How To Make Oat Milk

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Oat milk is a delicious and creamy plant-based, dairy-free milk. All you need are oats, water, and a blender – it’s easy! But there’s one drawback, homemade oat milk is known to be a bit slimy. Watch the video below to see how to make non-slimy oat milk (with a secret trick!)

Oat milk poured into a glass container.

Oat Milk is a Dairy-Free Favorite

There are so many non-dairy milk options available nowadays, including almond milk, cashew milk (my personal favorite), hemp milk, and even homemade banana milk.

But oat milk has really taken the world by storm over the last couple of years and surged in popularity. You’ve probably seen it at your local market or favorite coffee shop. Which is no surprise given that this is one of the creamiest dairy-free milks with just the right amount of sweetness and perfect for those with nut sensitivities.

But when it comes to ingredients, commercial brands like Oatly undergo quite a bit of processing. Intensive heating may be used and there’s added oils or thickening agents such as xanthan gum, which help make it extra frothy with a longer shelf life. So if you want to avoid these additives, it’s time to whip up your own right at home.

Let me show you how to make oat milk with a few tips and tricks to create the perfect consistency.

What Type Of Oats Are Best For Oat Milk?

When it comes to choosing oats, rolled oats are your best option. Quick oats are too processed (which can create more slime) and steel cut oats are not processed enough. I describe the different types of oats on my oatmeal recipe.

But always make sure to buy certified organic, gluten free oats. Many commercial oats are processed in facilities that are contaminated by grains such as wheat, barley, or rye. And non-organic oats have been tested to have unsafe levels of glyphosate, an herbicide you definitely want to avoid.

Oats and water in a blender.

How To Make Oat Milk

In just 3 easy steps you’ll have delicious oat milk in no time:

  1. Blend all the ingredients. Add the oats, water, and any additional sweeteners to a high powered blender. Then blend for 20-30 seconds (make sure not to over blend).
  2. Strain the mixture. Pour it through a nut milk bag or thin towel over a large mixing bowl or pitcher. You’ll want to double strain the mixture to make sure all the sediment is removed.
  3. Store the oat milk. Transfer the oat milk to a sealed container and store it in the fridge.
Making oat milk and straining it.

How To Avoid Slimy Oat Milk

The number one complaint of homemade oat milk is that it’s slimy. But you’re in luck. After testing more than 6 batches of oat milk, I have a few tips:

  • Use ice cold water: heat can make the oats more starchy and gummy (just think what happens when you make oatmeal), so use ice cold water or swap a cup of water for ice cubes when blending.
  • Don’t overblend: if you blend the ingredients too long they’ll start to warm, and you’ll run into the same problem I just mentioned above. Don’t blend for more than 30 seconds.
  • Strain well: strain through a high-quality nut milk bag with a very tight weave. I hardly have any sediment in mine when I use this nut milk bag, but you could use dish towels as well. Just don’t use a strainer or cheesecloth as it’s not tightly woven enough.
  • Don’t over squeeze: as you’re straining and squeezing the oat milk in the nut milk bag, be gentle. You don’t want to squeeze firmly like you do with almond milk as you’ll squeeze out more of the starchy compounds.
Straining oat milk recipe.

How to Make Oat Milk the Least Slimy

If you’d like to go a step further and make your oatmilk the least slimy possible, there’s one more trick: enzymes.

After reading how Oatly processes their milk with enzymes I decided to try the same concept with store-bought digestive enzymes. Here’s what I did:

  • Added oats to a bowl and covered with an inch of water.
  • Opened two capsules of digestive enzymes and stirred those in the bowl with oats and water, then let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Strained the mixture over the sink and rinsed it good with water from the faucet.
  • Transferred the washed oats to the blender along with 4 cups of cold water.
  • Blended the oats for 20-30 seconds.
  • Strained the oat milk through a nut milk bag.
  • Stored the oat milk in a sealed container in the fridge.

This was BY FAR the least slimy oat milk option. Why? It’s due to the amylase. Digestive enzymes are typically broad spectrum, with a variety of enzymes to break down many foods, including sugar (sucrase), fat (lipase), protein (protease) and carbs/starch (amylase).

It’s that last enzyme that’s most important to oat milk though. The amylase breaks down the oat starches and makes the oat milk non-slimy.

