I’m not vegan, although there is a part of me that aspires to be, but I’ve been experimenting with making vegan oat milk nonetheless. This is in part because of said aspirations (I’m vegetarian for primarily ethical reasons and let’s face it the dairy industry ain’t exactly great either) and partly because I’ve been having some skin issues (eczema mostly on my hands) and it’s been suggested to see if cutting out some of the dairy helps.
I drink a lot of chai, and I drink it how the Indian street sellers make it, 50% water, 50% milk, a load of spice and a ton of sugar (or jaggery in my case). So I haven’t completely stopped dairy but cutting out milk is definitely the most part of it. It’s early days but after about 10 days it does seem like there’s some reduction so maybe there is a connection.
Anyway, I’m currently away from home in India with limited resources so I’ve opted for oat milk to start with as it’s very simple and I’ve been having success with a simple sieve as I don’t yet have a nut milk bag or similar (there’s one in the post). The basic recipe I’ve been using is to:
1) Soak 8-10 tablespoons of rolled oats in 1l water for 12-24 hours
2) Blend the mixture and sieve, maybe go for a 2nd round of sieving too.
3) Pour in to a pan, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. You could sweeten it also if you wanted but the oats are actually fairly naturally sweet.
4) Allow to cool and sieve 1 last time.
None of the recipes I read suggest heating but this seems to really help. It first of all stops it from separating and secondly on the final sieve any remaining bits in the milk will have expanded and be caught.
Anyway, it makes a pretty good chai!
One of the things I’ve noticed about most vegan milks is that they don’t have that same fattiness as cow milk. This has a pretty good thick texture to it mind you, better than a lot, but I’ve ordered some sunflower lecithin and once it arrives I’m gonna see if I can use it to make an emulsion with coconut oil and the oat milk to thicken it up even more. I’ll let you know how it goes!
From the food we eat, the air we breathe, the things we see, hear, feel and touch, our environment is formed and this in turn profoundly influences and shapes our internal environment. We are what we eat literally, for the mind is constructed out of the subtlest parts of our diet and the body from the rest. ~ Swami Vishnudevananda