Oat milk is such a delicious alternative to dairy! We love using oat milk in our morning coffee, to add creaminess to shakes and smoothies or as a dairy-free cooking and baking alternative.
Best of all? Oat milk is super simple to make and only requires three ingredients and five minutes of your time! Oat milk is plant-based and naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, nutritious and delicious!
This Homemade Oat Milk recipe is quick, easy and much cheaper that buying commercially-processed oat milk. We have included all of our tips and tricks for perfectly smooth, creamy oat milk and options to sweeten and flavor it, as well!
For a delicious oat milk coffee beverage, check out our Starbuck's inspired Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Shaken Cold Brew recipe!
How To Make Oat Milk from Scratch
The best part of making oat milk at home is that it is so stinkin' easy! All you need from the grocery store is rolled oats and a couple tablespoons of neutral flavored oil. (Actually, oil is optional, but recommended for a creamy mouthfeel). For equipment, you'll need a blender, a jar for storing and a nut milk bag (See Note: a), fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. That's it! Simply blend the oats and oil with ice cold water, strain and enjoy!
What Type of Oats are Best for Oat Milk?
Fo making oat milk at home, we recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats. Rolled oats (sometimes labeled "old-fashioned" oats) are thin enough to be quickly pulverized in the blender without soaking and results in perfectly creamy oat milk with a rich mouthfeel.
Technically speaking, steel cut oats can be used to make oat milk, but they must be soaked first. In our experiments, soaked oats always lead to unpleasantly slimy oat milk. (Read more about avoiding slimy oat milk below). Furthermore, we typically avoid quick or instant oats for their tendency to be overly processed and have unnecessary additives like preservatives and sweeteners.
How Long Does Homemade Oat Milk Last?
Homemade oat milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 - 7 days! Over time, the oat milk may begin to separate. This is totally normal and not a sign of spoilage. To emulsify, shake the Homemade Oat Milk well for 15 - 30 seconds.
Troubleshooting: Why is My Oat Milk Slimy?
So, you finally decided to conquer the barista's darling and make oat milk from home... only to be disappointed by slimy, goopy oat water? It happens to the best of us. Here are our tips and tricks for avoiding oat milk slime!
- Use Rolled Oats - Rolled old-fashioned oats are the best choice for making Homemade Oat Milk.
- Do NOT Soak Your Oats - Soaked oats release an enzyme that causes them to congeal (think overnight oats). Though some recipes may suggest otherwise, never soak your oats for oat milk.
- Use Ice Cold Water - This one is super important! Keep your oat milk as cold as possible by using icy water for this recipe. Imagine a hot bowl of oatmeal porridge... warm or even room-temperature water will lead to slimy oats.
- Don't Over Blend! - Over processing the oats in the blender is a sure way to create slimy oat milk. Process the oat milk for a maximum of 40 seconds (and even less if you are using a super high-speed blender, like a VitaMix).
- Blend & Strain Twice, If Necessary - Admittedly, this step is more for grittiness, than it is for slime. After straining the oat milk through a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer, we return the plant-based milk to the blender. Now, without the oat pulp, we can further process the milk without the fear of creating starchy oat slime. We process the oat milk for an additional 90 seconds and strain again to remove any fine particles. It's an optional step but one that helps create an ultra smooth, creamy texture. (However, if using a VitaMix, this step is probably unnecessary).
How to Prevent Oat Milk From Separating in Hot Coffee or Tea
When Homemade Oat Milk is added to hot coffee, the oat milk can often react with the coffee's temperature and acidity and cause it to separate. While it's still safe to drink, it's not totally appetizing.
Commercially processed oat milks avoid separation by the addition of rapeseed oil, enzymes (usually, amylase) and emulsifiers. Since we don't typically (read: EVER), have enzymes or emulsifiers on hand... we didn't include any in this recipe. Instead of rapeseed oil (more commonly known as canola oil - which isn't the healthiest of options), we use grape seed or avocado oil that helps to contribute to a creamy mouthfeel. That being said, Homemade Oat Milk made with these oils can still separate if not tempered.