So then I got to thinking, is there a food with enough enzymes that could do the same thing? Well, there are many foods with natural enzymes, but keep in mind that they’d flavor the milk as well. I tried adding a banana in one batch and honey in another, which both contain natural enzymes. And most importantly, they wouldn’t make the milk taste gross, like if I were to add kimchi or sauerkraut.

Testing homemade oat milk.

Unfortunately, other than flavoring the oat milk, the banana and honey didn’t have much effect on the sliminess factor. But the effect of the digestive enzymes was quite dramatic. The only drawback was that this milk was not only less slimy, but also less creamy. It had a consistency more similar to skim milk. But some folks may prefer that.

If you’d like to experiment further in the kitchen with your oat milk, then give enzymes a try!

How To Store Oat Milk

After it’s blended and strained, pour the oat milk into an airtight jar such as these juice jars or mason jars. Then store it in the fridge for up to a week.

Note: without any stabilizers or emulsifiers the milk will separate in the fridge. This is normal. Just give it a good stir before drinking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you use oat milk in?

Homemade oat milk works great in baked goods, smoothies or cold beverages.

Can you use oat milk in hot beverages?

Unfortunately, it’s not the best option for hot beverages as it may thicken up and become slightly slimy again. Because it lacks fat (unlike nut milks), it doesn’t froth well either. I did try adding a little coconut oil, but it still didn’t froth well (in my opinion).

What’s the best sweetener to use?

I recommend a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or honey rather than a date. Because the blend time is so short, a pitted date may not fully blend into the liquid.

What can you do with the leftover oat pulp?

You can add the leftover oat pulp to cookies, granola or to any smoothie for a nutrient boost. You can also pamper your skin with the oat pulp and create a face mask or add it to a bath.

Pouring a glass of oat milk.

More Dairy-Free Milk Recipes

While homemade cashew milk is still my personal favorite, it’s always fun to try different options or make blends of these homemade milk recipes:

Pouring a glass of oat milk.

How To Make Oat Milk (Non-Slimy + Tips!)

4.95 from 89 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Learn how to make oat milk in a blender (not slimy) with just oats and water! Want to take it a step further? Add a digestive enzyme for the least slimy oat milk. Watch the video below!

Video

Equipment

  • Vitamix My favorite high-powered blender.
  • Nut Milk Bag An essential for all homemade dairy-free milks.

Ingredients 
 

Optional

Instructions 

  • Add oats, water, and any additional sweeteners to a high-powered blender. Blend for 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure to not over-blend.
  • Strain the oat milk mixture by pouring through a nut milk bag or thin towel over a large mixing bowl or pitcher. If you'd like, you can double strain the mixture to make sure all the sediment is removed.
  • Transfer the oat milk to a sealed container and store in the fridge.

Lisa’s Tips

Nutrition

Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make oat milk, oat milk, oat milk recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published February 2020, but updated to include new information.

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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273 Comments

  1. Used this recipe as a basis. But compared to store bought milk I was still noticing the chalky-ness and slimyness. (Store bought milk was using emulsifiers, which produced great creamy results, but the whole point of switching to plant based milk was trying to put less potentially inflammatory/irritating foods in my body, so I didn’t want to go down that route).

    With some testing I think I was able to figure out that both the slimy-ness and chalki-ness are related to starches. Considering that oats are a cereal grain that makes sense (they are primarily starch based, and are low in fat which is the exact opposite of animal milk with is fat based). Starches don’t mix well in water (the chalky feeling) and if heated they will start congeal/thicken which leads to the texture of slimy. With this recipe, not blending too long, using cold water (and actually a short cold water rinse of the oats before hand, to clear off any free starch) most of the sliminess could be eliminated. But you are left with a mostly watery, slightly chalky “oat water” type result. Perfectly fine, but I was wondering if it could be improved further.

    So with the results of the testing and a little help from an AI (Chat GPT) I came up with a modified recipe using the following idea as a basis. Gravy is thickend using starch. Gravy does not taste chalky or slimy. Good gravy can actually seem creamy. (Obviously gravy does have fat in it, which we won’t have so it won’t be as creamy). The trick is to heat it, a lot. A little bit of heat starts to congeal the starch and make it slimy. However a lot of heat allows the starch which usually doesn’t mix with water, to actually swell up and absorb more water. They swell up and start to mix pretty well. Heat it enough and the sliminess disappeares and you are left with a smoother more creamier product. Way less of the “water oats” taste. Most of the chalkiness disappears. I put in some brewers digestive enzyme which takes care of little bit of free starch left and produces a tiny bit of sugar to give it just a hint of sweet.

