4 ingredient oat milk that doesn’t separate

Making oat milk that doesn’t separate is as easy as throwing three natural, cheap and sustainable ingredients in a blender. Skip the single-use packaging of store-bought non-dairy milk and stop paying for water with this easy oat milk recipe.

Why is oat milk mainly water?

If you’ve ever glanced at the ingredient list of any non-dairy milk carton, you’ll notice the first ingredient is usually always water. That’s because, like many most liquids products, a large percentage is plain ol’ water.

In fact, even cows milk is 85-90% water; not because it’s been watered down, but because it naturally has a high water content as a liquid. Buying most things in their liquid forms means you are mostly paying for water – and, of course, the single-use plastic packaging it comes in.

Yep, you read that correctly. Shampoo, dishwashing liquid, moisturiser and toothpaste. Water, water, water and more water. Don’t believe me? Check out the first ingredient on most of your liquid products and you’ll likely see water or aqua.

Why oats are a sustainable choice?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware the dairy industry isn’t great for the environment. In fact, the global dairy sector is responsible for 4% of total greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison, air travel accounts for 2% of global emissions while electricity and heating accounting for 25%. A lesser know benefit of oats is their sustainable credentials. Oats are a low-input crop and require fewer resources to grow and produce. They have a long shelf-life and are available in many bulk stores. Oats require much less water to grow than almonds and rarely require shipping from tropical areas.

Oats are generally grown in cooler regions and aren’t associated with deforestation in developing countries. Shockingly, more than half of the oats currently grown are used to feed animals. Therefore, if more people switch to plant-based meals, there is already plenty to go around! 

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The secret ingredient that stops non-dairy milk separating: Lecithin 

If you’ve ever seen the ingredient list of a non-dairy milk package, you’ll see additional ingredients after water and the nut, seed or grain. In a good quality non-dairy milk, this small amount of additive stops the water from separating from the other ingredients. In other words, if you don’t fancy stirring your coffee between sips, consider investing in a lecithin powder or liquid. Lecithin is a naturally occurring compound that attracts both water and fatty substances and will stop your non-dairy milk from separating. Moreover, lecithin is a natural ingredient that exists within the body.

Soy lecithin is the cheapest and most widely available option. Although, sunflower lecithin has also grown in popularity. For a non-dairy milk recipe, use about one teaspoon of lecithin powder or liquid, depending on the quality of the product. Lecithin works best if you add some type of fat to your milk. In the same way cows milk contains water, protein, carbs and fat, the best non-dairy milks do too. I add a tablespoon of creamed coconut to this recipe when I’m after something creamy.

Why you should make your own oat milk 

Substituting dairy milk for a non-dairy choice like oat milk saves the planet an immense amount of resources and you a lot of money. Most importantly, plant-based milk is an ethical choice when compared to cows milk. 

However, most commercial brands use single-use packaging that’s likely destined for landfill. Skip the non-recyclable packaging and stop paying for water by making your own oat milk that doesn’t separate.

Oat milk that doesn’t separate recipe

1 from 1 vote
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Drinks

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Nut milk bag, cocktail sieve or tea strainer

Ingredients
  

  • 3.5-4 cups cold water (the less water, the creamier the milk)
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp mild-tasting oil* olive, canola, safflower etc
  • 1 tsp sunflower lecithin powder
  • 3 ice cubes (optional, helps to stop it from going "slimey")

Instructions
 

  • Place oats in a strainer and rinse under the tap. This will help to stop the excess fibre making your oat milk "slimey".
  • Put all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
  • Blend on a high-speed for 1 minutes.
  • Strain immediately to separate oat pulp from the milk.

Notes

Store oat milk in an airtight bottle or jar for up to 4 days
 
*Oil is common in most conventional oat milks. It helps to create the mouthfeel of cows milk and works with the lecithin to stop your oat milk from separating. It’s just a tiny amount and won’t affect the flavour whatsoever. 
Keyword Plastic-free, Stop Paying For Water, Vegan

Whats to do if your oat milk is “slimy” 

Oats contain a form of fibre that can cause oat milk to become silky or “slimy” in texture. I find the thick, creamy, silky texture a nice addition to smoothies, baking and coffee.

