Updated: Jul 26
When transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle, a common item that might need to be replaced is milk. Since it usually comes in single-use plastic packaging or non-recyclable carton packaging.
Although I am not a huge milk drinker to begin with, I enjoy adding a splash into my smoothies, having it as a base for hot chocolate, and also for a nice bowl of cereal.
A couple years ago I discovered the absolute wonders of OATS. They are extremely cost beneficial, insanely versatile, are found in almost every bulk section at a grocery store, and for Vermont - they are local! Talk about hitting all the key components right?
*If you do not have access to a bulk store or have allergies and can't shop in the bulk section, oats do come wrapped in compostable bulk-size paper packaging at most stores. So you can still be zero-waste!
Oats are also way more environmentally friendly than the other dairy alternative - Almond milk, which is an extreme water intensive crop. For just one almond, it takes roughly 1.1 gallons of water to make!!! Mind blowing. If you want to read more about almonds and water check out this article by Mother Jones.
Below is my simple and quick Oat Milk recipe
The recipe is good to store for 4-5 days.
Prep time: 15 minutes. However, you have the option to soak oats overnight.
If you would like to watch a video of me making the recipe, it can be found here.
You will need:
1 cup of rolled oats
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon of vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon of real maple syrup (optional)
1 high-speed blender
1 cheesecloth for straining
1 measuring cup
1 airtight container for storing the oat milk
1 large stirring utensil
If you want to make more, just double the recipe.
For reference: I ended up doubling the recipe in the photos/video shown.
Pour 1 cup of oats and 4 cups of water into a pitcher. Have it soak overnight, for a couple hours, or immediately follow the next steps. I prefer soaking them overnight to make it extra creamy.
Take your soaked oats and pour everything into a blender. Blend on your medium setting for one minute (maybe longer dependent on your blender), until it looks like all the oats are blended into the water.
Strain the oat milk into a cheese cloth over the pitcher or the airtight container you will be storing the milk in.
Add the tablespoon of vanilla or almond extract and maple syrup to sweeten the milk, stir for a moment.
Store the milk in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 4-5 days. You will notice that it is going bad once it gets really slimy. Adding the sugar will help preserve it to the 5 days.
What to do with the leftover oats? I usually keep the oats in the cheese cloth and add it into my bath for a milk bath. Or if I am planning to bake, I will pour the oats into a bowl, add some maple syrup and cinnamon and sprinkle it on top of a crumble, muffins or pies. If neither of those options sounds good to you, be sure to compost the oats!
I hope you enjoy!
Be sure to tag @sustainabilitybosslady when making the recipe.
To sustainability and beyond!