To avoid oat milk from seperating in hot or acidic beverages, you can temper the oat milk. It's easy. To do this, first add the oat milk to your mug. Then, add a small splash of your hot coffee or tea and allow to sit for one minute. This will slowly increase the oat milk temperature and help it to stay emulsified. Finally, slowly stream in your remaining hot coffee or tea. Stir and enjoy!
Sweetening & Flavoring Options
We love oat milk for its natural subtle sweetness that is reminiscent of cow's milk. We typically enjoy our Homemade Oat Milk unsweetened which is perfect for baking, cooking and substituting in recipes. However, sweetened or flavored oat milk can make for a delicious addition to morning beverages and smoothies.
To sweeten your oat milk, simply add the desired amount of sweetener to the blender when processing. You can try experimenting with different types and amounts of sweetening agents but we recommend starting with 1 - 2 Tablespoons.
- Granulated Sugar or Brown Sugar or Simple Syrup
- Maple Syrup - A hint of maple flavor is delicious!
- Dates - 1 - 4 dates recommended, make sure they are pitted before blending!
- Banana - This will definitely impart some banana flavor, but also adds an extra creamy body that is perfect for smoothies!
- Artificial Sweetener - If you need to avoid sugar altogether, feel free to use your favorite artificial sweetener. Be careful, though! Artificial sweeteners tend to be several times sweeter than natural sugars. Start slow, you can always add more!
- Vanilla Extract - If you're fancy, steep a split vanilla bean directly in the oat milk for even more intense vanilla flavor!
- Coffee - Try making oat milk with cold brew for an all-in-one caffeinated delight!
- Lavender Extract - Careful not to overdo it! A couple drops is all you will need. Try it in black tea!
- Cocoa Powder - 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder can make for a yummy plant-based chocolate milk!
- Pumpkin Spice - Blending some baking spices in will make for a lovely Fall inspired creamer!
- Almond, Cashew or Hazelnuts - Soak a small handful of nuts in cold water overnight before adding them directly to the blender with your oat milk! Great flavor, extra creamy texture and some bonus protein!
- Get Creative! - Homemade Oat Milk is essentially a blank canvas for flavors! Let us know how you like flavoring your oat milk below!
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The Best Homemade Oat Milk
- High Speed Blender (or VitaMix)
- Nut Bag (See Note: a), Fine-Mesh Strainer or Cheesecloth
- 1½ Cups Old-Fashioned (Rolled) Oats
- 1 quart ice cold water
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil (grape seed or avocado oil recommended), optional but recommended for a creamy mouthfeel
- Sweetener or Flavoring of choice optional (See Sweetening and Flavoring text above for recommendations)
- Gather, measure and prepare the Oat Milk ingredients as listed. To view metric measurements, toggle the US Customary/Metric switch at the top of this recipe card.
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender or VitaMix. Process on high-speed for 15 - 40 seconds or until water has turned creamy white in color. Do not process longer than necessary.
- Transfer oat milk to a large bowl lined with a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer or several layers of cheesecloth. (For best results, we recommend using a nut milk bag. They are available online, inexpensive, and reusable). Allow the oat milk to strain into the large bowl. Squeeze gently and discard oat pulp. (Alternatively, you can reserve the oat pulp to be used as a filler in some baked goods.)
- Optional: If your oat milk has a slightly gritty texture, you can return the strained oat milk to your blender. Process on high-speed an additional 30 - 90 seconds. Restrain the oat milk into a large bowl lined with a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer or several layers of cheesecloth.
- Homemade oat milk is ready to be enjoyed! Store leftover oat milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 - 7 days. Stir or shake the Homemade Oat Milk well before each use! Enjoy!
* A Note About Salt
Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on The Sage Apron are developed using Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. It is a great all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If using table salt, reduce quantities by about half.