ON BEING BETTER: HOMEMADE OAT MILK
Well, there goes the holiday season once more. I hope everyone ate enough sugar and drank enough “fun” juices. Is it just me or does it go faster and faster each year? I feel like I mentally prepare for it months in advance, but mentally never equates to me actually being ready for it, since I always think I have more time. Then, Christmas comes and I realize that I have not baked enough cookies and have not mailed out the cards (sorry everyone) and it’s the week of and I panic and I just throw my hands up in the air and silently yell at myself because I failed at adulting…again. ADULTING.IS.SO.HARD!
But now it’s a new year and maybe, just maybe (not making big promises here), I can be a little better this year. I tell myself that I need to make a list and I actually should look at it because making a list but not checking it twice (or at all) makes said list pretty useless. I may as well give it to my dog to look at (he stares at me with judgement as I say this). BUT, I did buy myself an actual journal for this year so that I can start planning ahead in a timely fashion (crossing fingers). This is my new mantra, just to be BETTER. I don’t really make resolutions, but I do try my best each year to be a better person in general (not always so easy), to be better at what I do, and to treat myself better. The latter is probably the hardest for me because I do tend to over extend myself a lot and then I wonder why I am so exhausted and realize that I miss my couch so much!
I also try to eat better, but you know, when there’s a new place to try out and certain things are on the menu (like truffle fries and pork belly), it’s so hard to say “I’ll have a salad with my non-fun juice.” So, I will try my best to eat better or better yet, I will try my best to moderate. Maybe moderation is more the key rather than total deprivation of things I enjoy.
On my list of things to do more of is to make breads and nut milks. I did make my own sourdough starter recently, and once I get a decent bread out of it, I’ll jibber-jabber about that, too. So far, it’s been good taste/texture-wise for my first try, but just lacking in the crust and pretty part. But that’s for another time. For now, let me talk to you about making non-dairy alternative milks. Because you know, sometimes my tummy can get a little out of whack. Now, don’t panic, I’m not going vegan or paleo here. I still love my dairy products, maybe a little too much. I’m just trying to be a little BETTER in any way I can, whenever I can.
I was reading up a lot on making alternative milks, and this book here is a good read if you want to know more about it. I will try making actual nut milks too, but for now, I thought I’d start on what I always have handy dandy: oats. Yup, you can make oat milk. If you are an avid fan of oatmeal, you’ll recognize that creamy oat-y taste when you make this.
I typically make smoothies in the morning to drink on my way to work, and have been adding store-bought oat milk for extra protein. It also keeps me fuller, longer. When I found out how easy it is to make at home, I started to do cartwheels, in my head only of course, because I’m accident-prone and doing actual cartwheels would surely land me in the E.R., and that’s not how I want to start the new year.
Anyway, here’s the super-duper easy oat milk recipe. And when I say easy, I mean you can do this in like 5 minutes or less, depending on how great your blender is and how fast your hands can squeeze the bejeezus out of these oats.
Note: if you don’t like the taste of plain oatmeal, you can always add agave, honey, vanilla extract or any flavor that sounds appealing to you. Also, oat milk can get thick if heated, and it’s great for baking muffins, and you can use the left over oats to make such muffins with. It is also ideal for adding to smoothies, cereals, and even your coffee. Depending on how thick or thin you want the milk, you can add more or less water. You can also opt for not straining the oats at all if you wish to have a really thick milk. Be sure to shake, shake, shake it before you use it.
photos by Maria Kennedy
HOMEMADE OAT MILK:
(click here for Full Grocery List)
2 cups filtered water
1 cup rolled oats
*optional flavorings you wish to add
Nut milk bag or cheesecloth
Blender or smoothie maker
- In a blender or smoothie maker, add the oats and water, and then blend at a high speed until completely smooth.
- Strain the mixture through a nut milk bag or cheese cloth into a bowl and squeeze with your hands until all the liquid has been strained out.
- Pour into a jar with a lid and refrigerate.
*good for about 2-3 days