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The Ultimate ACTUAL Homemade Oat Milk (Oatly-like, Not Slimy, Creamy not Watery) that works

WHY I AM EVEN DOING THIS

I was spending $10 a bottle (drinking 5 bottles a week, so $50 total) on GreenHouse Organics Oat milk in a glass jar, which was the most natural one out there with these ingredients (and tastes like Oatly):

Organic Oat Base (Filtered Water, Organic Gluten Free Oats 10%), Organic Pea Protein, Organic Sunflower Oil, Baking Soda (Natural Acidity Regulator)

Their ingredients are pretty good. No weird additives and so on, except for the fact that there is baking soda in there to regulate the PH of the drink.

I was looking to save $2600 a year (minus the cost of making my own oat milk), and with some reluctance & trepidation, I decided to embark on trying to make my own at home to replicate what they make.

MOST OAT MILK RECIPES AREN’T GREAT

I have read all the articles on making oat milk, and I have made about 15 versions of their oat milks, and have been disappointed each time I have done it.

They all have bits and pieces of what to do, but ultimately, they aren’t good recipes, nor helpful in its entirety because NONE OF THEM worked to give me what I wanted – a commercial-like oat milk that is thick, creamy and not slimy.

They all ended up watery, or just plain slimy. Very offputting.

The only recipe I found remotely useful was this one from Pop Sci: How to make oat milk with science backing it, but even that was incomplete because it still did not replicate what I was tasting in terms of texture in a commercial oat milk.

DO’S AND DON’TS OF MAKING OAT MILK

Do not presoak the oats and then rinse them

…because you’ll remove all the nutrients and it will actually make it even slimier because water + oats = slime (think of when you eat oatmeal). Rinsing them does nothing to remove the slime. You need that starch anyway, if you’re aiming for a creamier oat milk, not a watery one.

Amylase is the only way to eliminate slime

Use an enzyme called amylase. It is present in our saliva, and in many foods such as avocados and papayas, as well as honey, but you NEED to use the powdered form of it, as the natural foods are not as accurate enough to remove the slime (yes, I tried doing it with honey, see Outtake below). You can read the PopSci article for the science behind it.

Do not overblend

I saw recipes saying to blend for 5 minutes, others for 1 minute – no. Absolutely not. You cannot blend for more than 30 seconds, and if you have a Vitamix, crank it up to setting 10 and then blend for 15 seconds. The more you blend it, the slimier it becomes, but the good news is that with amylase, all the slime disappears anyway. Even so, don’t overblend.

YOUR STRAINER MATTERS

If you use a very thick weave nut milk bag, you can feel it slime out as you squeeze it if you use a very tightly woven nut milk bag, best suited for almond or cashew milk, but NOT FOR OAT MILK.

I have not tried nut milk bags with my recipe to be honest with you, but with the other recipes that failed, I noticed it was best if it’s cheesecloth with a looser weave or a mesh.

If you follow my steps below, I just strain it through a wider mesh to start, pasteurize it, then run it through a superfine mesh to finish, and that’s it, no nut milk bag  nonsense (which was the real main deterrent to making my own milk as I hate doing this step).

With my recipe you may not even want or need to strain it a second time with the superfine mesh depending on how you want to use it, as the oat pieces in there become little tiny bits, and it isn’t unpleasant to drink it as-is, cold, like a thick creamy oat drink, with a egg nog-like texture and tiny bits of oats that aren’t too unpleasant.

However if you are like me, and you want to add your oat milk to coffee or tea, you will need probbaly to strain it with a fine mesh or run it through a cheesecloth to get rid of the fine bits, as when I drank my oat milk latte, I felt the little bits stick in my throat.

I purchased a Vegan Milker by Chufamix to make this easier on me. So far, it works well for the second step of straining it after it has been thickened by pasteurizing it.

You MAY need some fat

You can use other nuts like cashews to obtain this fat (hence the 5-minute blending in many recipes), or you can use coconut flakes to get the coconut milk (but then the flavour of coconut is extremely strong and off putting for my teas).

Commercial oat milks simply add oil so that is what I was doing. I could add other kinds of fats, and maybe I will consider things like almond butter or some other kind of neutral-tasting butter because I am also not sold on sunflower oil either.

