At the start of the year, I watched Conspiracy. Back then I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself in for, but since watching it I’ve not been able to drink dairy milk. Weirdly, I’ll admit, milk disguised as cheese or chocolate or ice-cream was much more palatable for a while, but each time I looked a glass of milk or a cup of tea I kept hearing the words “baby cow growth fluid”.
I’m now on course to eat a purely plant-based diet, and that feels great. However, sometimes being a Brit means you just need a good old cup of tea. I’ve tried rice milk, almond milk, and soya milk. All of these are terrible in tea, and some even curdle to put you off a nice builders brew (soya I’m looking at you). Oat milk seems to be the best solution, and when chilled it is actually a nice drink in its own right.
That said, drinking oat milk throws up another conundrum – waste. Oat milk in Switzerland is sold in non-recyable Tetra Paks. That means that for every liter of milk we drink, my wife and I are putting more and more rubbish in landfill. That doesn’t sit well. Part of adopting a vegan lifestyle has been because of the effects animal agriculture has on the planet. I wanted to try to make my choices as sustainable as possible, and generating more waste seemed to be at odds with that.
So I thought, I know, I’ll make my own milk… and after a long time perfecting the recipe, you can too.
100g rolled oats
5 dates (pitted)
- Put the oats, dates, and water into a mason jar (or similar container), and leave overnight in the fridge. This helps to soften the dates and oats.
- In the morning, blend the mixture thoroughly. I use a NutriBullet, but a stick blender or food processor will work just as well.
- Strain the mixture through a muslin (if you want thinner milk), or do what I do and just strain it through a sieve. It’ll stay fresh in the fridge for up to a week, but make sure you give it a little shake before you serve it.
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Whether or not your going vegan, I can highly recommend making the switch to oat milk. Diary milk contains, amongst other things, lactose, bovine hormones, cholesterol, and antibiotics. There is also the chance that it’s got pus (a byproduct of infection) in too, which is also quite gross when you think about it.
Homemade oat milk has no lactose, no bovine hormones, no cholesterol, no antibiotics, and absolutely no pus. It also means there is a limited waste (no Tetra Paks), and it is completely suitable for people with lactose intolerance and milk allergies.
Okay, I’m climbing down from my soapbox now, but seriously. Pop the kettle on, make some milk, and see enjoy a nice brew with your homemade dairy substitute. You’ll probably be surprised at how nice it is.