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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{ 364 comments… read them below or add one }

suzy January 11, 2013

hi. love the post. do you know what the nutritional value of this would be? (proteins, carbs, fat and calories).

also would love to see a post on hemp milk. I buy the store bought stuff (pacific i find has the best flavor and consistency. we go through alot of it as it is the milk my daughter drinks. it has the best ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

i have tried to make it on my own but need to add xanthum gum to get it not be chunky. (since my daughter is use to pacific brand she won’t drink it chunky.) i assume if i filter it i will lose alot of the nutritional value.

is there a emulsifier that is considered “healthy”?

thanks,

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Fit Missy January 11, 2013

Wow interesting!
I am addicted to almond milk but will definitely consider this option.

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Renee January 11, 2013

I had a question on the filtered water, I use spring water. Does that make a difference?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2013

Im sure both are fine…I mean you can use tap water too, but it would just have all the extra stuff in it and probably not as good tasting.

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Cara January 11, 2013

If I try this, I will try adding the leftover oat pulp to a yeast bread. I LOVE oatmeal bread!

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Phil Peel January 11, 2013

Would this recipe work if I used rolled oats? Maybe if I blended them first? I haven’t been able to find steel cut oats in any of our local grocery stores or health stores.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2013

I tried it with rolled oats and it worked, although was maybe a bit more watery than the steel cut (but honestly it was barely noticeable) Let me know how it goes if you try it!

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Phil Peel January 13, 2013

Thank you Angela I will give it a try this week and let you know how I get on :)

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Marielle January 11, 2013

I make my own soy milk. I enjoy the flavour of plain soy milk, and it costs about $0.50 per litre. Oat milk sounds interesting and cheap!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2013

Hi Marielle, How do you make your own soy milk? Do you mind sharing with us?

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Marielle January 17, 2013

Hi Angela!

I got the recipe from this blog: http://www.artandlemons.com/2012/04/kitchen-craft-homemade-soy-milk-tofu.html

It’s easy and keeps well. My next endeavour is making soy yogurt with all the soymilk I have and finding more recipes to use up the okara (soymilk by-product)! Okara makes a yummy hummus and packs a protein punch!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013

thanks, I will check it out!

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Lea January 12, 2013

Well I just sampled my oat milk….pretty dang good, Angela! I have a Vitamix and overblended the oats. Anyway turned out to be a great thing! Because I “overblended”, I didn’t have anything that looked like oats left so I used a plastic coffee filter to strain the oat milk. What was left behind was maybe 1/4 cup of the “slimy stuff” I did have to rinse off the filter a few times when straining. I did strain the whole mixture a couple of times until it flowed freely through the coffee filter. So no “slime”in the milk , hardly any waste (still may try drying what’s left). The other great perk for me is, I won’t have to lug as many boxes of milk walking home from the grocery store (no vehicle). This is tooooo gooood!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2013

Thanks for sharing your tips! I will have to try it this way next time and report back :) enjoy!

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Hanna M. January 12, 2013

Looks yummy and quite creamy! I like the taste of store bought oat milk, so I’ll try this when I need more milk. I’ve seen some recipes for almond milk where the milk is strained, and the remaining pulp is blended and strained a second time, then added to the first batch (more economical and more creamy?). I wonder if this will work with oat milk?

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Sonja January 12, 2013

Worked great with a nut milk bag! Thanks for the recipe…I was looking for a cheaper alternative to buying a big bag of raw almonds every week to make almond milk.

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Adam January 12, 2013

I am going to have to try this soon. The idea of having oatmeal with oat milk just works.

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Stacey Johnson January 12, 2013

just love your site and would like to say I think you are awesome!

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Tami January 13, 2013

I will have to try this one. I have used store bought almond and soy milk for years because I am allergic to milk. The only homemade milk I have made is Sesame Tahini milk. It sounds like this recipe is a lot like it (except for the cinnamon). I used it all during my first pregnancy to get extra vitamins and stay awake – I was a huge coffee drinker before I got pregnant. My cousin gave me the recipe to try.

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Andrea January 13, 2013

I did end up making this with the rolled oats. My end result was a bit watery (looks much waterier than your pictures), but that could have something to do with using rolled oats instead of steel-cut. I will try it again with steel-cut oats, as I’m going to pick some up the next time I’m at the store (along with a bigger sieve. I’ve been meaning to get one for awhile and recipes like this mean it is definitely time. :)). It’s still yummy, though! My husband looked at me like I was insane, but that’s nothing new haha. If the steel-cut oats don’t make it creamier, I will just reduce the water a bit.

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megan @ whatmegansmaking January 13, 2013

This is so interesting! I never would have thought of this. i’m a little nervous to try it though.. :)

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Meghan Telpner January 13, 2013

HUGE fan of making my own milks! I love hemp and cashew as the nuts are soft enough that you don’t need to strain them. Ice cream made from toasted hazelnut milk is amazing and of course plain old almond. I always use a Nut Milk Bag (or what I call My Nut Sack) to strain them as it just makes for a smoother milk.

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Phil Peel January 13, 2013

Meghan I love hazelnuts is there any chance you could send me the receipe for the toasted hazelnut milk icecream it sounds delicious.

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Kerry January 13, 2013

I can’t wait to try to make this! I usually use soy milk, but have thought twice about it after reading that even those milks have non-natual ingredients. Sadly, any homemade nutty milk is out since my boyfriend is very allergic to nuts:( Since I don’t really ever drink milk by itself, but mix it into things, this seems like a great thing to try!

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Gonneke January 13, 2013

Great idea, I tried it and my kids & I love it! I mixed it with macapowder and that also tasted great. I used oat ‘flakes’ (don’t know for sure what it’s called in english). I ate the heated pulp withtahini and a little maple syrup..yum:-)
To strain my home made milks I use a piece of a (clean;-) ) panty hose…works well and way cheaper than a nut bag.

