided to put myself to the challenge. Homemade Oat Milk, it is!

First, I’ll show you how I made it with step-by-step photos and at the end of my post I’ll share my thoughts on flavour, price, texture, and overall pros and cons.

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Ingredients I used:

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1.5-2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener or pitted dates), to taste
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • scant 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt (enhances flavour)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (optional, but nice)

 

Click here to email, text, or print this recipe.

You will also need a blender (any blender should work as we don’t need to blend the oats super smooth), a fine sieve, a large bowl, a small bowl, and measuring spoons/cup. I haven’t tried this oat milk with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag yet, but if anyone does please leave a comment and let us know how it goes.

Don’t let all the step-by-step photos fool you into thinking this is lengthy to make – it takes just 5 minutes once your oats are soaked.

Step 1: Rinse and drain 1 cup of steel-cut oats. I’ve heard you can also use oat groats. Place oats into a bowl and cover with water. Soak for around 20 minutes. You can soak longer (even overnight) if desired. Not only does soaking help soften the oats, but it also makes them easier to digest.

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Step 2: After soaking, rinse and drain the oats very well. This step is very important because you want to rinse off any of the oat slime that has occurred from soaking. Yes, oat slime is a thing…it happens.

Step 3: Scoop oats into your blender and add 3 cups water. I prefer using 3 cups of water as opposed to 4 cups because it yields a creamier/thicker milk. Feel free to add more water if you wish, just know the more water you add the thinner your milk will be.

Step 4: Cover with lid and turn the blender on a low speed, increasing the speed gradually, and blend at the highest speed for about 8-10 seconds only. You don’t need to completely pulverize the oats.

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Step 5: Place a fine sieve over a large bowl and pour the oat milk very slowly into the sieve. You might have to do this in a couple batches depending on the size of your sieve.

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Step 6: With a spoon, gently push down on the oat pulp so the milk flows through. This helps push the milk into the bowl, leaving the oat pulp behind in the sieve.

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Step 7: Scoop the oat pulp into a small bowl and set aside. Clean out your blender and sieve with a good rinse of water until no pulp residue remains.

Step 8: Place sieve over top of your blender and pour the milk in once again and strain.

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As you can see in the bottom left photo, straining twice gets even more pulp out yielding a smoother milk. I usually strain it 3 times or so, but it’s not necessary if you are time-crunched.

Step 9: Rinse out the bowl and sieve once again. Strain the milk through the sieve into the bowl (optional). If you don’t want to strain again, simply add in your mix-ins and blend on low.

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Step 10: I whisked in 1.5 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt (enhances sweetness), and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. These mix-ins turn your oat milk from bland to hmm-this-could-be-decent-when-cold.

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Step 11: I strained my milk one last time into a clean blender. Then I poured the milk from the blender into a clean mason jar for storage in the fridge. Note: Homemade milk does separate (remember there are no added emulsifiers!), so be sure to give your milk a very good shake (or stir) before using. No biggie. A little non-dairy milkshake never hurt anyone. I just don’t want you to be alarmed when you see the heavier ingredients sitting at the bottom of the jar.

This should last in the fridge in a sealed container/jar for 4-5 days. Use it in smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, baking, or drink it straight. If you want to use it in a savoury recipe, you can omit the sweetener, vanilla, and cinnamon.

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Taste Report:

The flavour of this oat milk is much like I expected; it tastes like oats. Shocking, I know. The biggest challenge I had when testing this recipe was getting it creamy enough. I tried 1/2 cups steel-cut oats with 4 cups water and then 3/4 cups steel-cut oats with 3 cups water. I found both end results to be too watery. Using 1 cup of steel-cut oats to 3 cups of water was my favourite ratio (so far). If you play around with the recipe, I’d love to hear your versions too.

Keeping in mind that this homemade milk is free of emulsifiers and thickeners, I was fairly impressed with the texture. Is it just like store-bought milk? Of course not, but I do think it’s a decent option with a clean ingredient list. It’s much easier on the wallet too!

PROS:

  • Very low cost (a batch using steel-cut oats cost me about 50 cents – or less if you can get a deal on oats)
  • Nut-free so good for those with allergies
  • Quick to make
  • You don’t need a nut milk bag or cheesecloth
  • Clean up was easy, even with all the spilling I seem to do…
  • Decent, but not mind-blowing, flavour

 

CONS:

  • Not as creamy compared to homemade almond milk
  • Slightly watery (although this is improved when using 3 cups water instead of 4)

 

All in all, I feel that the pros outweigh the cons with this homemade oat milk. It’s so cheap to make and that is a huge plus for me. I personally don’t drink much milk by the glass so I think this will be just fine when added to cereal, smoothies, oatmeal, etc. But so far, I’ve been sipping the jar straight from the fridge, letting out satisfied mmm’s and dribbling milk down the front of my shirt. Eric, as always, is quite confident he married a weirdo.