    You can even take it a bit further and toast the oats a bit first, to give them a more robust nutty flavor. To go all the way you can do two heating steps, but the second one produces a much smaller improvement so I haven’t bothered with that anymore. (First stage is to make “oatmeal” from the oats. Submerge them in 70-80C water for 15minutes and cover. They will swell up like oat meal but won’t burst. You can then blend this result with additional water to get the ratio you prefer. You don’t have to stop at 25-30sec blend, further blending reduces the amount of oat pulp you filter out so I do about 50secs in a vitamix). You can then heat this final result again on the stove at 70-80c for 5-10minutes much like you would do to thicken gravy, but again I don’t think this final step is worth the effort. Doing this produced a thicker, creamier product, without any sliminess and very little to no chalki taste. All without the need of added fat, thickeners or emulsifying agents, which I really appreciate.

    TLDR – sliminess and chalkiness seems to be due to the starches from the oats not really mixing with water. Submerging the oats in 70-80C water for 15minutes (“making oatmeal!”) before blending, plus blending for a bit longer say 50seconds, can allow the starch to more thoroughly mix with the water and plump up a bit, leading to a thicker, creamier texture. Much like we do with making gravy. I was pretty pleased with the results.5 stars

  2. In your “How to Make Oat Milk the Least Slimy” steps, you strained twice. I think I understand why you strained the second time. But why did you strain the first time? Thanks for any information; I know you are busy. Best. L.

  3. I gave up making oat milk a long while ago because it was always slimy. Recently a friend asked for a recipe & I started researching again trying to find a non slimy recipe & I found your recipe. Thank you. I’m really happy with the results of this recipe. It’s really good & so easy too.5 stars

  4. I really enjoyed this oatmilk. I added a little maple syrup and 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut. It was my first time making oatmilk and I’m very pleased with the results. Much better than store bought.5 stars

  5. Hi Lisa,
    I am about to make this recipe and saw that you may try creating a creamier version. A friend of mine makes an oat-hemp milk that is quite creamy. It’s yummy in hot drinks, you just have to have to give it a stir it before taking a sip!
    You may want to try the addition of hemp. Just a thought!

    Thank you for the recipe. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

  6. Mine turned out very watery. I was making it for Chai, but the Chai turned out quite watery. What do I need to do to make it creamy?

    BTW, it wasn’t at all slimy.

    1. Hi Kathy – This oat milk recipe isn’t meant to be super creamy like the store-bought kinds as it’s completely natural. But, I hope to test another creamy variation in the future!

    1. You ccan make muffins, or loafs, anything or just add more water cook like oatmeal. It wont be as gooy but still good.

  7. Hi Lisa! Can’t wait to try this ingenious method with the digestive enzymes! I buy Earth’s Own Barista Oat Milk which is so delicious and not at all good for you because they add sunflower oil. Eww.. highly inflammatory. But I’ve never been able to make homemade oatmilk that isn’t gummy so cannot WAIT to try your method. Just wondering how you feel about the nutmilk bag that comes with a Vitamix?

    1. Hi Mia – I haven’t tried Vitamix’s nutmilk bag so can’t provide a review. But the nutmilk bag I’ve used for years and love is linked on the Shop page on my website. Enjoy!

    2. Wow it worked! I held my breath as I was heating up the oatmilk for my latte and it miraculously didn’t turn into a slimy goopy mess! It was just hot oatmilk. Thank you for this ingenious method. I’m totally amazed!5 stars

  8. I have saved the oat milk solids in a lidded container in the fridge and once I have 3 or so batches worth I add it to my next loaf of bread dough. I have also watered it down and dehydrated it, then ground it into flour first, but I don’t think that is necessary unless it’s going to be a long time until I can make bread for some reason and I need it to keep longer. It adds a nice nutty flavor to it. Also, I’ve added about 1/4 cup of raw sunflower seeds to the blender before mixing to add some creaminess to the oat milk. I’ve seen lots of cream sauces made from cashews – which work fantastic – but cashews are a lot more expensive than sunflower seeds.