I experimented without the oil, and it seemed to work out for me, but if you are missing a creamy mouthfeel you need to add fat. Just be aware that you might taste it, if you are not masking it with anything else, like salt, or sugar.

YOU HAVE TO PASTEURIZE IT

Without pasteurization, you will not get that thick, creamy texture from oats. It will stay watery, and never bond together which means it will separate in the fridge all the time. The trick is to pasteurize it after you make it, and THEN to strain it. More on that in the recipe notes.

WarmING up the OAT MILK = SLIME

…UNLESS you use amylase powder. It is inevitable. Heat equals slime, which is not so hot for people like me who want to use it in a latte. So if you work on the other oat milk recipes and wonder why each time it looks great but then you warm it up and slime bomb hits – that’s why, especially if you don’t use amylase to eat the slime.

HOMEMADE NON SLIMY, ACTUALLY CREAMY BUT NOT WATERY OAT MYLK RECIPE

It makes about 2.5 cups of oat milk and the three key things to reach commercial perfection are:

  1. Amylase powder to kill all of the slime.
  2. Pasteurization to make it creamy and bond it together so it stops separating and you can keep it longer than 2-3 days.
  3. Two straining steps – one is with a wider mesh to just remove the big bits before pasteurizing it, and the second is with the finer mesh, but it is optional. Only bother with it if you want a smoother, creamy oat milk, but if you don’t mind a bit of oat milk grit (e.g. eating it with your cereal), just skip this second step.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.67 grams of food-grade amylase powder (I use this one) – it should be less than a teaspoon if you are measuring it correctly
  • 3 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of dry oats (do not soak them, and any kind is fine though I hear steel cut oats are too dense for this)
  • [ Optional – I suggest trying with and without ] — 2 tablespoons of a neutral oil (or you can also use cashews or coconut flakes, but then it just adds more in terms of cost and complexity, not to mention unwanted flavours like coconut). I did not find I needed the oil because all I could taste was sunflower oil, but you may find you need it.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. [ If you do the optional oil ] Emulsify the oil with water. In a Vitamix, I set it to Power 1. I pour in 4 cups of cold water, and blend while slowly drizzling in 2 tablespoons of the sunflower oil.
  2. Add the 1 cup of dry oats with the 1.67 grams of amylase powder and blend it on Vitamix Power 10 for 15 seconds (NO MORE THAN THAT).
  3. Let it sit for 10 minutes in the blender to let the magical amylase remove the slime.
  4. Strain into a bowl with a LOOSE cheesecloth or a wide-mesh strainer just to get rid of the big pieces of oats. Do not do a superfine mesh at this point, you will lose all that starch and creaminess you need when you go to pasteurize & thicken it.
  5. Now pasteurize it to also thicken it. Boil it on the stove until you see steam rise from the liquid. You need to get it to boil at 195 Fahrenheit / 90.55 Celsius. I have no idea how to measure this, as I don’t have fancy kitchen gadgets, so I did it until I saw it bubble at the top and a bit of steam rise. I took it off the stove, put it in a bowl to let it cool down. At this point you MAY see clumps of oat milk, it will look like maybe it has curdled. Do not fret. If you see it stay watery/liquid-y then it is not going to be creamy later. You WANT those thick curds. What you can also do, is basically monitor it until it gets to the creamy texture you want. Not too watery, not too thick, then take it off the stove.
  6. Once cooled down, you can mix it. You could simply mix it with a spoon to break up the clumps. Now your oat milk is pretty much ready. The amylase enzymes have been killed so it will not continue to change the flavour of your milk, and you can keep the oat milk for a lot longer than 2 days. You will also notice that there will be no separation at all in the oat milk unlike other recipes, because this steps bonds everything together if you have enough starch to do so.
  7. For this last step, you have to taste it. If you still taste little bits of grain, now you can strain into a bowl with a superfine mesh strainer or a cheesecloth – whatever works for you, and since it is already thickened / pasteurized, you will not lose that creamy thickness. I made the mistake of straining it first with a fine mesh, and I ended up with watery, separated oat milk. It wasn’t bad as a milk to add to powdered drink blends, but it wasn’t thick & creamy enough for a latte.
  8. Enjoy your homemade commercial oat milk.