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Phil Peel January 13, 2013

Thank you I will give this a try and will let you know how I get on.

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Melissa January 13, 2013

I made oat milk using your recipe a few days ago- it was simple and delicious! I also approached a woman who was looking at non-dairy milk labels in the grocery store yesterday and gave her your website…that was pretty out of character for me; I rarely initiate conversation with strangers, but it is a testimony to how awesome your site is. Thanks!!!

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Keith January 13, 2013

I would think the pulp would be a good basis for a couple of smooth oatmeal cookies too.

My question, and maybe it’s mentioned, and I missed it: 3 cups of water, 1 cups of oats: How much milk did it yield in the end?

I once made almond milk with a similar recipe, and when all was said and done, the cost — in spite of what the website I followed said — would’ve been about 4-5x the cost of buying it at the store.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2013

It made about 2.5-3 cups…hope that helps!

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Jodi January 13, 2013

Thanks for the great recipe! I usually make almond or brazil nut milk at home. I don’t have cheesecloth or a fine sieve to strain it, so I actually use pantyhose instead :) I bought from the drugstore a package of knee-high pantyhose, so I can wrap them around the top of a Mason jar and pour the milk straight in. And then I squeeze to get all the water/moisture out, then keep the pulp if I plan to use it for something, or just toss the pantyhose, pulp and all. A good use for leftover nut pulp is hummus – just add pulp to food processor with tahini, lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, and other spices and it’s a nice alternative.

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Pam Stretton January 13, 2013

Have just made this milk, it is awesome, from now on i am going to use this.
Thanks for a great recipe and site.

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Hannah January 14, 2013

I have only just got round to trying almond milk myself! I may have to experiment in making my own and perhaps this recipe! Really enjoy your blog!

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Tina January 14, 2013

Here in Sweden oat-milk is the most popular non-dairy milk for sale. The one I usually buy contains only oats, water and a little salt. I don’t think I’ve come across one with carrageenan in it, and I can’t really see why it would be necessary, since it seems to work just fine without.

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Tiffany January 14, 2013

I’ve tried a variety of milks but not oat, maybe I will now that you have shown this super simple way of making it at home! I’m definitely a fan of trying to make products myself.

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Andrea January 14, 2013

How about hemp milk, Angela? Have you tried making it?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 14, 2013

Nope, not yet!

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Shanda Bezzant January 14, 2013

Made it just like you suggested. So yummy! Can’t wait to try almond milk! We have a family of 6 with a baby who drinks it in her bottle. Can’t wait for a cheaper alternative.

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Cassie Damewood January 14, 2013

OMG, after reading all these comments about slimy, watery, artificial “milks” I’m so glad I’m so healthy and normal and can appreciate the wonderful, natural milk that is so graciously and easily produced by contented cows. I used to live on a dairy farm and there’s nothing comparable to fresh warm milk straight from the cow.

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Andrea January 17, 2013

You realize she is vegan, right?! If that is your choice, then that’s totally fine. However, there is nothing wrong with being vegan, either. :)

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Grace January 14, 2013

I just got a masticating juicer for christmas and am going to try using it for this oat milk recipe. I tried almond milk the other day and the left over ‘paste’ was incredible. This morning I tried making milk with buckwheat groats. I soaked them for about a day and then ran them through my juicer twice. It was super slimy, and kind of bland, but I think they have some serious potential if I add cinnamon and vanilla.

P.S. I am lovin’ your Series!

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Honey What's Cooking January 15, 2013

so that’s how you make oat milk? :-) who would have thought that all you really need are oats and water. i’m sure i’d love it since i love oatmeal.

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Tatiana January 16, 2013

Angela, i think you can use the leftover oat pulp in the cakes and the cookies in order to replace part of the flour.

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Mona January 16, 2013

This looks great! How long does it keep in the fridge?

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Karoline January 16, 2013

My little boy and I made oat milk this morning following your recipe…he immediately drank a huge glass, saying “YUM-me!!” in between gulps. Thank you!

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Andrea January 17, 2013

I tried this recipe again tonight with steel-cut oats. So much creamier! The rolled oats will work in a pinch, but the result is much better with the steel-cut. I think this recipe is going to be a regular for me. Thanks so much!

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Vegan RAdhika SArohia January 17, 2013

Just wanted to add that so far I’ve mainly had soy milk, coconut milk and almond milk
But I finally sampled flax milk the other day! Tasted totally fine to me, I’ll be purchasing some and then maybe (hopefully) trying to figure out how to make it in future
I love all these options though, for vegan recipes and cooking!:)

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Audrey January 18, 2013

Have you (or anyone?) tested how this holds up when added to hot dishes (coffee, soup, etc)? I’d really like to try this- it looks super easy and cost-effective! Thanks! I love your blog- beautiful and delicious recipes :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013

Hi Audrey, I think a reader tried it in oatmeal and said it tasted quite watery. I haven’t personally tried it yet myself! goodluck

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Melissa January 19, 2013

Thank-you so much for this post Angela! Made a batch the other day and absolutely loved it! Next batch of oats soaking and ready to make tonight :) Still trying to think of what to do with the left-over pulp though…

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melis January 19, 2013

Thanks for this! the low cost is key. I mostly use soy or almond milk in coffee and chai, so i’ll try this! Do you know the caloric or protein content as compared w soy or almond milk?

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Amy January 21, 2013

Thank you for this recipe!!! I LOVE oat milk – but the supermarket version is still full of nasties so I am so happy to see a homemade version! Thank you!!! (From Australia)

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Monica January 21, 2013

Wow! I can’t believe how cheap and easy it is to make your own oat milk. This is definitely going on my to-do list.

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