Chocolate Oat Milk
After a period of making homemade nut milks we gave up and resigned to purchasing cartons of plant based milk. This presented to us a whole range of plant based milks available on the market. Five years ago, when we were making our own, the choices were far and few between. One of the reasons for giving up on our homemade fare was that the milk separated. For us adults this was not a problem, we’d just give the jar a good shake before pouring ourselves some, but for the youngsters it was a trickier affair. Their gulps are smaller and by the time the glass was half empty the milk would have separated.
The star milk drinks that we bought were almond for Mrs Green and coconut milk for the boys. I have a strong preference for soya milk, but since I am last on the food chain pecking order in our household (also not the biggest fan of milk of any type), despite my making DELICIOUS homemade soya milk (that Mrs Green accused of being an emetic), I have accepted that, in this, I stand alone. Despite my efforts, I have convinced no one in our household to give soya milk a chance, but I keep hoping, ever optimistic, that one day soon I will have converted at least one of my boys.
I do not like the amount of waste that goes into cartons of milk and aside from the cost, I find it difficult to accept drinking something that has a long list of ingredients that seem to compensate for the lack of flavour and freshness. At home I know exactly what goes in my milk, I use organic ingredients that cost pennies compared to what is on offer at the shop, and can make the milk in quantities and variations that suit the tastes currently en vogue chez Green.
I like to sneak cashews into our milks as they dissolve very well leaving little pulp behind which means that the milks contain a good amount of nutrition to justify drinking them. I also add a brasil nut or two when making it, this adds a good dosage of selenium. I also like to use oats and desiccated coconut as any leftover pulp is added to our recent oat cookies craze (stay tuned for recipe ideas). I have found almonds to be too wasteful, despite being absolutely delicious, too much of the pulp is left over. For when almond milk is in demand, a little added almond extract to a cashew and or oat milk does a good enough of a job at replicating the flavours.
Among the reasons for a return to homemade milks is that I have stumbled upon a solution to the milk separating. After a quick search on Google for vegan emulsifiers, I decided to see if xanthan gum would do the trick, and it does. It keeps the milk from separating without any noticeable difference in taste. The first few times I tried this new found discovery were not a success as I was still working on the best quantity to add, and in the meantime lost my audience at home (no one drank the milk and eventually Mrs Green poured it down the drain stating it tasted awful), but I remain steadfast in hope. I cross my fingers that this chocolate oat milk does the trick, wins some hearts and allows us to tread a little less heavily on our one and only planet. Using oats is also light on the wallet.
We use raw cacao powder in this recipe as it contains a lot of beneficial nutrients that qualify it as healthy in our household. No sugar is added to the milk, instead we use raw dried lucuma powder which works a treat with cacao. If it is difficult to come by then good alternatives are dates and maple syrup. Please do play around with the proportions to suite your taste. Keep in mind that homemade oat milk does not like to be heated, it will become thick and gooey. Swap the oats for cashews if you’d like to warm it up.
You will not necessarily need a super blender such as a Vitamix for this recipe, but a nut bag is essential.
Ingredients: (makes 2 litres, 4 pints)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup raw cashews (not roasted or salted)
- 1 brasil nut
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup raw lucuma powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch of salt
- Soak the cashews for at 2hrs in warm water and then add with the oats into blender and blend at highest setting for a couple of minutes.
- Strain the mixture through a nut bag into a large bowl.
- Return the strained milk to the blender and add the remaining ingredients and blend again at highest setting for a couple of minutes.
- Keeps in the fridge for a few days. Bottoms up!