  9. People are commenting on adding enzyme capsules but I don’t see that in your recipe. Am I missing something? What would be the benefit of these capsules? Thank you!

  10. Good Afternoon,
    I have just discovered Oat Milk (bought version) and I really love it in tea, coffee and on my morning cereal, so I found your recipe, bought a blender and started………….oh no, it did not taste anything like the store bought stuff.
    NOT criticising your recipe or method, just want to know what I am doing wrong, pleeeease.
    I did use rolled oats that had been in the cupboard in a sealed jar that were most likely about 3 years old, am I expecting too much ?

    1. Hi Wayne – store-bought will always taste a bit different due to the processing, added sugars, and emulsifiers.

  11. In a nutriblender, I reduced the oat milk recipe to a 2 day portion and it worked out great. Easy, tasty and fresh on hand as needed.5 stars

  12. Digestive enzyme capsules or tablets contain multiple enzymes that break down sugars & protein in addition to the amylase that converts starches to sugars. It is also cheaper to buy pure alpha amylase, sold to home brewers (check E-Bay, etc), that only turns the oat starches into maltose (which is less sweet than table sugar) but lease the protein alone.

    There’s not reason to add amylase to ice cold water & cold oats, making it harder to penetrate to the starch, as well as taking at least an hour to work at that temperature.

    Better to blend the mixture, let it warm to at least room temp & then add the enzyme. Better yet, heat it to body temperature, which is best for the enzyme….works literally in minutes. You can strain it cold, then do the above & strain a second time…or just leave all the straining until after the amylase does its work.. Having converted much of the starch to sugars, there will be less to plug up the nut bag’s pores.

    Also, note that less, or no, sugar needs to be added if adding amylase, as you’re creating your own sugars! .

  13. Your recipe is helpful, except for one thing: Why use “digestive enzyme” capsules, that contain a blend of enzymes that break down proteins & fats…as well as sugar (…which is then replaced with sugar in maple syrup)….when pure amylase, which only breaks down starch, is available online? in addition, the pure enzyme is cheap, because the sellers are not pandering to people who are willing to be ripped off for capsules filled mostly with fillers. I just paid $7.00 for an ounce and a half. That might not sound like much, but pure amylase is powerful stuff…1/10 to 1/3 of a teaspoon will treat a GALLON of milk. Ideal temperature is body temp. Time to work is just minutes, but leaving the mixture at that temp for an hour will certainly be enough. Note that, when the milk is heated to about 160 degress, the amylase is inactivated.4 stars

    1. Very cool, thanks for these suggestions. I bought the pure amylase and am trying it out as per your method. Interestingly another site talks about leaving the oats to soak in the fridge for 2 days with the amylase and then bringing the oat milk to a simmer for 2 minutes, which supposedly breaks down the starches more… then blending, straining and chilling the milk. I’m trying your method first, it’s way simpler and faster!5 stars

  14. Hi Lisa,

    I love developing healthy recipes too, and
    just wanted you to check out ” Date syrup” if you would like to try it out instead of maple syrup, since you mentioned concerns about the blending time being so short, and whole pitted dates not fully blending into the liquid. It tastes wonderful! I actually always use it as my coffee sweeter with you guessed it … oat milk abd topped with roasted walnut/ pecan pieces! Oat milk and date syrup are a perfect match and it blends effortlessly.. tastes somewhat like dark Amber caramel but with more depth to it.

    My coffee sounds somewhat like a pecan pie, don’t you think? It definitely tastes like one! But a much healthier version let me tell ya :)5 stars

    1. Perhaps if you blended the dates and water first to break them down then add the oats and blend again before straining.

  15. I haven’t even made this yet but your research and explanation is awesome, thank you. I also read all of the comments and you have great followers and says enough to me to try it! Thank you again for your efforts and time. 5 stars

    1. Of course! I always want to make sure I provide as many tips and information as possible, especially when it comes to recipes like this. Hope you enjoy this homemade oat milk!

