How to make Oat Milk from Steel-Cut Oats

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Did you know that 90% of Asians are lactose intolerant?  It was a sad day realizing I had to drink my coffee black (most of the time), or not go for that second bowl of cereal (sometimes).

In our search to find a healthy dairy alternative for cow’s milk, I spent a small fortune buying different types of milk that my boys would love.  My boys are BIG milk drinkers, easily downing 3 cups a day.  My youngest is allergic to treenuts so that automatically nixed almond and cashew milk from the list.  I decided that at the rate these growing boys consumed milk, I needed to find a cheaper alternative rather than shelling out up to 5 bucks for less than a couple litres of many dairy alternatives out there.

Thus I arrived at oat milk.   It’s so cheap, fast, and easy to make.  Three things every Asian (and not so Asian, like me) loves!

I also love that there are no emulsifiers, thickeners, stabilizers or other additives in homemade milk.  It’s not going replace the calcium and protein in cow’s milk so I make sure to keep the kids diet high in yogurt, cheese, kefir and leafy greens.   Even with our family’s level of lactose intolerance we can still handle cultured foods fairly well.

Oat milk tastes sweet and rich.  And it’s oat-y, surprise!  It’s perfect with a tiny bit of sweetness, try blending up a couple pitted medjool dates with the oats instead of adding maple syrup at the end for another sweet healthy option.   Take it up a notch by adding dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, cayenne…

I first discovered this little gem on Oh She Glows and have used her method as my base with a few slight adjustments.  Below I’ll run through each of the steps I take.  Make sure to stick around to find out what I do with the leftover oat pulp.  Hint, it starts with “cook” and ends with “ies”.  Are you hooked?  :)

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Oat Milk Ingredients: (yield 3 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 3 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Useful tools:

  • Vitamix or any blender
  • Large bowl
  • Fine strainer
  • Spatula
  • Nutbag, or 100% organic cotton towel.  I was tempted to use cheesecloth but I worried that the oat pulp would stick too much to the grain of the cheesecloth.  I ended up cutting up a 100% cotton sheet and it strains perfectly.   Cleanup afterwards is a breeze since the smooth surface washes out easily under running water and a drop of gentle soap.

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Measure out 1 cup of steel-cut oats into a large bowl.

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Add enough water to completely submerge the oats.

Let soak for a minimum of 20 minutes.  If the busy-ness of life gets in the way and you forget about them, a soak overnight won’t hurt at all.

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Drain and rinse.  Rinse again.  And again, for good measure.

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The first time I made oat milk, I made the mistake of not rinsing the oats enough.  The resulting milk was a bit too slimy.  So yeah, don’t do my mistakes.  Rinse lots!

Transfer oats to your blender.  Add 3 1/2 cups filtered water.

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10 seconds is all you need with your blender on high.

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Place your fine strainer over a large bowl and sieve the oat milk.

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A spatula may be handy here to help coax the liquid through.

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The stuff left in the strainer is oat pulp. Don’t toss your oat pulp!!  We’ll be making super healthy, kid AND husband friendly chocolate chip cookies with it.  If you don’t use the oat pulp right away it’ll keep in your fridge for a week, or in your freezer for longer.

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Place your nutbag or cotton towel into a large bowl.  Pour in the strained milk.

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Get ready for it….

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Now SQUEEEEEZE.

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I cannot get by this “squeezing my nutbag” process without some ridiculously hilarious comment being dropped by any or all of my boys.

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We welcome all “nutbag” comments here.  :)

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Add your vanilla and maple syrup.

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Cap and shake.

We keep our oat milk in mason jars up to 5 days in the fridge.  You may find it separates, no biggie.  Just shake it up, baby.

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These reCAP Lips are made for wide mouth mason jars and I really like them for pouring out of masons.  They’re BPA free and have replaceable rubber o-rings.  The only thing I noticed is every once in a while, vigorous shaking may cause a couple drops to leak.   And while pouring a careful finger in the lid will ensure it doesn’t flop down over the spout and disrupt your pour.   Otherwise, a great way to top off your favorite mason beverages.

Watch me squeeze some oat milk in this step by step video tutorial :)

Click Page 2 to get the Oat Milk Recipe


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23 Comments

  • Cathy and David April 24, 2013 - 8:55 am Reply

    Awesome! We will have to try this! And Quin is adorable.

    • Quin April 24, 2013 - 8:58 am Reply

      Please do let me know how it turns out! Thanks for making me smile! Love to you guys xo

  • Tammie Billey April 24, 2013 - 11:21 pm Reply

    love it. i will have to try this! I’m lactose intolerant too! And just recently found out that Treston and I are gluten sensitive!…sigh…But after going gluten free, we are feeling soooo much better, and skinnier. lol. :D

    • Quin April 25, 2013 - 7:55 am Reply

      Ha, blessing in disguise! :)

  • Kevin April 25, 2013 - 7:25 am Reply

    wow….it’s amazing that you do this! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Quin April 25, 2013 - 7:56 am Reply

      Thanks for checkin it out Kevin!

