How to make oat milk (that isn’t slimy) with just 5 ingredients- oats, water, dates, vanilla, salt, and optionally nuts or seeds of your choice! It’s inexpensive, creamy, versatile, and ready in just minutes! + Top tips and FAQs!
Homemade oat milk is a creamy and delicious nut-free, non-dairy milk that you can prepare in just minutes (a favorite of mine alongside coconut, and hemp milk). However, unfortunately, the oat starches/enzymes that make them so wonderfully creamy in porridge will lead to slimy DIY oat milk if not treated with care!
Luckily, after many tests, I’ve found a simple, fuss-free method to avoid the slime factor! Following my simple oat milk recipe and top tips, you can enjoy this refreshing plant milk in no time at all, with no pre-soaking, gums, preservatives, or slime!
What is Oat Milk Made Of?
Oat milk -sometimes called oatmeal milk- is simply a combination of oats and water (at its simplest). The two are blended together until creamy and then strained to leave behind a refreshing, non-dairy milk substitute. It’s great for anyone following a dairy-free or lactose-free diet or wanting to choose more environmentally friendly options.
It is also the 2nd most popular dairy-free milk sold (behind almond milk) and is popularly available in regular or ‘barista’ (creamer) versions and even yogurt and ice cream. Unfortunately, commercial oat milk ingredients often contain gums, preservatives, and emulsifiers. And, if they don’t, your wallet often pays the price.
Luckily, by learning how to make oat milk at home, you can make a wonderfully refreshing, creamy drink while 100% in control of the ingredients!
Oat Milk Benefits
- Low environmental impact: Both in terms of gases produced/sustainability and the amount of water required to grow (1/15th that of dairy milk and 1/8th that of almond milk!).
- Diet-friendly: It’s gluten-free (though use certified gluten-free oats/oat flour if you are a celiac), lactose-free, soy-free, and nut-free (unless you want to add nuts for a creamier result!).
- Contains beta-glucan: This soluble fiber found within oats can help to lower bad cholesterol, decreasing the risk of heart disease.
- Has several vitamins and minerals: Oats are particularly known for their levels of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and vitamin B1.
- Contains no saturated fat: And low levels of total fat.
- High fiber: Double the amount of cow’s milk. Plus, it’s cholesterol-free!
- Inexpensive to make at home: It works out a fair bit more budget-friendly than buying store-bought.
The below ingredients are for a simple but delicious vanilla oat milk recipe. However, feel free to omit the vanilla if preferred.
- Oats: It’s best to use oat flour (store-bought or homemade) for this oat milk recipe. Avoid steel-cut oats.
- Water: I recommend using filtered water.
- Dates: 1-2 Medjool dates, pit removed, will subtly sweeten this vanilla oat milk. Besides, dates are a true superfood and offer many health benefits. Feel free to substitute this for your sweetener of choice; date syrup, maple syrup, agave, or sugar-free sweetener drops (like stevia).
- Vanilla extract: Use natural vanilla for the best flavor. Omit this if preferred.
- Salt: Just a pinch of salt will enhance all the flavors in the creamy oat milk.
- Nut flour (optional): Adding some additional nut/seed flour will make creamier milk. Some examples are almond flour, but you could use cashew, sunflower seed flour, etc. Alternatively, you could use the nuts/seeds whole but soaked overnight in water (or boiled for 20 minutes). This will help them blend easier and, as a bonus, remove phytates, too.
You can make your own oat flour and nut/seed flour by grinding the whole ingredients using a high-speed blender or coffee/spice grinder!
Optional add-ins and recipe variations:
Along with vanilla oat milk, there are several other ways to flavor and adapt this drink, including:
- Chocolate: Add 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and a pinch of salt for a rich chocolate oat milk recipe.
- Berries: You can use individual berries (like strawberries or raspberries) or a blend. Use ½ cup (or more to taste). Blend them into a pulp first before adding the remaining ingredients to the blender.
