An ode to the most meta breakfast you’ll ever eat.
Oat milk, which has been a staple in Nordic coffee shops, restaurants, and grocery stores for some time now, has officially debuted stateside — and it looks like it’s here to stay.
Vegans and non-vegans alike flock to the non-dairy milk substitute for its unparalleled creaminess, neutral flavor, and comparatively low price point. But that’s not all. They also tout its environmental friendliness, since oats require six times less water to grow than almonds.
And if the chalkboard signs dotting the NYC sidewalks outside coffee shops aren’t enough to convince you that OAT MILK IS ALL THE RAGE, this will: Oatly, one of the leading producers, just this past March declared a national shortage.
Fortunately, it’s easy to make from scratch, so you don’t have to wait until the shelves are re-stocked to taste what the hype is all about for yourself.
OAT MILK RECIPE
Unlike most nuts and seeds, oats don’t require advance soaking before blending, which I love. If you’re planning to use in a sweet setting, a tablespoon or two of pure vanilla extract would be a more-than-welcome addition. As would Medjool dates.
The homemade stuff may very well ruin you for all store-bought brands, but since when has that been a bad thing?
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 3 Cups Water
- Pinch Salt
- Blend all ingredients on high until smooth.
- Strain through a cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or glass jar.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Oat milk is the perfect accompaniment to smoothies, lattes, and tea. But in the spirit of oats, I opted for muesli — yet another European staple that’s crossed the pond.
Unlike granola, which is baked with sweeteners, egg whites, or oils to bind the ingredients together, Swiss muesli is a dry, uncooked cereal that can be enjoyed either warm or cold, sweetened or unsweetened. Doctored up with good-for-you grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and seasonings, muesli carries all the charm of granola with the heft of oatmeal.
Calling this a recipe with hard and fast rules, quantities, and instructions is misleading. It’s more of a formula, if you will. Or a blueprint — which means mixing and matching is strongly encouraged. Muesli musical chairs, anyone?
Oats are the classic, but they don’t have a monopoly on muesli. Raw spelt, barley, bulgur, rye, or buckwheat flakes would work, too.
TIP: Opt for rolled grains rather than the more processed, quick cooking variety.
Nuts (slivered or roughly chopped): almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, macadamias
Seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, hemp
…plus coconut flakes, which don’t fall into any of the above categories but deserve an honorable mention in the crunchy category.
TIP: To amplify the flavor of your crunchy components, toast them in a dry pan on the stovetop first. ‘Cause if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that toasted nuts are probably, likely, definitely the best thing ever.
Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, raisins (classic or golden), goji berries, mulberries
TIP: Eschew artificially sweetened dried cranberries in favor of apple juice-sweetened ones.
Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger
TIP: Regardless of what seasonings you choose, or whether you’re on team sweet or savory, a generous flurry of flaky Maldon sea salt is a must.
Enjoy muesli like cereal with a cold splash of oat milk, or let it soak for 10ish minutes (or overnight) if you’re a fan of creamier textures à la overnight oats. Won’t be able to keep your spoon away.