I use the Vegan Milker to strain it, but any mesh strainer will work if it is fine enough. I find this one very fine, and I have to use a wooden spoon to rub against the mesh part to “squeeze” the milk through so that it gets the creamy bits without the oat grit.

RESULT

I am now drinking the thick, creamy oat milk with the amylase and it is fantastic. ZERO slime. Just like the commercial oat milks.

Since it is pasteurized, you don’t have to drink it in 2-3 days.

You can keep it for much, much longer. How much longer? I do not know. I am planning on making a batch weekly, and if that works out, I will make a batch bi-weekly and pour them into jars to keep in the fridge.

REMOVING OIL + SALT + SUGAR

I did not add any salt or sugar, and I even removed the oil, so this will not have the same flavour as commercial oat milks if you do not. You will need to experiment with adding salt and sugar if you want to reach their flavour profiles.

I am trying to go with “as simple as possible” and then add things as I see fit.

Even the sunflower oil that I added, 6 tablespoons to 6 cups of oats (I made about 3.3L out of this, with 18 cups of water), I found that I could taste the sunflower oil because I added nothing else in the mixture. No salt, no sugar, and the sunflower oil was faint, but offputting. I would rather have no additives, and just taste slightly sweet oat milk.

To make up for the creaminess, I now make it with 8 cups of water, instead of 9. It makes it a little thicker, and I only do oats + water.

HOW TO MAKE 2 LITERS

To make 3-ish liters of oat milk, it is 6 cups of oats with 16 cups of cold water, along with 5 grams of amylase and this is what I got out of it – 3 litres and a third:

OAT MYLK WILL SEPARATE NATURALLY

It is going to separate like this. This is natural, even after two filtrations and pasteurization. I shake it up each time I want to use it, and it works a treat.

OUTTAKE WITH HONEY

Version 2: made with honey for “natural” amylase

I made a version of this with 2 teaspoons of honey, and it was FAR less slimy than when I made it without the honey so if you are okay with that and don’t want to buy amylase powder, go for it.

I will say that when I drank it, it was still a very tiny bit slimy, but a heck of a lot better than what I had before trying these other homemade recipes.

I would blend the honey, oil and water together before adding the dry oats at the end. It worked out pretty well, but it had a slight flavour of honey, obviously, with a tiny bit of slime. The slime got slightly slimier as I heated it up in the microwave in my matcha latte.

Still, it was better than all the other kitchen recipes I tried, if that’s your thing rather than a powder.

But if you want commercial perfection with no slime, the amylase powder is key.

MY MYLK IS STILL WATERY

It is one of two reasons from what I can gather from my experiments:

  1. You strained it with a fine mesh strainer before you pasteurized it, and strained out all the starch and goodness, needed to bond the mylk together to thicken it. I made the mistake of fine mesh straining it after I blended it and let it cool, and it removed ALL that thick starch that I needed. When I went to boil it on the stove, it stayed as a liquid, and separated in the jar in the fridge.
  2. You added too much water and not enough oats. I also made this mistake and did not have enough oats for this batch, but did not remove a cup of water to account for it. I suppose it simply didn’t have enough starch to begin with… and then I went and removed most of it in my first mistake by straining it through a fine mesh first, before pasteurizing.
  3. You could also try to boil it over the stove to make it thicken a bit more, but if you did Mistake #1 and strained it too much at the start, then there’s no going back… unless you didn’t toss out the oat bits and you can mix it back into the liquid again.

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS

You can also add other stuff in there like salt, pea proteins, or whatever else to try and really replicate “OATLY” or other similarly excellent commercial oat milks.

You could do cool things like add in spices, sugar, maybe maybe your own “oat milk nog”, or whatever’s out there.

I have avoided all of this because I want to see if I can add and do as little as possible to it for now.

I am not a fan of drinking all that salt and sugar every day in my latte…. I just really liked the creamy texture of oat milk and now I have it. Forever. For way cheaper than $10 a bottle.

ENJOY.

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