Oat milk is a dairy milk alternative that is versatile and quickly becoming a favorite of alternative milk drinkers. It’s perfectly creamy to add to your morning coffee and contains natural sweetness that reduces the need for added sugar. Oat milk is a pleasantly palatable beverage that will impress any regular milk drinker.
You can also use oat milk to replace other types of milk in cream-heavy products, such as dairy-free ice cream.
So can you freeze oat milk? Yes, you can freeze oat milk. However, it will be a bit grainy after it is thawed, so there are a few tips and tricks that will help, such as straining thawed oat milk through a cheesecloth.
Keep reading to find out the best way to freeze oat milk and how to thaw it without affecting the texture too much. We’ll also answer some questions that you may have after learning everything there is to know about freezing oat milk.
The Complete Guide to Freezing Oat Milk
Before we go into the freezing process, it’s important for you to know how oat milk is made in order to understand why it freezes and thaws the way it does.
First, we will discuss how oat milk is made and the best uses for oat milk, then we will show you the step-by-step instructions to freezing and thawing oat milk so you can enjoy it anytime.
How Oat Milk is Made
Oat milk was first created in Sweden by university researchers when it was discovered that oats could provide similar nutrition as cow’s milk.
The first oat milk to hit the shelves and coffee shops was Oatly, which was created, unsurprisingly, by the founder of the research group in Sweden. You can find Oatly products on Amazon.
Oats are naturally free of dairy, soy, nuts, and gluten, so oat milk is a perfect choice for most people with food allergies or sensitivities.
Oat milk is made by extracting the moisture out of oats. It’s surprisingly easy to make your own oat milk at home.
We love the oat milk recipe by the Minimalist Baker. For the sake of simplicity, we are just going to list the basic ingredients that she includes for the most basic oat milk. If you’re curious to see what else she adds into her oat milk for more flavor, you can check out her article here.
Basic oat milk recipe:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups of water
- 1 pinch salt
This basic recipe is great because you can use it in sweet or savory dishes. If you want your oat milk to be sweeter, you can add a date or tablespoon of maple syrup and a splash of vanilla extract (this one from Amazon is incredible).
- Blend in a blender until mixed thoroughly, about 30-45 seconds. Be careful not to over blend, as this will give your milk a slimy texture.
- Transfer into a cheesecloth and strain into a container.
- Cover the container with a lid and place your fresh oat milk in the refrigerator. Consume within 5 days.
Simple, easy, and delicious. Like we said before, the Minimalist Baker has more detailed instructions on her blog, but the recipe above will give you similar, more basic results.
Best Uses for Oat Milk
Oat milk is traditionally made as a replacement for cow’s milk, so you can use it in any recipe that calls for cow’s milk.
Of course, there are other alternative milks out there that might work better for some dishes (such as using coconut milk in curry), but oat milk will nicely replace cow’s milk in most situations.
Here are the best uses for oat milk:
- Replacement for cow’s milk in cereal and granola
- As creamer in coffee and/or in a latte
- The base of a smoothie (try it with frozen bananas, nut butter, and your favorite protein powder)
- Add a splash to your morning oatmeal for extra oaty goodness
These are just a few suggestions and our personal favorite ways to use oat milk. Feel free to experiment in the kitchen with oat milk. You can’t really go wrong with this versatile beverage.
How to Freeze Oat Milk
Now, the answer you’ve been waiting for. How do you freeze oat milk?
First of all, it’s important to note that freezing oat milk will change the consistency. It will become slightly grainy after thawing, so make sure you truly need to freeze oat milk before sticking it in the freezer.
Here’s how to freeze oat milk:
- In the carton:
- Place the entire carton in the freezer. If the oat milk has been unopened, it will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
- In an airtight, freezer-safe bottle (like these on Amazon):
- Pour oat milk in a freezer-safe bottle, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top. Liquid expands as it freezes, so it’s very important to leave enough room at the top so the glass doesn’t break from the pressure.
- This will also last up to 6 months in the freezer. Be sure to label the date of initial freezing. It’s not recommended to refreeze oat milk, so make sure you plan to use everything that you choose to thaw after freezing.
And there you have it! Two easy ways to freeze oat milk.
So what do you do once you want to use the oat milk? Keep reading to find out the proper way to thaw oat milk so it retains most of its consistency and flavor.
How to Thaw Oat Milk
Once you’re ready to use your oat milk, you can thaw it in the refrigerator.
Oat milk should always remain chilled before use, so it’s important you allow enough time for it to fully thaw in the refrigerator before you use it. This means that you should not thaw it on the countertop like you would with some frozen food items.
Here’s how to thaw oat milk:
- In a carton:
- Take the oat milk carton from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator. Leave the oat milk in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight to thaw fully. You can then use it as you would normally.
- Once oat milk is thawed, you should consume it within 10 days.
- In freezer-safe bottles:
- Again, place the bottle (or bottles) in the fridge and leave it there for 8 hours. It’s best to thaw oat milk in the fridge overnight if you plan to use it in the morning.
- Consume within 10 days.
Remember that oat milk will be slightly grainy after it has been frozen and thawed. Here are some tips to reduce the graininess of your thawed oat milk:
- The best idea to reduce the grainy texture is to restrain it using a cheesecloth or nut milk bag. This will get rid of those tiny granules of oats if you’re worried about it affecting the enjoyment of your oat milk.
- If you’re adding thawed oat milk to cereal, we don’t really recommend restraining the oat milk because chances are, you won’t even notice the grainy texture when you’re chomping away on your cereal, granola, or oatmeal that already has a grainy texture.
Freezing and thawing oat milk is a simple process that takes minimal effort and is easily done straight in the carton or by transferring into freezer-safe bottles that are perfect for an individual serving.
Heating Oat Milk
Oat milk thickens as it heats. This is why it’s so great as an alternative to coffee creamer since it gives a similarly creamy texture to your morning beverage.
However, this is not so great in other recipes, such as soups and stews. It’s best to use other alternatives that heat nicely, such as coconut milk.
We hope this article has been helpful. Read the section below to learn even more about oat milk.
How long does oat milk last in the refrigerator?
Most store-bought oat milk should be consumed within 10 days of opening, as long as it has been chilled in the refrigerator. The “best by” date will usually be listed somewhere on the carton.
Homemade oat milk only lasts 5 days in the fridge because it lacks the preservatives that are usually added to store-bought oat milk products. Make sure to label the date that you made your oat milk so you know when you need to consume it by.
Is oat milk as healthy as other oat products?
Even if you make oat milk at home, it is still considered processed. The reason oat milk is a processed food is because it has been altered from its original state: a whole oat grain.
Eating oats whole, especially steel-cut oats, will give you much more fiber and additional nutrients that are lost during the milking process.
That is not to say that oat milk isn’t healthy—it certainly is! But you do miss out on some of the benefits of whole oats.
If you want to use oats in another way that keeps the fiber intact, you can consider making oat flour to use in your baking recipes. Lucky for you, we’ve written an article all about ground oats.