But if the texture is bordering on unpleasant, troubleshoot with these tips:

  • Wash oats more thoroughly before blending to make sure all excess fibre is removed
  • Don’t over-blend your oat milk: 1 minute is plenty and 30 seconds may even be enough in very powerful blenders.
  • Strain the oat milk twice: each time into a clean (or rinsed) container. 
  • Don’t soak oats before blending but this can lead to more slime. 
  • Add ice cubes when blending to keep

What to do with oat pulp

The leftover oat pulp from straining is a nutrient and fibre-filled gluggy mess that you can add to baking recipes, smoothies, oatmeal porridge or hummus. Oat pulp also has fantastic properties for skincare which means it can be used as a face mask, scalp treatment or added to a bath. 

Here’s some inspo:

Finally, tag me on Instagram if you’re making your own non-dairy milk at home so I can share it and don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later!

Don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later:

Easy oat milk recipe that doesn't separate. Vegan, dairy-free, healthy, plastic-free and cheap!

This article is part of the plastic-free food essentials series. Read more

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24 thoughts on “4 ingredient oat milk that doesn’t separate

  1. All of the recommendations I’ve encountered so far for a creamier oat beverage texture is to use less water. Why not just use more oats? Usual recipe ratio is 4:1 water to oats, so increase the oats by 1/4 cup for each 4 cups of water used.

    1. Sunflower lecithin also acts as a thickening ingredient that works with the fibre in the oats. I’ve found adding extra oats makes the finished product very very creamy, which may not be appetising in hot drinks and on cereal. It also depends on how big your blender is! Once the oat milk starts to foam up, this recipe is all that fits in my 2L blender. Once you start experimenting with making your own plant milks, you’ll quickly discover what works best for you and your tastebuds 🙂

  2. Oh hello!! How long did it take me to find your recipe. I’m buying sunflower lecithin tomorrow 🙏 thank girl, I’ll def tag you on Instagram.

    1. Yay! The sunflower lecithin makes a big difference because it’s a little annoying to have to keep stirring your coffee if you don’t use it 🙂 Very excited to see what you think!!

  3. 1 star
    When I make oat beverage (it’s not milk), I make 1/2 gal at a time. The first time I doubled the lecithin and coconut oil amount. The result was still a separating beverage.

    Today I tried using a Tbsp of lecithin and coconut oil…drum roll…still a separating beverage.

    I will continue looking for a way to prevent a separating oat beverage.

    1. Very sorry to hear that, Kurt. As this oat milk doesn’t go through heated processing like the oat milk we buy in the supermarket, we’ll never be able to achieve the 100% emulsion that comes with manufacturing. It’s also why I tend to make smaller batches more frequently, as the longer the homemade oat milk sits around – the more it will separate (no matter how much lecithin is in there). If you want 0% separation but still want to be zero waste, I’d suggest seeing if you have a supplier in your local area that offers refills or delivery in a glass bottle. This will be manufactured in the same way store-bought oat milk is, but there won’t be an unrecyclable carton leftover. Let me know how you get on!
      Best,
      Sarah

  4. Hi, where’s the best place to get sunflower lecithin other than Amazon that is 🙂 always trying to shop for ingredients at responsible stores!

    1. Hi Mara! I totally agree, I always look for Amazon alternatives first too. Your best bet would be to try to find a business that makes sunflower lecithin in your country or region via Google. If you’re not having much luck, soy lecithin works just as well and is more available. Worst case scenario, I’d go for eBay or Amazon. These speciality ingredients are hard to find and you will be saving a lot of waste with just one bag of lecethin 🙂
      Sarah xx

    1. Hi Victoria! This happens to me sometimes when I don’t strain it well enough. Perhaps try using a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. If the problem persists, you could also try straining twice to make sure you’re getting only milk and no leftover solids. Let me know if this helps!
      Best,
      Sarah

  5. Great recipe, it’s nice to know how much lecithin to use. I found that if you soak the oats in about half the water with some digestive enzymes that contains amylose (110 F temp) and let it sit for 20 minutes, starch will be broken down into sugars and it won’t be so slimy. You can then heat it up to 160 to denature the enzyme. Then blend as normal with the remaining water.

    1. Hi Dennis, thanks for commenting! This is a very interesting idea. How and where do you get your digestive enzymes?
      Best,
      Sarah

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