Last Fall I wrote about using up all the almonds I had in my pantry to make almond milk. As we're in a severe drought here in California and are the largest world supplier of almonds, I haven't made it since. It takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond! Curious about which nuts are most sustainable? Check out my post about hazelnuts! Buying almond milk in plastic or aseptic packaging is also not an option for me. Plastic is...well plastic, and you know how I feel about that. Aseptic containers are paper lined with plastic, and they don't recycle in most places. This is part of the reason I don't understand the whole "boxed water is sustainable" craze. Packaging is not sustainable if it's single use, regardless of what it's made out of. Obviously I would prefer a compostable water bottle to a plastic one, but nothing beats the reusable water bottle!
I've been making oat milk sweetened with maple syrup and it's delicious! Maple syrup is the most sustainable sweetener on the market for me! Read more about this incredible sweetener.
Oats are an ancient cereal grain dating back to 7,000 B.C.E. in the Fertile Crescent before they were domesticated. Oats are extremely versatile, and I use them to make granola, oatmeal, apple crisp, cookies, energy bars, oat milk and more! Oats are Gluten Free (GF) if they aren't processed in the same facility with wheat, barley, or rye, which could cause contamination. If you are gluten interolant, you want to make sure that the oats you are eating are certified GF. Oats are also a hard working cover crop. Cover crops are essential, as they help to cultivate healthy and productive soil while suppressing weeds and helping to prevent diseases and pests.
There are a variety of oats to choose from when I bring my cloth bags to fill up on bulk foods: steel cut oats, rolled oats, and even whole oat groats. I love making oat milk because it takes less than 10 minutes, and in my opinion tastes better than almond milk! I mention this because almond milk is the hot new thing on the block. Everyone seems to want almond milk, even though it's bad news for the planet and the bees.
Benefits of Oats
- good source of biotin (vitamin B7 which is supportive for healthy hair, skin, and nails)
- a whole grain, meaning the bran, germ, and endosperm are not removed through milling
- heart healthy
- contains oat beta glucan
- lactose free & rich in calcium
- contains the minerals manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc
- usually available package free, or plastic free
Ingredients: Makes roughly 16 oz.
2 cups rolled oats
4 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons shredded coconut (optional)
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup (optional)
The Steps: 1. Put the oats, coconut, and water in a blender. 2. Blend until smooth and creamy dreamy. 3. Strain the oats through your nut milk bag or metal strainer into a bowl until all the liquid has been extracted. Stir in the sweetener if you desire. 4. Pour the milk into a glass jar, store in the refrigerator, and enjoy! 5. Reuse the oat pulp or compost it!
The Nut Milk Bag
You don't have to have a nut milk bag, but I happen to have an awesome one that I want to tell you about! The nut milk bag I own was seriously one of the best online purchases I've made while living a Circular Lifestyle. It's made by Eco Peaceful and is 100% organic! It's compostable, biodegradable, and Vegan. The 100% certified organic cotton that it's made out of is unbleached. The bag was made, grown, and sewn in the United States, and contains no artificial fibers, toxic chemicals, glues, dyes or GMOS. Pretty effin amazing!! It was shipped without plastic, and the information about the product was printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper! Woah. Mind blown. Check out my guide on how to reduce waste while shopping online. Visit Eco Peaceful for their nut milk bag cleaning and care instructions.
Re-using the Oat Pulp
- Make a smoothie with it
- Bake with it. I add it to my homemade chocolate chip cookie recipe. Delish!
- Make a face mask with it (oat pulp, honey, lemon juice, warm water).
Oat milk will only last 2-3 days in the refrigerator. I've used oat milk in pancakes, cereal, smoothies, by itself, and in my coffee. I'm continually trying to reduce my dairy consumption; it's already pretty small, but swapping out half and half for oat milk helps!
Have you made oat milk before? If you have, what are your favorite ways to use it?