Vegan Kitchen Basics – Oat Milk

In my previous post I had shared a recipe for almond milk.  While it is very tasty, it is not suitable for people allergic to nuts.  Oat milk is nut free.

Some of you had requested that I post a cheaper alternative to dairy milk that can be taken on daily basis.  This is perfect.  I like it but prefer cashew milk.  Here is the thing.  You either love oat milk or hate it.


It is a safe alternative for babies and children, I recommend that you use your discretion and make an informed opinion. Addition of sweeteners is not recommended for babies as it makes them develop a sweet tooth at a tender age.

Is oat milk gluten-free or not?

Originally oat was a weed that grew alongside wheat (or rye or barley).  Now oats is grown by itself as a crop but it is often processed in the same facilities that process wheat or any other grains that contain gluten.  This could contaminate oats with gluten.  Bottom line is you have to decide for yourself.  Check the information on the package.  Most packages mention the nature of  processing.  If oats are grown by themselves and processed in a factory solely meant for oats, they would be gluten free.

My daughter is gluten intolerant but she has not shown any reaction to commercially available oats.  I have used Champion oats, Quaker as well Bagrry.

Oats groats or quick cooking oats?

The whole grains, after hulling are called groats.  Oats groats are sold after cutting the whole grain, roughly into two or three pieces.  These cook slowly.

Rolled oats mean steamed groats that have been rolled into thin flakes.  These are quick cooking.  I use bagrry’s quick cooking white oats mostly, as I do not have access to any other variety.


Characteristics of oats milk

Raw oat milk is not slimy but on cooking it thickens and turns a little slimy.

Refrigerated oat milk will separate.  It is a natural process and does not mean that the milk has gone bad.  Shake well before use and you will be fine.

Ratio of water to oats

Everyone has a different ratio.  Its your choice.  I use about 2.5-3 cups of water to 1 cup of oats.  Don’t be stringent with the ratio.  I suggest making a thick milk the first time using less water.  Taste, and dilute further till you like the consistency.

I use tap water as it is clean and potable.  Use water that is fit for consumption.


I use glass bottles with screw tops to store non-dairy milks I make at home.  This way I can shake without causing spillage, and I also know the amount of milk left.

Once made, refrigerate.  I do not store any non-dairy milk for more than 3 days.

Recipe: Oat Milk | Non-dairy alternative
Allergen information: Soy free | Nut free | Gluten free | Dairy free | GFCF | Vegan
Soaking time – Overnight or 7-8 hours
Preparation time – 15-20 minutes


Rolled oats – 1 level cup
Water 3-4 cups
A pod of vanilla
A pinch of pink salt


Soak oats in enough water to cover it well and set aside with a lid on for about 7-8 hours or overnight.

Rinse soaked oats.  Discard the soaking liquid.  It is natural for it to be very slimy.

Blend drained oats with a cup of water till smooth. Strain through a cheese cloth.  You can add the vanilla seeds later, after straining or add it to the blender with the drained oats.  I add it later as I feel the precious vanilla seeds get wasted otherwise.

Repeat with the drained oats again adding half a cup of water. Strain and repeat once more. Stir in a pinch of pink salt or any other organic variety you use.  Salt enhances the taste and flavour of oat milk and reduces its characteristic smell.

Bottle and refrigerate.  Use it up in 2-3 days.

The best oat milk drink

The best sweetener is jaggery. Powder and add it to the required amount of oat milk and heat at medium flame. Keep stirring and do not let it thicken.  The heating is only to ensure that the jaggery melts quickly.  If it starts thickening put off fire and remove form heat.  If you like it thick heat more.

This tastes like ‘vella payasam’. Vella payasam is a jaggery based coconut milk and rice porridge. Oats pairs best with jaggery. Sugar does not taste right to me, not even raw.

You can also have oat milk raw.  Add date syrup to sweeten instead of jaggery.


Harini is a vegan food photographer, writer and recipe developer. She also loves feeding birds, reading, watching crime thrillers, and travelling amongst other things.

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  • R Swaminathan

    Thanks for the reply.

  • R Swaminathan

    There is a mention of vanilla pod. I would like to know where do you you get vanilla pod in mumbai.

    • Harini Prakash

      You can get it in ‘FoodHall’ at Palladium, select outlets of Godrej Nature’s Basket, and Fabindia (Fort outlet). You can also purchase it online on ‘’.

  • SITA

    Thanks for the reply. I have chukku malli kapi in the morning as I need something warm in the morning.Recently I am sneezing frequently after I wake up.

  • SITA

    I am a vegetarian and have just changed to vegan about 5 days back.I am really missing my coffee and curds.I feel that oats milk can be a good option.I am so glad that you have so many vegan recipes.can we make oats milk with the quick cooking oats.Is it same as rolled oats.If not can you tell me where it is available in India.

    • Admin

      Hi, I think I have mentioned it in the post. I use quick cooking oats from Baggry. It is a steamed version. I haven’t seen rolled oats anywhere. I think champion oats was rolled oats, but with all the bigger brands entering the market, it simply disappeared! Yes, I have many veganised recipes that I hope you will find delicious.

      • SITA

        Hi ! I missed out that you have used the quick cooking oats only.Since you had mentioned rolled oats in ingredients reqd I thought that it was whole oats.and your recipes are so interesting I am going to try them.Could you suggest your menu plan from morning to night.I t would ne very useful for newly turned vegans like me,I am a veg but my menu included coffee with milk,curd paneer etc.The transition is challenging.

        • Admin

          I think I will do a post on that. I usually have a very standard menu and deviate only once a month or during festivals and such occasions. My day starts with fruits or with green smoothies upto 10:00a.m. I have lunch consisting of rasam/sambar/dal with brown rice and a dry or semi-dry subzi at 1:30p.m. At about 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. I have dates/apricots/raisins (dry fruits) etc. I return home from work at about 6:15p.m. and have a fruit, followed by dinner consisting of bhakri (gluten free rotis) and a semi-dry subzi at 7:30 to 8:00 p.m. If I feel like having something after that, it is usually a small banana or apple. Unless I have visitors I don’t use ‘tadka’ in gravy. I make vegan yogurt once a month or so.

          • SITA

            Are you not taking any milk or curd for the whole day on a daily basis.Can you elaborate on the green smoothie.I searched but didn’t find in the recipe section

          • Harini Prakash

            No, I do not. I have about a quarter to half cup of almond milk once in a while. I prefer eating fruits throughout. The green smoothies are not in the recipe section. They are very easy to make. Use any greens like parsley, celery, tender spinach, or even coriander and mint. Blend with raisins and water. You can drink as is or add a bit of chat masala, freshly squeezed limbu juice, kokum juice, pomegranate juice etc. I don’t add anything and I actually like the bit of bitterness that comes from celery but those additions will help if you don’t like them very much.

            My poison is coffee. I have black coffee or coffee with soy milk everyday. If I run out of these I have chukku kapi. Cutting size but twice a day. I forgot to mention that. 😀

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