Oats milk

Oats milk being blended.

Oats milk is so easy to make in your own kitchen and it is cheap too. Should you run out of regular you can whip this up in a very short time, and make it richer with some coconut cream if you choose.

Let us be honest and acknowledge that the dairy today is not the same as the milk and honey from the Promised Land. In the first instance those would have been goats, and they would have been raised in a more natural, if far tougher, environment. Antibiotics, hormone injections and a plethora of made up feeds would not have been their lot; not that these are all necessarily bad.

Then there is a pretty convincing lobby that says that milk is for babies and has no place in the adult diet, and the nutrient concentrations are in any case much different to those from Mother's bosom. Human children need far more fat so their brains can grow quickly.

And then there are the milk allergies that many suffer from.

Enter oats milk. This will take less than five minutes of your time, and be ready to drink in fifteen if you are in a rush. Better still is to soak the oats overnight if you are concerned about anti-nutrients; then discard the first soaking.

  1. Add a cup (100g) of raw, rolled oats to four cups (one litre) of cold water.
  2. Allowing it to stand for at least half an hour will allow for a better extraction.
  3. Blend for a minute or two until smooth.
  4. Allow it to stand for another five or ten minutes.
  5. If you want it completely free of particulate matter then filter it through a clean cotton cloth.
  6. We just use a fine strainer, the fibrous portion going either to the pets, or added to other dishes like bread dough.
  7. Perhaps blend again with a little coconut cream.
  8. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week. 

Non-dairy milk options

There are many non-dairy milk options but most of them albeit potentially less nutritious than dairy, or at least with less of a downside, just do not taste like the real McCoy; with the exception of that from oats.

An informal group were invited to taste oats, rice, coconut, almond and soya milk, and you can guess which one came out tops.

More, you'll find no lobby groups coming out against oats because it is a GM food, or forests are being chopped down to plant it, or some other environmental issue. For example, hundreds of thousands of beehives have to be shipped to California each year to pollinate the almond orchards. To produce the same amount of oats and cow's milk, the latter produces more than 3x the greenhouse gases and requires over ten times the water.

Oats milk has rather more body, creaminess and a suggestion of sweetness than the others; it really is an alternative. And it is gluten free.

Cost

In the shops you will find that oats milk costs about four times as much as dairy. However, if you are a DIY person, then let us consider the figures.

  • 1kg of rolled oats costs R22; a little more than a dollar.
  • 100g of oats would make one litre of milk.

According to my maths, then homemade oats milk costs R2.20 per litre, and there is certainly value left in the fibre. The food industry has a huge mark up of twenty times. Makes you think, eh, just how lazy and pliable we have become.

In 1 cup, 250ml:

250ml oats milk

250ml cow's milk

Energy

Protein

Carbohydrate

Added Sugar

Total fat

  • saturated
  • monos
  • polys
  • trans
  • cholesterol

Calcium

Vitamin A

Vitamin D

120 kcals

2g

15g

Big zero

5g

  • 0.5
  • 1.5
  • 1.8
  • 0
  • 0

400mg

700-900 mcg

4-5mcg

620

8g

12g

0

8

  • 8
  • 3,3
  • 0.3
  • 0
  • 35

300mg

268

3.2mcg

Do not take these figures too precisely; they simply point out that oats milk has considerably less protein, about the same amount of fat, but it includes zero cholesterol, and interestingly marginally more calcium.

Oats milk smoothie

Oats milk smoothie being blended.

You can rustle up this oats milk smoothie in less than five minutes. The rich flavour is to die for, and completely alkalising for stronger bones.

For two people:

  • 1 cup of oats milk
  • 1 TBSP coconut cream
  • 1/4 banana
  • A few tablespoons of berries, stewed apple or other fruit.
  • 1 cup of young dark greens such as kale, spinach or parsley.
  • 1 tsp natural honey.
  • Thin slice of lemon or lime, without the skin or pips.
  • One grain of coarse salt.
  • Optional: 1 tsp of freshly ground flaxseeds.

Use a stick blender.

The total starch in 1/2 cup would be about 15 + 25 + 6 + berries = roughly 50g.

In half a cup, 25g. That is quite a lot; if you are on a ketogenic diet, leave out the banana. As a rule of thumb, all of us should be enjoying less than 150g of starch per day, and a lot less if you are obese. Otherwise you run a serious risk of joining the ranks of the diabetics, with the attendant pain in your muscles and joints from the inflammation of raised blood glucose.

Whole grains

Rolled oats is a wonderfully nutritious whole grain[1] but by extracting the fibre in making your milk you are reducing it to a refined carb, unless you use that fibrous portion elsewhere; use it as a thickener in your stews for example instead of cornstarch.

There is strong research that those enjoying whole grains have less heart disease and a lot of other serious conditions. Your oats milk goes in the face of that. Use that remnant of the fibrous portion elsewhere.

Anti-nutrients

There is a large but I believe misguided following of folk trying to avoid so called anti-nutrients like lectins and phytic acid. Whilst it is true that they inhibit the absorption of certain minerals like iron and calcium, they are in virtually all healthy and nutritious foods.

Cutting out anti-nutrients means no whole grains, no legumes and a host of others like nuts and seeds. These are the foods that vegetarians live on, and they have stronger bones than the carnivores amongst us. There may be some reduction in mineral absorption, but it is small beer.

Dr Steven Gundry, a truly learned man, makes a very strong case for avoiding these "terrible" anti-nutrients, and then totally ruins it by advising you can enjoy them provided you buy his concoction. Are they good, or are they bad, doctor?

Soaking your oats overnight helps to reduce the influence of these phytates and lectins on mineral absorption.





Oats milk

Oats milk is a reasonable alternative to dairy and it can be blended up in only five minutes. After filtering off the liquid, use that fibre in your cooking; it is of the highest quality for lowering cholesterol.

These confessions of a waste picker make more aware of what we toss into the garbage.

  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Meaning of starch
  3. Oats milk
  1. Why is whole grain better?

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