If you know me or if you've read about my health journey, you'll know cereal and milk is/was my kryptonite. Cereal is truly my favorite food and I have no self control around it whatsoever, which is why I mostly gave it up many years ago. J insists on buying cereal despite my desperate begging that he please not, but when he does I force him to hide it in a high cabinet where its completely out of my reach and out of my sight because I fully distrust myself around a tasty box of cereal.
Before I became vegan, when I gave up cereal many years ago, I also by default ended up giving up milk too. At the time I was drinking cows milk every day, under the false belief that it was healthy, normal, and good for my bones. I never questioned cows milk until I gave up cereal for many months, then in a fit of desperation I caved in one day and had an enormous bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with cows milk. My body had grown accustomed to little-to-no dairy during my cereal fast so when I went to have milk again, it nearly destroyed me. I was sick for days and so upset that my favorite food had come back to haunt me. I later discovered that not only is cows milk not actually good for humans at all, but its also completely cruel and abnormal. More on that another time.
Enter non-dairy milk. A blessing and a curse for me, as it gave me the opportunity to binge on cereal as much as I wanted, without my insides crying for mercy. I've been a fan of almond milk for several years, using it in everything from smoothies to overnight oats and yes, bowls of cereal every now and then, but I've always been curious about how to step things up a notch by making it myself instead of purchasing it at the store. I never stopped to look at the ingredients (unusual for me, since I always do) of store-bought nut milks but I was displeased when I realized they have a long list of chemicals and preservatives that I'm not comfortable with, so today I decided to take the plunge and make my own natural milk at home. Not only does it save money down the line, but it also is healthier, fresher, and so much more rich in flavor.
What I realized today when I made my first batch was: this shit is easy! The illusive homemade non-dairy milk has been demystified and its completely foolproof. All you need is your nut or grain of choice, some water, a blender, and something to strain it with (if you want), and if desired, any sweetener of choice.
I decided to go with Oat Milk because its cheaper than nuts and I have too much oatmeal in my pantry that I need to use, but essentially the same process would apply to any ingredient you choose. For the strainer, I recently purchased a nut milk bag but you can use cheese cloth or a very fine strainer. And for sweetener, I used a few drops of vanilla extract but you can flavor it as desired.
The result was a creamy, oat-y, slightly sweet milk perfect for smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, coffee, or anywhere else you might want a little milky flavor.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 3 cups filtered water
- A few drops of vanilla extract
- Mix oats and water in blender. Blend until smooth.
- Using clean nut milk bag or desired strainer, carefully pour milk from strainer into bag over a large bowl (in case of spillage from the bag).
- Squeeze thoroughly through corners of the bag until all water has drained out and only pulp remains.
- Rinse out blender and pour strained milk back into blender.
- Add a few drops of vanilla extract and quickly blend until mixed.
- Pour final milk product into airtight container (like a mason jar) and refrigerate.
- Oat milk will last refrigerated for 2-3 days.
- This makes about 16 ounces of milk.
- Total time to make is about 5-10 minutes.
- Recipe inspired by The Conscientious Eater.
If you try it out, let me know what you think in the comments or on Instagram. And if you seasoned milk-makers out there have any tips, please share as well!