If you are reading this column, there’s a good chance that you have an urge to do ‘the right thing’. You’re the sort who’s first to help in a crisis. You were the first to raise the subject of climate change. And the first to actually do something about it! And what better first step than to start making educated choices in the way you shop? No more plastic bottles and dodgy packaging. You started shopping locally, avoiding waste, noticing how sustainable food might or might not be. And you are right.
But it’s complicated, isn’t it?.
Take milk as an example. To produce it from a cow is incredibly destructive. A study by Oxford University tells us that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions of any non-dairy milks! It takes approximately 120 litres of water, 150 square centimetres of land and produces 0.6 kg of carbon emissions to produce one 200ml glassful.
For almond milk, however, the figures are 78 litres of water, a mere 10 square centimetres of land and 2kg of CO2 emissions. It sounds like a no brainer, until you drill down – which is exactly what they have had to do in California! The Golden State is responsible for 80% of the world’s almond production which requires enormous plantations which slowly deplete and dry the soil. Farmers drill ever deeper to quench their thirsty crops, bringing up saltier water. This speeds up desertification, which in turn leads to fires, and the strong possibility of no more almond trees.
Oh dear! Does this mean we’ve been wrong with all this careful shopping decision and ethical choice?
Far from it. In a game of sustainability stakes, almond milk still trumps cows! Hemp milk is even better – and oat milk actually trumps the lot: It needs little irrigation, a small land area and unsurprisingly, produces far fewer emissions than cows! And it’s grown here in the UK, so transportation is minimal. What was that about sourcing our food locally?
Oats R It!
Our progress towards minimising our impact on the planet will be sure if we take small, steady well-chosen footsteps.
The whole idea of saving the planet depends on us learning to question the bells and whistles of advertising or propaganda. We can all ask ourselves, “Who is sharing this information, and why?”
Here at Greener Living Network: Sussex Green Living you can find step by step guides to making simple, informed decisions, plus lots of other resources for a healthier, hopeful, happier lifestyle.
Article written by Keir Hartley
Learn more about oat milk and why not try making your own oat milk to reduce your carbon footprint down even more…..
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is rolled oats and water blended together then strained to remove the pulp. This is how you make this yummy creamy, DIY oat milk!
How to Make Oat Milk
To make oat milk simply add 1 cup rolled oats + 4 cups water to a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30-45 seconds. Then strain through a clean t-shirt or towel for best results.
We found nut milk bags let too much pulp through. Fine mesh strainers also let too much pulp through, so we don’t recommend using them.
This method yields creamy oat milk every time that’s perfect for adding to coffee, matcha, cereal, oats, baked goods, granola, and more!
How to make flavoured Oat Milk
You can also optionally add sea salt, a date, vanilla extract, cacao powder, or berries when blending for added flavour!
Oat Milk FAQs
How do you make oat milk not slimy?
- Over-blending can make the oat milk slimy in texture, which is why we recommend blending for about 30-45 seconds.
- Soaking your oats can also make the oats more prone to sliminess. Just add to the blender with water and blend!
- Sometimes heating your oat milk can make it become slimy, so we don’t recommend it.
- We recommend straining twice to remove any of that excess starch which can also lend to a slimy texture.
- We recommend straining with a towel or clean t-shirt as nut milk bags and fine mesh strainers let too much pulp through.
Can you use quick oats to make oat milk?
No rolled oats are the best option.
Is oat milk gluten-free?
This can be controversial as some consider even gluten-free oats to be problematic for those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. But in our experience, certified gluten-free oats make oat milk gluten-free
How long does oat milk last?
Well sealed in the refrigerator, oat milk should last about 5 days. You’ll know it’s gone bad when it smells funny.
Why did my oat milk separate?
Separation is totally normal with oat milk and many other dairy-free milks. Simply shake well before use!