It's so easy you can whip up a batch before your morning coffee.

By Adina Steiman
Updated July 03, 2020
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Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners

With its creamy, vaguely nutty flavor, oat milk has emerged as one of the most popular plant-based milks. But if you've gotten into the habit of pouring oat milk into your coffee, over your granola, or using it in baking, it can be shocking how quickly a full carton turns into an empty one. So why not try your hand at making it yourself? As with anything homemade, there's the built-in benefit of customization: You get to choose how sweet your oat milk is, and whether to add any extra flavoring. The best part? It's so fast to make that you can whip up a batch before your morning coffee. Let's get started.

1. Stock up on Oats

There's no need to source fancy steel-cut oats for this recipe—regular plain old-fashioned rolled oats work best. Steel-cut oats, aka Irish oats, or other types of oat grouts can be too tough, and won't get tender enough during their brief soak to blend into oat milk. Likewise, try to steer clear of quick-cooking or instant oats since they're too flimsy, and will tend to get slimy when soaked.

2. Soak Them (Just Briefly) and Rinse

Softening your oats in water helps plump them up to they can release all their goodness when they're blended. But soaking oats isn't nearly as time-consuming as soaking beans. Just 15 minutes of soaking will give them all the softening they'll need. Be sure to set a timer for this, though—if you let them soak for longer than that, the texture of your oat milk won't be as enjoyable. Once your oats have soaked, drain them in a fine-mesh strainer (feel free to toss that soaking liquid) and rinse until the water runs clear, about 30 seconds, to get rid of any starches that are clinging to the oats.

3. Combine with Your Sweetener, Flavoring, and Water

To evoke the slight sweetness and richness of real milk, adding a little sweetener, and flavoring is a good idea. Transfer the soaked, rinsed, and drained oats to a blender and add a touch of maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Then add 4 cups of fresh water.

4. Blend Until Smooth

Now's the time to process the oat mixture until it looks smooth. This will take about 30 seconds. If you see some oats clinging to the side of the container, just turn off the blender and scrape down the sides and start blending again.

5. Strain, Chill, and Serve

Once your mixture is fully blended, you're ready to strain it. Clean the same fine-mesh strainer you used to rinse the oats, and set it over a large bowl. Pour the oat mixture through the strainer, pressing on the solids with a large spoon or ladle to extract the most from the solids. Then transfer to a resealable quart container and chill in the fridge. Once chilled, your oat milk will be ready to pour into coffee or tea (iced or hot), over cereals—you can even use them instead of milk in your baked oatmeal.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Oat Milk