I can almost guarantee you’ve heard of oat milk, the dairy milk substitute sweeping the nation. If you haven’t, it’s simple. This “magical” mixture of rolled oats and water seems to be offering a way out of our dairy environmental catastrophe.
Let’s face the facts. Dairy farming is the single largest agricultural sector in the UK, worth 3.8 billion pounds. Cow’s milk helps make a great cuppa or bowl of cereal; I do admit. But most of our population are oblivious to the cataclysmic environmental effects of having that morning cappuccino.
To raise and profit from a dairy cow, a LOT of water and energy is needed. Actually, according to BBC’s Climate Change Food Calculator, drinking a single glass of milk every day for a year contributes to 229kg of your greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to heating a house for 36 days, or driving a petrol car 941 kilometres. As well as this, you are using 45,733 litres of water. And then to think this is what the majority of the population is getting through, if not more; it is pretty shocking.
Do you see what I mean? As a nation we must change to an alternative, and there are many to choose from. You’ve got soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, almond milk, and many more. However, none of these beat oat milk. Everything seems perfect: it uses three times less of the resources that cow’s milk does (3,512L of water used if you drink a glass a day for a year, as well as 65kg of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to cow’s milk’s 45,733kg). Additionally, oats can be grown in the UK with not much space, and it contains few allergens as well as being healthy and natural. But the best advantage in my opinion: it tastes incredible along with its thick and silky consistency, which brands like Oatly profit from. Baristas are already in love!
However, there’s always gotta be a drawback. Oat milk can be EXPENSIVE. Like, very expensive. This is probably why people are put off, they don’t need an “expensive vegan alternative” when they could just have cheap, yummy cow’s milk. Well, I’ve got a solution to this.
Oat milk is incredibly easy to make at home. See, I have never even baked a successful cake before, yet I managed it. For the price of usual rolled oats, literally water, a fine strainer, and some other optional sweeteners, you can have a bottle for yourself. It’s almost suspiciously easy, which, to be honest, we all need right now.
Oat Milk Recipe
- Soak 1 cup of rolled oats in ice water for half an hour
- Strain and pour the oats into a blender, along with 4 cups of ice water (you want to keep the mixture as cold as possible, as heat tends to make it “slimy” and unpleasant)
- [OPTIONAL] If you don’t like unsweetened milk, for natural sweetening you can add a date or maple syrup
- Blend for 30 seconds to 45 seconds (don’t worry if it isn’t fully smooth)
- You need to strain it to leave the pulp behind using a very fine mesh. A “nut milk bag” is most commonly used, which you can buy in shops or online, or you can experiment with a cheesecloth/old t-shirt or towel
You’re done! There are a lot of tutorials online, but I found this method super easy and doable. Enjoy your home-made oat milk!
By Dom McWilliams