For the last five years I’ve embarked on some sort of New Year clean eating plan. Sometimes it’s just Dry January, once the Food Lover’s Cleanse, and for the past couple of years it’s been an “elimination diet” which I promise is way easier than it sounds:
No gluten, dairy, sugar, caffeine, or alcohol.
This year, I had planned the same elimination diet. But then a week before the ball drop, I signed up for my first half marathon (!) and my new training schedule means I’m ravenous post-run. I know, I know, this doesn’t mean that I can’t also do the cleanse, but I figure that my body wants carbs (and gluten) to keep me going. And who am I to argue with myself?
What I can’t argue with, is that my body does not like dairy pre-, or even post-run. I love my cheese, and don’t you dare take that away from me, but milk and yogurt? Sorry dairy buds, I think we need to take a break.
Enter the non-dairy milk. Even if you’re a-OK with dairy, you’ve likely run into almond and soy milk. Maybe you’ve also tried cashew, pistachio, rice, or any other variety of non-dairy alternatives. Recently, I discovered oat milk, which, if you’re making your milks at home, is far more budget-friendly, faster to make, and absolutely delicious.
- 1 C old-fashioned rolled oats – if you are gluten-sensitive, check your packaging to make sure your oats are gluten-free (Bob’s Red Mill is awesome)
- 3 C filtered water
- Pinch of salt – I prefer pink Himalayan salt
- Optional: maple syrup, honey, dates, or sweetener of choice
- Optional: vanilla, cinnamon, or other flavoring spices
- Cheese cloth or nut milk bag
Combine the oats and water into your blender and blend on high until smooth. Times will vary depending on your blender. My Vitamix takes just 1 minute.
Pour the mixture through a cheese cloth into a bowl or pitcher and squeeze the pulp until there is no additional liquid left. Discard the oat pulp (or use for bread-making!) and refrigerate the oat milk until cold.
Optional: After straining, taste milk and add sweetener or flavoring of your choice and blend again until incorporated.
Milk will keep for 3 days. Separation is natural, just shake before serving.
For thicker milk, feel free to skip the straining. Just give your milk an extra whirl to make sure it’s ultra-smooth. I put my Vitamix on high and let it go for 30 seconds.
Do NOT heat the milk or the proteins in the oats will begin to cook and become gooey (and gross).