  16. Such an amazing recipe. I make oat milk now for my toddler who has decided meat and cows milk aren’t for him! We’d tried a lot of alternatives before buying store bought oat milk. But then I thought, surely I could make this at home. And my research led me to a lot of options, but this was the best for our house! I add coconut, a bit of honey, and 2 dates for sweetness! Seriously, thanks for this recipe 🖤5 stars

  17. Tasty and easy.  The cheese cloth I used was perhaps too fine and the straining took a long time.  I am too cheep to buy a special nut bag.  I will try again with a different cloth5 stars

    1. Hello! Lovely recipe you have here, thanks for sharing! What a wonderful and easy alternative to store bought oat milk. I was wondering how long it keeps in the fridge? Thank you :)5 stars

  18. I wanted to note for the Least Slimy option: Using the enzymes causes the oats to break down into simple sugars (like maltose). So while the ingredients in the recipe may start out with one gram of sugar, the “Least Slimy” recipe process likely causes more natural sugars to form in the final product. I’m trying to avoid all sugar early in the morning, so I’m going to try no maple sugar and no enzymes.

  19. Thanks for the simple recipe and tips, works great. To keep it simple we just did rolled oats and water, perfect for smoothies and coffee, really didn’t notice any slime. Question, can you double the recipe if we have an 8 cup blender jar?5 stars

    1. Yes, I think you can double the recipe for your specific blender. As long as it won’t overflow :)

    1. It’s not going to be as creamy as the store-bought version, but it’s still a great homemade alternative!

    2. I had the same problem doing DIY rice milk. I would presume the problem in that case was the kind of rice I used. The cheapest, “dime store” “food bank gives this kind out” white rice. It tastes like liquid rice. Probably OK for making my non-milk-protein-shake things as I’m trying to “diet” with those, but I’m going to try to find some source of Soybeans and do that myself.

  20. I have discovered the solution for slimy oat milk that requires no extra ingredients. Oat milk is slimy because there is starch in the oats. Starch is not soluble in water, it absorbs the water and makes the slimy texture. Starch is a chain of sugar molecules, but if you break those chains into smaller chains they are soluble in water. This is called dextrin. So if you can convert the starch into dextrin you will not have slimy oat milk. The way you do this is to bake the oats at 275 for 60 minutes. I first ground the oats to flour which makes smoother and creamer oat milk, and then bake them. The resulting milk has a tan color, as that is the color of dextrin, but it is not at all slimy. One issue with the enzymes is that they are a catalyst which means they are not used up in the process, Thought it may not be too much of a problem for your digestion, you are ingesting the enzymes along with the milk. Plus, it’s just another ingredient that is not needed.

    1. Thank you so much.  I have been searching for a recipe of just rolled oats and filtered water and almost spent a lot of money on a plant based milk maker.5 stars

  21. Wooo! So I have had about a 5 gallon bucket of GF oats for awhile and I didn’t have any idea what to do with them…i love oatmeal but it gets boring. That’s when I found this!! I have been making homemade masala chai and oat milk is the best paired with it (and it’s also really expensive at Starbucks!) I love chai lattes more than oatmeal 🤣. I also made this a little different – i heated my soaking water to 96° added 1/2 tsp of straight amalayse (from Amazon) and only soaked for 5 minutes! Then rinsed and made this delicious oat milk with cold distilled water. It’s Soo good! I used a tsp of vanilla and a simple syrup! Thank you!5 stars

    1. Update! I like that idea Sean, I’m going to try it! I also did try to make it thicker by adding only one half cup per recipe, but I ended up doubling it for my needs. I had a lot more sediment and the amalayse could have made it go sour faster. I ended up getting rid of a little bit that I had left in my gallon container. In my case using more oats to make it thicker did not work! Happy milk making!!5 stars

  22. I could not make it without being slimy even by using water from the fridge!
    So I put one cup of the water in the freezer and added as ice which kept it cold whilst blending and this did the trick. It was just getting too hot.
    Very happy to be able to make my own milk.4 stars

  23. I made it and tried it after filtering it once, then tasted it again after filtering a second time. It does taste better after filtering it twice. It’s a very simple recipe to make and it tastes great. I will use this recipe again.5 stars

  24. Hey thanks for this recipe it’s quite helpful, only thing, how many calories are in one cup since the serving size isn’t specified here?

    1. I have not tried this yet, as I don’t have a blender. Do you think a food processor would do the trick? Or an immersion blender- in a small batch?
      Thank you!

      1. Food processor the oats first then pour in cold water tall vessel using immersion blender. Too much liquid in a food processor will  make a mess 
        You could do all in. Tall immersion blender if you have tall vessel5 stars