- Cinnamon: A pinch of cinnamon tastes delicious in this DIY oat milk.
- Coffee: Add strongly brewed coffee or espresso in place of some water. Adjust the amount to taste.
- Oil: Adding 1-2 tbsp of neutral oil like sunflower oil or rapeseed oil will help to work as an emulsifier and make for a thicker, creamier mouth-feel. Alternatively, a teaspoon of sunflower lecithin will emulsify the mixture, too.
Please read the recipe card below for the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information.
How to Make Oat Milk (That Isn’t Slimy)?
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for just 10 seconds.
If you’re using a less powerful blender, blend all the ingredients apart from the oat flour first until well combined. Then, add the oat flour and blend for a further 10 seconds for the best texture.
- Then, strain the liquid through a nut milk bag (or through several layers of cheesecloth lining a fine-mesh sieve). Be careful not to squeeze it too much, as it will result in more sliminess.
Some people find that nut milk bags allow too much pulp through and prefer to use a clean t-shirt or thin kitchen towel. Use whichever method you prefer.
- Finally, transfer the milk to a sealable container like a glass bottle, or enjoy immediately (keep reading for my favorite serving recommendations!)
How Long Does Oat Milk Last?
Store: You can store the homemade oat milk in an airtight bottle in the fridge for 3-5 days. When flavoring it, it’s often best to enjoy it within 1-2 days.
Sediment can settle in between uses; this is normal. Just give it a shake before using.
Freeze: It’s technically possible to freeze the oat milk (for up to 6 months), though not highly recommended. Upon thawing, the grains can settle/separate and make for grainier oat milk. You can strain it; however, it may be a little watery/less flavorful. Re-blending it could work, but I haven’t tried.
How to Use It?
There are tons of ways you can enjoy this creamy oat milk, including:
- With cereal/granola
- Add to chia pudding
- In smoothies and milkshakes
- For a creamy matcha latte
- For oatmeal (regular or baked) and overnight oats
- Use to bake – like muffins, cupcakes, and quick breads
- Mix into pasta sauce
- Add to soups
Can you use quick cook oats?
As long as the ingredients list is just 100% oats, then yes, that is fine. I always process quick oats or rolled oats in my electric spice/coffee grinder to make oat flour.
Is oat milk gluten-free?
While oats are technically gluten-free, it’s best to use certified gluten-free oats/ oat flour to ensure there are no traces of gluten (from processing).
Can you heat oat milk?
When heating the milk, the starchy enzymes within can activate and cause it to thicken. If you want to heat the milk, I recommend doing so in 15-second intervals in a microwave, stirring in between or on the stovetop over low heat.
Don’t allow the milk to boil, or it will thicken a lot! Instead, gently warming the milk slowly will achieve the best results.
How do you make oat milk not separate?
Oat milk naturally separates when left to sit. Simply shaking/stirring it should bring it back together.
Commercial versions add lecithin (soy or sunflower lecithin) to plant milks as a binder to stop separating. It’s one of the only ways I know to guarantee a lower risk of separation (even then, it’s not guaranteed). Add 1 teaspoon lecithin to the homemade oat milk when blending.
How do I fortify homemade dairy-free milk?
Many commercial plant-based milks have been fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. To fortify homemade oat milk, you can blend supplements or vitamin powder (like vitamin D, B2, B12) into the milk. Alternatively, you can purchase the vitamin/s as drops (which will impact the flavor less but cost more).
Top Tips to Avoid Slimy Oat Milk
- Don’t soak/rinse the oats: The longer the oats are in contact with water, the slimier the milk will become. I’ve tried several methods involving soaking and/or rinsing oats, all with negative results. This quick method with oat flour works best!
- Don’t use warm/hot water: It will lead to super slimy oat milk as it will activate the enzyme in oats that causes them to thicken (like when making oatmeal). The colder the water, the better.
