How to make decent oat milk that’s great for coffee and cuts down on packaging waste

Scattered dry oats

Yep, I got the idea from my husband’s all-time favourite milk for coffee – Oatly Oat Drink – Barista Edition. We used to get through tons of the stuff before we decided to cut down on the waste we produce.

Shop-bought oat milks tend to come in Tetra Pak cartons. While these aren’t the worst bit of packaging around, much of the carton is not recyclable, and we were getting through several packs, not just of oat milk, but almond milk too, on a weekly basis. We decided it was high time we made our own. (We now make hazelnut milk using this nut-milk method – it’s our new favourite.)

Recycling is a great place to start but a bad place to stop.

Lindsay Miles

How hard is it to make?

This is an easy, quick and fuss-free oat milk recipe. It requires no cooking, soaking (unlike nut milks), special ingredients or equipment. You can make it at a moment’s notice – as soon as you run out of your previous batch. It’s made from store cupboard ingredients with a long shelf-life.

How long does it take?

About ten minutes.

Do I need any special equipment?

Nope! The most exotic thing you’ll need, if you don’t have one already, is a tea infuser. This was one of our great buys when we started drinking loose leaf tea. Now, it serves the dual purpose of being a great milk strainer, too.

You’ll also need a blender/food processor, and an airtight glass container to store your milk in the fridge – a reused glass bottle with a twisty lid will do.

How much does it cost?

Depends on the oats and oil you use. We’re mimicking a premium product, so let’s look at premium ingredients.

The cheapest gluten-free, organic oats I could find were £2.00 for 350g, and this recipe used about 60g of oats. That’s 34p per 300ml of oat milk.

A really posh oil could cost you about £1.50 per 100ml, and there’s 10ml of oil in this recipe, so that’s 15p per 300ml of milk.

Add a pinch of posh Cornish sea salt (3p) and a heaped teaspoon of organic coconut sugar (8p), and you’re up to 60p per 300ml, or £2.00 per litre.

So it’s basically the same price as barista-style oat milk, except it’s organic, gluten-free, and low waste. It’s also really tasty.

How to save even more

Oats: are a great thing to buy in bulk, or grab at your local plastic-free or zero waste store in exactly the right quantity for you. If you’re on a budget and gluten isn’t an issue, buy regular oats. The remaining pulp can be used in pancakes, overnight oats, porridge and cake recipes.

Oils: choose your favourite kind of liquid oil, and again, get no more than you need from a zero waste shop. Sneaky tip: you know the oil that separates and floats to the top of your peanut butter jar? That stuff is great in this recipe.

Sweetener: you really don’t need organic coconut sugar here. Use whatever you have. I’ve experimented with brown sugar, maple syrup and honey. All were delicious. You could also try adding cinnamon or vanilla for natural sweetness.

The recipe

Oat milk in a pink glass with oats and coffee beans scattered nearby

Homemade oat milk

This is an easy, quick and fuss-free oat milk recipe. No cooking, soaking, special ingredients or equipment required. It’s made from store cupboard ingredients with a long shelf-life. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Drinks

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup (about 60g) oats
  • 2 cups (about 400ml) water
  • 1 tsp coconut palm sugar (or whatever you have)
  • 1 small pinch sea salt
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil

Instructions
 

  • Process all the ingredients in a blender for a minute or so.
  • Strain through a stainless steel tea strainer / infuser until only pulp is left. Swirl a teaspoon around in your strainer to speed up the process. You may need to empty your oat pulp a couple of times (save this for pancakes, muffins, porridge, overnight oats, or cakes).
  • Pour into a coffee and enjoy! 

Notes

You’ll need to stir the drink a few times (no stabilisers here). You can also drink this oat milk on its own (it’s delicious) or use for smoothies, baking, and anything else you fancy!
Keyword oat milk, oat milk recipe, oats, vegan

What do you think? Let me know!