Oat milk (aka oat drink) is a solution of water and finely ground oats. It has no real flavour, either pleasant or unpleasant.
It thickens up in cooking, like cow’s milk. It can even be used in custards and cakes, mashed potatoes, etc.
You can buy oat milk already made in stores. It is sold in vacuum sealed tetra paks on regular (i.e. not chilled) shelves. You can get it plain and flavoured.
Commercial versions may be fortified so that nutritionally it will come close to cow’s milk. They may also contain, in addition to oats and water, canola oil and barley flour.
When using purchased versions, shake well before use. Once opened, store refrigerated and use within 5 days.
Oat milk is popular in Sweden, and has been popularized by Swedes outside the country. A Swedish brand of oat milk was launched in the UK in 2001 under the brand name of “Oatly.”
To make oat milk, use a proportion of 1 part oats to 2 parts water. Either whiz in a blender then strain, or without a blender just mix, let stand overnight, then strain.
Don’t cook the oats first, start with them dry.
Store refrigerated and use within 3 to 5 days.
The strained-out oat slurry doesn’t have to be wasted. It can be incorporated into meat loaves, patties, casseroles, muffins, breads, puddings, etc.
Oat milk can also be made from sprouted oats. Sprout 4 tablespoons of oats by soaking overnight in water, then allow to sprout for 1 1/2 days or until the root tip is just emerging. Put in blender with 1 cup (8 oz / 250 ml) of water, whiz for 30 seconds, add 2/3 cup (5 oz / 150 ml) more of water, blend another 30 seconds, then strain.
Flavouring can be added to either homemade version.