- Be careful not to over blend: This is the biggest cause of slimy oat milk. 10 seconds is more than enough when using oat flour and a high-speed blender!
- Don’t squeeze too much when draining: Strain it through the nut milk bag straight into a jar/bowl and just squeeze a bit. If you squeeze/press the oats too much, you can cause starches to escape into the milk and make it slimy.
- I’ve heard that adding digestive enzyme capsules (particularly Amylase) to the oat milk can help break down the viscous starches. However, it is not necessary if you follow my recipe!
Other Recipe Notes
- Don’t discard the pulp: Leftover oat pulp can be used in smoothies, added to porridge or overnight oats, or allowed to dry out and added to baked goods, pancakes, and waffles. You can also use it for oat baths, and other skincare uses.
- For the creamiest results: Don’t omit the optional nut/seeds. The creamiest results will come from blending all the ingredients minus the oat flour first (until thoroughly blended), then adding the oat flour for just 10 seconds.
- Adjust the amount of water: Using less will make a creamier milk.
- For extra smooth milk: You can strain it twice.
More Vegan Oat Recipes
- Baked banana oatmeal
- Strawberry oatmeal bars
- Raspberry oatmeal crumble bars
- Banana oat flour pancakes
- Chocolate oat breakfast bars
- Homemade nut-free granola
If you try this method for how to make oat milk, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan #elavegan—I love seeing them.
Homemade Oat Milk
- 1 cup (90 g) ground oats (oat flour - see notes)
- 4 cups (960 ml) water (see notes)
- 1-2 dates pit removed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Pinches of salt
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for 10 seconds. If using a less powerful blender, I recommend blending all ingredients except the oat flour first (for about 30-40 seconds) then adding the oat flour and blending for a further 10 seconds.The longer you blend, the slimier the oat milk turns out.
- Strain the milk through a nut milk bag.
- Transfer to a sealable container like a glass bottle or enjoy immediately with e.g. granola, etc.
- Make your own oat flour by blending rolled oats (regular or gluten-free) in a blender or electric coffee/spice grinder. Alternatively, you can use plain oats, but the oat milk turns out better with ground oats.
- I use Medjool dates, but you can use other dates as well. Use 1-2, depending on how sweet you prefer it.
- Don’t use warm or hot water: It will lead to slimy oat milk, as it will activate the enzyme in oats that causes them to thicken.
- Optional add-ins: Adding 3-4 tablespoons of almond flour (or any nut/seed flour like cashews, sunflower seeds) will make the milk creamier and richer.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
I have a bag of oat flour. If I was to use that instead of rolled oats. I’m thinking I can just blend the dates into the water with the vanilla and salt…then just add the oat flour to the water and mix with a spoon…then strain? Any advice would be great because I have a ton of this oat flour. Thank you.
Hi Ed, I am using oat flour, not rolled oats. So, you can just follow my recipe as written. 🙂
Add the powder from a digestive enzyme capsule to stop the slim
Hi Jim, I know, I actually mentioned it in the post, however, it is not necessary if you make my recipe. The oat milk won’t be slimy if you follow my method. 😀
Ella I really enjoy your recipes, although I am gluten free and soy free and dairy free – I find many of the recipes I can adapt. I am writing you this because I just read an article posted by Dr. Joe Mercola that oats are some of the most toxic grains out there that have been sprayed with roundup (glyphosate). So much food is poisoned but being vegetarian I am sure you are also very concerned about the quality of the vegetables and grains you do ingest. So I thought I would pass this on.
Hi Cynthia, thanks for sharing. I think it’s always best to buy organic oats and organic produce if it’s available. 🙂
Going to try this! I’ve been using an almond cow to make milk but using just the rolled oats. Will try by grinding the oats first. Thanks!!
You are so welcome, Michelle! Enjoy! 🙂
Will this milk froth?
Hi Carol, since it doesn’t contain fat, it won’t froth well. You could blend it with some nuts/seeds or add a little oil to help with this. 🙂