The most common alternative to dairy milk is soya milk. But non-dairy milk shouldn’t stop with soya. I personally try to consume less soya for a number of reasons but the bottom line is that I feel better when my consumption of soya is relatively low in general.
There are quite a few other delicious alternative to dairy available out there like rice milk, almond milk, quinoa milk and oat milk. All can be purchased in stores or health shops. But some of these are quite pricey when you think that you may be consuming them on a daily basis.
One easy recipe to make at home at a fraction of the price of store bought ones is oat milk. There are already a lot of recipes online for oat milk. Some people make it with cooked oats but I have tried the raw oats recipe and this one works better for me. The cooked version results in a slightly slimey consistency which is not great in beverages. It would be fine in cakes, scones or cookies though.
Anyway, the raw oats recipe is much less time consuming and very delicious!
The byproduct of oat milk is the oat pulp that remains in the sieve or fabric after you’ve strained the milk. Even though, you’ve squeeze out the liquid from it, it is still quite nutritious. So, you can use it in a number of ways like eating it as porridge or adding it into cakes batters, cookie or scone dough as I do. They even make a great facial mask mixed with mashed avocado and fresh turmeric.
Now, here goes the basic oat milk recipe. This is such an easy recipe that I wondered why I haven’t been doing this before!
Oat Milk Recipe
Ingredients (makes 1 litre of oat milk)
1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats (or any other types will do)
1 litre water (at room temperature)
- Soak the oats in the water for about 20 minutes but not more or it will start becoming slimey. (You can do the soaking directly in a blender. If you are short of time, you can actually omit the soaking, especially if you are using fine oats).
- Pour in a blender.
- Blend for one minute (until oats are very fine and well mixed).
- Strain through a fine mesh fabric (like cheesecloth).
- Squeeze out all liquid from the oat residue (but not too much or you’ll get the slime).
- Pour in a fridge jug or bottle and consume within 2 days.
Shake well each time before using.
Edit (June 27, 2014): I have now uploaded a video on my Youtube Channel. There is a slight modification in the recipe which I find has improved the taste and holds the milk better together is using a tablespoon of coconut flakes with the oats.
Edit (November 22, 2014): I have had a lot of questions about how to use the leftover oat pulp. So, here is a cookie recipe where I use the oat pulp. And the video below.
As I said before, oat milk can be used just as any non-dairy milk to substitute in recipes. I have made scones, cakes, frosting, curry sauce, white sauce (for lasagna) and they all turned out great so far.
I like oat milk in my tea but from time to time I like to make the classic Mauritian favourite cold beverage which is Alouda. Alouda is the Mauritian version of the South Asian Falooda. It is originally made with cow’s milk but here’s a delicious oat milk version.
Alouda requires jelly (which should be made in advanced) and soaked basil seeds (also known as tukmaria). Instead of jelly, you can also used cooked transparent vermicelli. The milk can be flavoured with almond extract, amaretto syrup, vanilla, rose syrup, any flavour you like. I’ve made an amaretto flavoured one and a blueberry one (blending the blueberries with the milk before adding the jelly and seeds).
Oat Milk Alouda Recipe
Ingredients (for 2 pint-size glasses)
1 inch agar agar strands
1 teaspoon basil seeds
1/2 cup (100ml) water
700ml oatmilk (preferably cold)
Flavour of your choice (amaretto, almond extract, vanilla essence, rose syrup)
Sugar or other sweetener to taste
- Place 1 inch of agar agar strands with 500ml water in a pan and bring to boil until all has dissolved. (I usually find it easier to cut through the agar agar strands with a pair of scissors. One inch is usually how much I would use to get a firm consistency with 500ml water.)
- Pour in a bowl and allow to cool in a place where it won’t be disturbed or moved. Then transfer to the fridge until firm. (about 2 hours)
- Place basil seeds in 1/2 cup water and allow to soak.
- The seeds will become swollen and coated with a film. They are ready to be used as such.
- When jelly is firm, grate it. You can also chop to pieces if you prefer.
- Flavour the oatmilk. Add sugar to taste. Pour into two pint-glasses. Place some jelly and one tablespoon of soaked basil seeds. Add ice if desired and it’s ready.
Enjoy on a hot day!