Update: I tried the milk with some Nature’s Path cereal and it tasted a bit like cinnamon toast crunch, probably thanks to the cinnamon in the milk. yummy!

I also made a trial using cooked steel-cut oats and the milk turned out super slimy. I didn’t rinse the oats after cooking, but maybe I should have? I’m going to stick with the non-cooked method.

Odds are that some of you won’t like this milk at all, but it’s also likely that some of you will really enjoy it and appreciate this as a cheap, at-home alternative to the store-bought stuff. I’m quite anxious to see what you think and I welcome your feedback in the comments!

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What can you do with the leftover oat pulp? I suggest saving it and mixing it into oatmeal and smoothies. If you have a dehydrator, I assume you could also dehydrate the pulp and then pulverize it in a blender to make flour. If anyone has any other ideas, leave ‘em below.

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Have you ever made homemade oat milk or tried a store-bought version? Do you make your own milks at home? If so, what’s your favourite recipe?

Catching up in this series? See: Vegan How To: Introduction (Why this series?), Part 1: How To Make The Transition, Part 2: Replacing Dairy

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{ 363 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks January 10, 2013

This homemade horchata is one of my fave nut-based milks, of sorts.
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2012/03/homemade-horchata.html

It turns out super creamy b/c of the cashews. I love using cashews when possible in nondairy milks for the richness and creaminess. Oats are hard for me to get to become super creamy but your milk looks fabulous!

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Katie January 10, 2013

I’d love to see you try cashews, I’ve heard that milk is creamy dreamy! I’ve read you don’t even have to strain it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 10, 2013

I’ve heard that from other readers too. I will have to try that soon b/c I looove cashews. cashew-almond would be amazing too.

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Kathryn January 10, 2013

love this – can’t wait. I LOVE how cheap it is. I’m interested to see how it works out in coffee. I’ve been using soy milk in coffee because I don’t like the taste of coconut and coffee together and because almond milk seperates….I wonder how the oats will hold up!

I bet OAT milk will be awesome in mashed potatoes. Something tells me the tastes will work well! (minus the add ins of course!)

I’ve made my own almond milk but I find the cost is about the same as store bought.

I did find a neat trick to make quick almond milk in a pinch – 2 T of plain almond butter (roasted or raw) and a cup of water. Blend and use – no straining even necessary. I use this when I need milk for a recipe.

Loving this series too. I think you have a beautiful way of sharing veganism and I really appreciate it.

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Lea January 11, 2013

I love your neat trick with the almond butter and will definitely try it out as I hate dealing with the leftover pulp when making almond milk …Thanx so much Kathryn…

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Rachel January 10, 2013

Thanks for posting, I’m def going to have to try this! One thing that I do like about some of the store-made non-dairy milks is that many of them are fortified with calcium, vit D, and other nutrients that are usually found in dairy milk.

I am really enjoying this series. I’d love to see you talk more about the reasons you went and have stayed vegan (both health and animal issues). It would also be great to see things about how to handle eating out, eating at friend’s houses, and other social situations. Love the blog, keep up the great work. :)

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amy January 10, 2013

I agree with Rachel on the added-in nutrients in store-bought milk alternatives. This recipe sounds delicious but I really count on the added calcium and vitamins for myself and my family…hard to find adequate food sources for calcium, vitamin D and B12 and I can only handle (and afford!) so many supplements. If anyone has other excellent sources of these nutrients to suggest I’d be interested!

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Shannan January 10, 2013

I can’t wait to try this! I happen to have all of these things in my pantry, so I may be trying this out tonight!

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herwin January 10, 2013

I once read a recipe for rice milk (which did turn out terribly, but that’s another story), which added a bit of you favorite oil to make it creamy. That might work in this milk too, which would remove one of the cons.

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Carrie January 10, 2013

I spend a fortune at the store buying milk for my daughter. She is allergic to milk, egg, and peanut so I gravitate to vegan recipes. I’m definitely going to try this! Thank you for posting. Ill let you know what her two-year-old palate thinks of it :)

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Cassandra @ TheScienceofFood January 10, 2013

Wow! Oat milk, I’ve never heard of that one! I’ve seen soy, almond, quinoa, flax and rice but not oat. It looks practical, the best part is that you don’t have to cook it.

Just out of curiosity, I notice that the background of your pictures are consistently dark, do you acheive that with a specific setting, or do you just turn off the flash? It`s intriguing.

