Plastic free and zero waste recipes: homemade oat milk

Homemade oat milk

Inside: Avoid plastic by learning how quick and easy it is to make your own oat milk. Plus bonus recipes for chocolate oat milk and oat milk smoothies.

Having considered many alternatives to cow's milk and discounted them (based on their packaging, the time they took to make or their environmental footprint) I was almost ready to admit defeat when I came across a simple alternative which can be made easily and uses local, organic ingredients which are sustainably farmed and easily found in plastic free packaging. Homemade oat milk has now become my favourite dairy alternative. Try it for yourself and you will see why...

Ingredients:
Oats (preferably locally sourced and organic)
Oats are widely available from supermarkets in paper bags or you can buy them online from Plastic Free Pantry.
Water

Optional:
Vanilla extract
Dates
Dates can be bought plastic free by taking your own containers to a plastic free shop (The Zero Waster has put together a handy list of plastic free shops) or you can buy online from Plastic Free Pantry.

If you like the taste of oats then you will probably love the taste of oat milk with nothing added. But for those of you who are less keen on the oaty taste, you can try adding in a few drops of vanilla extract and/or 2/3 dates to add sweetness and to disguise the oaty flavour.

I tend to use 3 cups of water to every 1 cup of oats but you can play around with the measurements until you are happy with the consistency.

Method:
Place the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until it looks smooth.
Strain the liquid through a sieve or cheesecloth to strain out the oat pulp.
Put the liquid in the fridge to cool.
Consume within 2-3 days.

I usually use a hand blender as it seems to be just as effective as a big blender and it creates a lot less washing up. 

BONUS RECIPE 1: plastic free chocolate milk 
To turn your oat milk into delicious chocolate milk just add a couple of spoons of chocolate powder. For a super healthy version use cacao powder or for something a little sweeter you can add drinking chocolate powder. You can order plastic free, organic cacao powder and organic cocoa powder from Plastic Free Pantry. 

BONUS RECIPE 2: plastic free fruit smoothies
You can also turn oat milk into a delicious smoothie by adding fruit to the blender. I usually add bananas and frozen berries (because I can get loose bananas and loose berries plastic free at my local post office) but you can experiment with what you add. To add sweetness you can try adding a couple of extra dates or a teaspoon of honey. 

If you are wondering what to do with the discarded oat pulp, I usually add it to my breakfast cereal. If you are feeling more adventurous and have more time on your hands you could use it in flapjacks or energy balls instead. 

Sound good? Why not sit back and relax with a glass of oat milk whilst checking out our other plastic free guides.