Should I Be Making My Own Oat Milk?



Oat, nut, rice and soy. There's loads on the market already, but should I be making my own?

In my journey to become more sustainable and cut down on waste I wanted to try making my own oat milk. I've been drinking milk substitutes since I was around thirteen because I once smelled some semi-skimmed milk, like reallly smelled it and just thought 'No. Never again' and from that moment have stuck to the substitutes. I'm not vegan or dairy-free but it is my preference.


What's Wrong With The Stuff In The Shops?

You might be thinking that there's no point because you can buy milk for a couple quid at the shop and it comes in recyclable cartons so who gives a toss. Well, it might surprise you to hear (unless you follow my Instagram) that Tetra Paks (the cartons these milks come in) are only recycled about 25% of the time. Also, unlike glass which can be endlessly recycled, because of the way materials are combined in Tetra Paks, they can only be recycled a few times before heading off to landfill. And guess what - if you've been leaving your Tetra Paks for the council to pick up and are feeling proud that you're one of the better consumers, they don't get recycles! (At least where I live). You have to take Tetra Paks to specfic recycling points for them to be recycled. In essence, they suck and continue to suck even after they leave you house. There's even more reasons, but I won't get into that today. Back to milk.


A carton costs £1-£2 right - home made it costs about 5p to make a pint! That's a pretty huge difference. It really makes blending your own worthwhile. And guess what - it's only TWO ingredients, oats and water. It seems like an even bigger rip off at the shops now, right? Plus it's quick and simple too.


I Can't Be Bothered Going To A Zero-Waste Shop For Oats.

You might wonder if there's any point bothering to make your own oat milk if you only have the time and money to go to a regular supermarket. Good news! Most supermarkets sell oats in paper bags, which is a fantastic recyclable alternative to plastic bags, so just look for that! If it's not going to landfill (as in it's being recycled) it's an eco-win, and much better than pre-packaged milk.


So It's Better To Make My Own?

I'm glad you've come to that conclusion. I suppose you're ready to hear how to make your own.

I got this recipe from Sustainably Vegan on YouTube, and amended it slightly.


I made a pint, which does about a week's worth of breakfasts for me.


RECIPE

Ingredients:

40g of oats. I get mine from Wild Not Waste in Lancaster.

1-3 cups of water (depending on your desired thickness). I get mine from the kitchen sink in Lancaster.

Optional: you can add some dates or syrup if you like a bit of sweetness.


Method:

1. Soak your oats overnight by putting them in a sealed container with plenty of water to cover the oats - it doesn't matter how much you use

2. The next day drain your oats and give them a good rinse. The rinsing prevents the milk from being slimy.

3. Put the drained oats into a blender with your desired amount of water. I would suggest adding a smaller amount then topping up so you don't end up with a milk that's too thin (which is something I did). Then blend it up. If you're using syrup or a sweetener add this now.

4. Strain the liquid to get the oat-pulp out and leave you with a smooth milk. If you're fancy and have money to burn you can buy a milk-bag to strain with, but I just used my IKEA sieve that was knocking about the kitchen and it did an alright job.

5. Pour it into a container - I used a milk bottle I already owned and a reusable silicone lid from Moopops, which you can get in cute pastel colours for pint sized and litre bottles.

6. Enjoy! Using cold water to blend means the milk is nice and cold as soon as you make it but you can also leave it in the fridge for around 4 days.


Super easy and a good excuse to get that blender you spent so much money on out of the cupboard.




Does It Taste As Good As From The Shop?

It tastes like oats and water, I don't know what else you're expecting me to say. It does the job. Oat milk will never be the most exciting thing I'm sorry. But it's so much cheaper and better for the environment too! It's pretty similar for rice milk too if that interests you, and I urge you to watch Sustainably Vegan's YouTube video on it. Buying nuts loose can be very expensive, so if you only like nut milks and are on a budget I would stick to the shop-bought stuff - but make sure to take your cartons the right recycling centres!


Check out my Instagram to see a video of (most of) the process - I cut the straining bits because my sieve was too dirty alright.


Bye for now,


Cara.