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Melissa January 10, 2013

I actually made this! Usually I just say that I’m going to and then never try it. But this looked so quick and easy, and I had everything here. So I actually made it! I think it’s great. It’s a little chalky but I’m ok with that. It’s in the fridge chilling right now, I’m anxious to see if that makes a difference. And I love the idea of adding a little coconut milk.
Thanks for sharing, Angela – you’re the best!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! January 10, 2013

This looks so good! I’ve never had oat milk but I would love to try it homemade, it looks so creamy and smooth!

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia January 10, 2013

Awesome!!
I’ve never made my own vegan milk before, would love to give this a try
I recently came across and bookmarked some recipes a vegan girl put online for making your own homemade cashew cheese in different flavors–I have to try that out too, it looked pretty great
This would also significantly decrease my Whole Foods and Trader Joe bills, so that would be excellent haha

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Tali January 10, 2013

Would it be possible to leave out the maple syrup? I usually get store bought oat milk to add to my overnight oats and they have no added sugar :)

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Dee January 10, 2013

We go through over a litre of oat milk a day here with the kids, so I’m deffo gonna try this! Can I use rolled oats? – dee

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Karla January 10, 2013

We’re not milk-drinkers, but I do use buttermilk and almond milk in cooking and baking. I’ve tried making my own almond milk since I like to add it to coffee – both hot and iced – but I’ve been turned off by the fact that it just separates and isn’t creamy. I’m guessing this would be a good recipe if you’re adding it to some kind of mixture or drinking it straight. Definitely worth a try!

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Nancy January 10, 2013

I am anxious to try this but I’m wondering…does it have the same nutritional value of soy or almond milk? Calcium? Protein? hmmm…

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christina January 10, 2013

Do you have any nutritional values for this recipe?

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Christina January 10, 2013

I haven’t tried it, but I assume you could make “oat chips” in your dehydrator by flattening the pulp out very thin and dehydrating it until crispy. You could make a sweet version by adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, liquid sweetener and vanilla extract or a savory cracker by adding herbs.

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Suzanne January 10, 2013

Thanks for this post – excited to try a nut free milk. My biggest issue is the straining – feels like the whole process would be a breeze if it strained easier – esp with how fast the milk goes in my house. Lot of work for a short lived drink! As you said – so much healthier and cheaper though !

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Kele January 12, 2013

Get your hands on a nut-milk bag, and it will seriously speed up the process. You just set it in a bowl, pour everything in from the blender, and squeeze. Quicker and easier than fussing with a strainer.

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 10, 2013

Oh my gosh, I totally want to try this! I’ve never tried making my own but this sounds so easy. You can bet I’d make mine with a ton of cinnamon lol! (And the Nature’s Path cereal too of course – that’s one of my faves.) Great tutorial Ange!

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Melissa January 10, 2013

I made this earlier today, I used agave instead of maple syrup. It was really good. But then I let is chill in the fridge and it is REALLY good! Not quite as smooth as commercial ‘milk’ but I love the flavor. And even my very picky, omnivore husband likes it. That says alot!

It’s creamy enough for me. Tomorrow I want to try making it with regular old fashioned oats. I have alot of those and that’s always on sale.

Thanks again, Angela!

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meme-muse January 10, 2013

so inspired by your delicious meals! thank you always for all of your posts. this is a must try for a vegan (meme-muse) chef like me. thanks a million : )

inspired! http://meme-muse.tumblr.com/post/40115569065/happy-love-love-happy-inspiration-kiss-the

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Hollie January 10, 2013

I made this ths afternoon and its wonderful! I put it on a bowl of what is normally a very plain cereal and it was delicious! My seven year old son, to my utter amazement, chugged his glass! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll definitely be making more! Not to mention the added perk of pouring your milk from a jar! There’s just something so rustically chic about pouring my milk from a jar!

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Moni @ {Meals Meals} January 10, 2013

Yum! Can’t wait to try and experiment! Thanks ANG.:)

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Lori January 11, 2013

Whenever you use pure maple syrup in recipes, can you substitute it with honey?

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Kele January 12, 2013

It wouldn’t be vegan anymore, but I would think and liquid sweetener should work fine.

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Sofia January 11, 2013

That’s amazingly simple! Thanks for sharing this!

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bella January 11, 2013

looks fantastic and so disheartening that carrageenan is in so many plant based milks and nutritional supplements… the one issue with making your own is the fortification process… when you purchase plant based milk majority are fortified with at the very least calcium and homemade milk is not going to have that nutritional value always 6 of one 1/2 dz of another… thoughts? better to avoid carcinogen but your body especially as a vegan needs adequate calcium…

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Needful Things January 11, 2013

Thanks for sharing this! I’ve had to go dairy-free for several months (my baby is exclusively breastfed and has a milk & soy protein intolerance) and have had such trouble finding alternatives in my part of the world. I love oat milk but am not always able to find it (or almond milk for that matter). This solves my problem entirely!

