Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another Non-dairy Milk-Oat Milk

In my continuing quest to make non-dairy milk, I hit upon a good one.  I blogged about making Almond milk.

Almond milk is really good, but the downside is straining out the almond meal and it's not good for those who can't have nuts.   I have also made Cashew milk with the same process.  I soaked the organic cashews in water just as I did the almonds.  The difference is that cashews don't leave behind a pulp.  Cashews are actually a seed and not a nut.  The milk is much thicker but works great for smoothies.  It is much too thick for cereal.  I didn't try drinking it straight or diluting it, because I started making oat milk.  Oat milk is very nutritious.  It is recommended for digestive issues because it has both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber is the answer to anyone who has IBS or any other kind of stomach problems.  It is a very low residue food, it lowers LDL (known at the bad cholesterol), it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and the release of glucose which is helpful to diabetics and it stabilizes contractions of the intestines for more comfortable digestion.  Foods with soluble fiber are safe foods and should be the first thing you eat on an empty stomach.  Insoluble fiber is necessary but never on an empty stomach and only with soluble fiber foods.  People with digestion problems can tolerate insoluble fiber better if it is cooked or chopped into small pieces.  Everyone thinks using soluble fiber products like Citrucel or Heather's Tummy Fiber is just for constipation.  That isn't the case, it is important for everyone.  A link focusing on IBS has interesting information about the misconceptions surrounding fiber.

This blog wasn't meant to be a tutorial on IBS or digestive disorders, but only about another recipe for a non-dairy milk.  Oat milk is high in protein, and it has more calcium than cow's milk.  If you are gluten intolerant, then making it yourself with gluten free oats is perfect.  It is very low in fat and has no cholesterol.

Oat Milk

1 cup oats (I use steel cut oats, but any dry oatmeal will work)
4 cups filtered water

Soak the oats in the water for a few hours or overnight.   I pour off the soaking water and put fresh water in a blender with the soaked oats.  Then I blend at a high speed for a couple minutes.  If you want to strain the milk, now is the time.  If it is blended well enough, there is no need to strain.  Now you can use it as is, add more water to get the consistency you prefer or add a little sweetener.  Some people add a couple dates when they blend it for additional sweetener.  Take a date or two, pour some boiling water over it and let it sit for a while.  This will soften up the date so it blends completely.  Dates have a lot of iron and minerals.  You can also use maple syrup.  I usually make mine plain, but it does have a different taste without sweetener.  It does not in any way taste like "real" milk, but it makes smoothies creamy and is good on cooked cereal or rice pudding. 

If you want a very inexpensive alternative to the usual non-dairy milk and can't tolerate nut milks, soy or cow's milk, this is perfect.  I have not flavored it or used it in coffee because I drink my coffee black.  It is quite thick and sticky but would be a way to get the oat benefits in different way.  I may try the coffee route, but I will probably stick to smoothies. 

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