  • Steph F April 26, 2013 - 11:04 am Reply

    Hey Quin! These videos and website is so awesome! This is probably a not-so-smart question, but would this work with rolled oats too? I’m really excited to try this and make the chocolate chip cookies too. Love y’all!

    • Quin April 26, 2013 - 11:09 am Reply

      Steph!! You know it’s a great question! I’ve never tried rolled oats. If I did, I’d skip the soaking process and go straight to the blending process since rolled oats have been slightly more processed than steel cut and don’t require as much softening. I’d love to know your results! Love you back girl!!

  • Lila May 24, 2013 - 2:16 pm Reply

    Hi Quin,

    I am new to your website but already a fan!

    I do have a question about the oat milk recipie; would I be able to use honey instead of maple syrup? How much would you recommend using?

    Thanks,

    Lila

    • Quin May 24, 2013 - 2:59 pm Reply

      Hi Lila! We’re thrilled to have a fan in you :)

      Absolutely honey will work great in oat milk. I just find that maple syrup dissolves a little easier. I’d start with the same amount and adjust if you find it too sweet or not sweet enough. Enjoy!

      • Lila May 28, 2013 - 5:35 pm Reply

        Dear Quin,

        Thanks for tip, I just finised my first batch of oat milk and I was very happy with the results. I took in to account what you said about the issues with honey being slow to disolve, so I used the “honey crystals” available from health food stores and they disolved quickly.

        I am looking forward to seeing more of your recipies! : )

        Sincerely,

        Lila

        • Quin May 28, 2013 - 9:10 pm Reply

          Yay! I’m thrilled to hear that Lila :) Honey crystals eh? I haven’t heard of those, I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for the tip!

  • Chelsey July 4, 2013 - 5:38 am Reply

    I made the oat milk today using rolled oats. I forgot you mentioned not to soak them and go straight to blending so i soaked them for awhile. The result was similar consistency to regular oat milk but maybe a bit too thick. Also, I used a piece of white sheet cutout to squeeze the milk out instead of a nut bag. It took ages and was kind of gloupy towards the end. I will try this again with rolled oats but without soaking and will be ordering myself a nut bag! Have you done any other ‘milks’? Like almond or quinoa? Just wondering if you had any tips. Thanks!

    • Quin July 4, 2013 - 8:40 am Reply

      Unfortunately my youngest is allergic to treenuts so I’ve avoided trying almond milk, as much as I’ve been tempted! What’s next on my list is coconut milk! I love all things coconut!!!

  • Jeannine July 29, 2013 - 8:38 pm Reply

    I love the mason jar with the lid on it. is there a place were you can buy these??? I need to learn how to make oat milk and this recipe looks great. but I would also like to keep it in that jar :) .

  • NJ May 5, 2014 - 8:42 am Reply

    Your site and family are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. My question is why do you drain and rinse? Wouldn’t you be washing away nutrients? I make oat milk without the draining and rinsing so I just wonder why? Is it the texture? Thanks, NL

    • Quin May 5, 2014 - 8:54 am Reply

      NL, thank you for your sweet words! I find that after soaking if I don’t rinse well it’s more goopy/slimey (for lack of better words, lol) in texture. Awesome to hear you’re making oat milk too! Thanks for sharing.

  • […] use an ingredient called oat pulp (not to be confused with oat flour), which is basically what’s leftover when you make […]

  • Kristina July 3, 2014 - 1:17 am Reply

    HI! I used this recipie and maybe I did something wrong? I followed all the steps and added cinnamon and honey to sweeten it, but it is very watery with little flavor

    • Quin July 28, 2014 - 11:23 am Reply

      Hi Kristina! Perhaps re-check proportions, like ensuring there’s enough oats to water. I also find if I didn’t blend it long enough it was more watery…on the other hand, I’ve over-blended and the milk turned out really thick. Lately, I’ve been adding in a couple pitted dates with a splash of vanilla and love the resulting flavour as well. Hope you’re able to give it another go and let me know how it goes!

  • Marta November 8, 2014 - 12:15 am Reply

    Hi! I love the pics and video, thank you for the recipe… May I ask you how to find that jar with an opening on the plug that you have? Maybe it’s sold on amazon or something like that? I never saw that in France but it’s exactly what I’d need!

    • Marta November 8, 2014 - 3:49 pm Reply

      ok I found it on Amazon.fr… but it costs almost 100 euros EACH! Nevermind I’ll find something else (by the way the 1st comment is still waiting for approval… if you prefere, just delete both of mine! ;))

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