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jared January 11, 2013

I found the Almond Milk you mentioned in Whole Foods, (their brand, 365)
I was surprised to find that ALL of the other types and brands of milk (i.e., hemp, soy, rice, flaxseed, etc) contained carrageegan.
Will try you Oat Milk receipe.
Thanks

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Julie January 11, 2013

I will be trying this milk this afternoon! Thank you

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Jenna January 11, 2013

This sounds really good and super easy. I will have to try it. I’ve never used oat milk just almond

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Alex @ Brain, Body, Because January 11, 2013

Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I searched the comments, but I’m wondering about how much this yielded for you? (Obviously it will be slightly different each time, based on how much you strain.)

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 11, 2013

It was just under 3 cups for me.

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Stephanie January 11, 2013

Is there any way to figure the Nutritional Facts?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 11, 2013

Not that I’m aware of. Sorry!

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Lea January 11, 2013

According to my mastercook program based on the recipe making 3 cups, for a 1 cup serving the nutritional profile is:
Per Serving 134 Calories; 2g Fat (11.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 25g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 9mg Sodium.

NOTE: my program used rolled oats and not steel cut oats however I found this on the net:
” you might assume that rolled oats would be less nutritious than steel-cut oats, but it turns out that the differences are quite minor. Steel cut, stone-ground, old-fashioned, and quick-cooking rolled oats are all made from whole grains and they all have approximately the same amount of fiber, protein, calories, and other nutrients.”

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Lynn January 14, 2013

If you Google ” nutritional value of oat milk” it will tell you. As i remember it is higher in protein than almond milk and higher in fat.

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Stephanie January 14, 2013

Thank YOU guys!! :D

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Carolina January 11, 2013

Hey Angela,
How come you don’t blend in the pulp more? Wouldn’t it be better to get more oats in (and their nutrients) or do you think this would make it to oat-y tasting?

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Christina D January 11, 2013

I made this last night. I wasn’t thinking when I did it and used a 3 cup mason jar to measure it and put the oats in first… then the water :P So, I ended up only using about 2 cups of water since the oats were already in the bottom. However, that ended up being a pretty good mistake because the milk came out super rich and creamy. I’m using it as a coffee creamer this morning.

Also, you don’t necessarily need a food dehydrator to dehydrate the oat pulp. I spread mine onto a thin layer on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 170 degrees for about 3 hours. Once they were nice and dry and I used my food processor to make oat flour with it.

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Stephanie January 11, 2013

I drink chai tea every morning with oat milk:

Tea sock
Saucepan
1 teaspoon of Bombay chai tea,
One mug of oat milk

Warm milk in a saucepan and slowly move the tea sock around the saucepan for a couple of minutes. Squeeze teasock in the milk before serving, to get every bit of the beautiful chai flavour.

So delicious and filling! Oat milk has about 18 g of carbs per serving. I use Oat Dream enriched – Vit D and Calcium enriched.

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Samantha January 11, 2013

I’m thinking for the leftover pulp of doing an oatmeal mask…just add a bit of honey to the pulp and apply after you do a facial steam for about 15-20 minutes for a mask that will moisturize and soothe.

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Psuke January 11, 2013

I make my own oat milk basedon the Chocolate &Zucchini method http://chocolateandzucchini.com/archives/2011/05/homemade_oat_milk.php using oat groats. I like using groats as they have been processed less and I admit I am a sucker for that. I did try (once!) straining it through a bag, but it was so gellid it wouldn’t really strain, so now I just use a sieve.

I really like the neutrality of oat milk (I don’t sweeten mine), but decided I did want something a little creamier, so have started adding soaked cashews/almonds a la Mimicreme (1/2 cup cashews 1/4 cup almonds) and I’ve been pleased with the results. I tried hazelnuts once, but even with only a quarter cup the flavor totally overwhelmed the milk.

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Rhona January 11, 2013

I made this milk last night Angela and it is perfect. I don’t like sweetened or flavored milk so mine is plain but it is good. I tried it again after a few hours and it seemed to taste better. Really enjoying this milk. I won’t be buying anymore processed milks when this one is natural, pure and super healthy. Thank you.

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a farmer in the dell January 11, 2013

thanks for the recipe Angela. This looks easy and not very intimidating!

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Wendy January 11, 2013

Made a 1/2 batch this morning without flavorings and added it to my oatmeal (to cook it just like I do with the Almond Milk) not impressed with the taste or how the oatmeal turned out sort of watery like texture, also not fond of the seriously oat-y flavor, I will stick with my homemade almond milk

I used a milk bag and despite a lot of rinsing it was still a little slimey when I was squeezing the bag.

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