In 2019, a study showed that 23% of Brits drink plant milk and it’s no secret that oat milk sales have been soaring.
Hailed for its creaminess and subtle sweetness, oat milk is a popular choice for baristas and consumers alike – but you can easily make it at home?
Lianne Harvey, the founder of Kitleys, shares with us just how easy and cheap it is to make one of your favourite non-dairy drinks in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Where does oat milk come from?
Oat milk came into being fairly recently.
It was first developed in the 1990s by a Swedish food scientist called Rickard Öste who was researching lactose intolerance and sustainable food systems.
It was first sold on UK shores only a few years ago but now can be found in supermarkets and cafes everywhere, even celebrities like Natalie Portman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Z have been investing in the delicious oat drink.
Is oat milk more sustainable than dairy milk?
A study was undertaken by the University of Oxford which compared the environmental impacts of different milks and it’s clear to see from the chart below that the plant alternatives come out on top.
Producing a glass of dairy milk requires 10 times the amount of land that it does to produce oat milk.
Oat milk does very well at being an all rounder.
It uses much less water than almond milk and creates less emissions than soy and rice milk.
In addition to this, oats are a cool season crop and are primarily grown in northern areas such as Canada or Scandanavia.
This means that growing oats doesn’t require the same amount of deforestation as other plant milks do.
Oat milk contains more protein than almond, coconut, cashew, hemp or rice milk.
Oats are also a great source of fibre, which is very important for our digestive health. They even contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucan, which studies have linked to improving cholesterol levels.
What are the benefits of making oat milk yourself?
1. It’s cheaper
Many of the oat milk brands can be incredibly expensive to buy regularly. Oats have always been a cheap way to make breakfast but, for some reason, oat milk seems to cost the consumer a lot more.
This recipe costs around 30p per litre to make – which is so much cheaper than the shop bought oat milk. We like to make a big batch on a Sunday, it’s also a great activity to do with children.
2. There are less carbon emissions if you make it at home
You eliminate the need for milk cartons, which are usually Tetra-Pak and contain a layer of plastic and aluminium in the design in order to protect the contents.
They are much more difficult to recycle than you think. We were putting ours in our recycling bin for years before we found out that they can’t be recycled in our area.
There is only one plant in the whole country that can recycle Tetra-Pak packaging so, even if they will take the cartons from your recycling bin, there is a good chance that they will be shipped overseas to be recycled.
Add this to the fact that oat milk is often manufactured in other countries and shipped to the UK and you have quite the carbon footprint attached to your seemingly sustainable drink.
How to make oat milk at home
To make oat milk at home, it takes less than 15 minutes and couldn’t be easier.
To make the most basic version of oat milk at home, you just need:
- 150g oats
- 1 litre water
- Pinch of salt
Mix them together and put them together in a blender for 10-20 seconds.
You don’t need to blend for any longer than that as the heat of the friction from the blades will warm the mixture and create a gummier consistency (think about what happens when you heat oats to make porridge).
Strain the milk through a muslin cloth.
Pop the mixture into a bottle, seal it and leave it in the fridge to enjoy!
If sealed properly, it should last for up to five days.
You can make sweetened versions or make it savoury. Add turmeric, matcha or whatever happens to take your fancy.
It’s an incredibly versatile recipe and you’ll know that you have full control over what ingredients are going into your body.
Can I make oat milk at home if I don’t have a blender?
If you don’t have a blender, then don’t worry.
Just add the same ingredients to a bowl and leave them to soak for 30 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Then strain as described above and there you have it.
Kitleys have created the very first kit that helps people make oat milk at home.
It contains all of the tools and know-how to get you started.
They give you the muslin cloth, bottle and other equipment you need – plus our ‘ultimate guide,’ which gives you recipes, flavour ideas, how to get the right consistency and texture, what to do with the leftover oats after you’ve strained your milk and so much more.
Have you made your own oat milk? Let us know in the comments below!