how to make heatable oat milk

how to make heatable oat milk

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have gone through cartons and cartons of oat milk since discovering that sweet sweet sustainable beverage. That’s what set me on a mission to create my own version of oat milk, one that’s heatable, cheaper and low-waste.

Read about why oat milk is the best or head straight to the recipe.

The recipe

Time needed

one clock

Approx. 15 mins


one star



5+ (approx. 1 pint)


  • 1 cup oats
  • 4 cups water
  • Pinch xanthan gum
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (alternatively, dates or maple syrup)

Read more about the ingredients


  • Strainer (nut milk bag / cheese cloth / old, clean t-shirt)
  • Sieve
  • Bowl
  • Container for your oat milk


1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender and pulse

You want to blend until it’s a nice, consistent texture – that’ll probably take up to 30 seconds.

Read my tips on blending.

2. Strain it over a bowl

Here are my suggested steps:

  • Rest a sieve on top of a bowl of the same width. This is so the oat milk doesn’t spill out when you start to strain it.
  • Place a straining cloth inside the sieve. See my advice for choosing a straining cloth.
  • Pour the oat milk mix into the lined sieve.
  • Let the oat milk drain through by itself for a couple of minutes.
  • Grab all edges of the cloth up with one hand to form an enclosed pouch, with the blended oat mix inside. Squeeze the pouch with your other hand until you’ve got as much liquid out of it as you can.

3. Decant your heatable oat milk into a container and enjoy!

Yep, that’s really it! It’s ready to drink straight away.

Mine’s always gone before I know it, but most sources online suggest your oat milk will stay good for around five days, if it’s sealed and kept in the fridge.

Get some ideas on how to use the milk and residue

A hand holding up homemade oat milk

Recipe notes

Why oat milk?

No disrespect to the other plant-based milks, but this one is quite clearly the best. Oat milk done right is super creamy and goes with everything – in coffee, tea, baking, with cereal, matcha, overnight oats (yes, oats on oats).

On top of taste, oat milk uses far less land and water, and produces fewer emissions than cow’s milk (and a number of other plant-based milks). Plus, oats are grown in cooler climates, meaning its production doesn’t necessitate rainforest deforestation.

These factors mean it has a lower environmental impact, making your brew more sustainable. The great taste plus eco-friendliness have led to it becoming the nation’s favourite plant-based milk (and mine)

Having said that, there are a few cons associated with drinking oat milk:

  • It can come with quite a price tag. Some cheaper versions are available, but they often break up, or curdle, in hot drinks.
  • The packaging can start to pile up. If your goal is to make a more sustainable choice, this can feel like you’re defeating your main objective. 
  • They can contain a lot of fat and sugar.

So, that started my hunt for a good homemade alternative – something low-waste, cheap and where I had oversight into all the ingredients.

What do you mean 'heatable'?

When I was trying to make my own packaging-free oat milk, it actually proved harder than expected.


I quite often heat up oat milk if I’m using it in a hot drink or as a milk substitute when cooking. But a number of options I tried just didn’t hold up to being heated… or even touching a hot drink.

Some oat milks will curdle in coffee, or ‘denature’, unless they have an additive to prevent that happening.

After a lot of investigating and experimenting, I settled on my favourite recipe for at-home oat milk that can stand the heat.

I won’t lie to you, this doesn’t taste like Minor Figures or Oatly, but that’s because it’s really hard to rival that shop-bought flavour at home. These companies apparently have special enzymes that break down the oats, which seems to bring out their natural sweetness.

As I don’t have any secret enzymes hanging around, I’ll probably always keep a stock of cartons, but this is a pretty good alternative to cut down on the plastic


Deep-diving into the ingredients

Simplifying the recipe

It’s so simple to make – you could have a pint of oat milk in around 15 mins, after following three simple steps – and you only need a handful of ingredients.

If you want to make it even simpler, you can make oat milk with simply oats and water. Feel free to follow my recipe using just those two ingredients!

When it’s that stripped back, the taste and texture just aren’t there for me though, and it doesn’t hold up well to heating, hence the additions in my recipe.


Using 4 cups will make heatable oat milk, but will also make a slightly thinner batch. If you want thicker oat milk, use 3 cups of water instead.

Bear in mind that if you try to heat the thicker version up, it’ll turn into a strange paste. I’ve found it’s fine in tea and coffee, but you need to be wary when you’re purposefully heating the milk, for something like a latte.

If you prefer different thicknesses for different purposes, you can always make a batch of thicker milk and then dilute any portions you want to heat up.

Oil and sweetener

The rapeseed oil and vanilla extract here add that little bit of creaminess and sweetness, helping to replicate that carton taste.

I’ve noticed a few people worried about drinking oil, but rapeseed oil is actually one of the key ingredients used by Minor Figures and Oatly, so it’s probably already making its way into your morning coffee. On top of that, it’s one of the oils lowest in saturated fats, and it contains omegas 3, 6 and 9, helping to reduce cholesterol.

So, while maybe you still don’t want to go overboard and start adding huge amounts of oil into your diet, rapeseed oil is one of the better options to go for.

Xanthan gum

For the majority of people, the most uncommon ingredient on the list is likely to be xanthan gum. This addition was inspired by this Reddit article, and is there to help thicken the oat milk and make it possible to heat and even froth it.

So, what is it? According to Doves Farm, x-gum is made from a sugar created during the fermentation of grains. It’s often used in gluten-free baking, so is readily available in a lot of supermarkets (and may mean you’re already familiar with it, if you’re coeliac!).

I actually picked up mine from Unwrapped, so you can get it pretty much waste-free in Sheffield.


Apparently, over-blending can create a slimier texture, so try to avoid going too far past the 30-second mark.

Some recipes advise adding the ingredients in stages, blending them bit-by-bit. Originally, I tried this, but I didn’t find any benefit to it. I’d recommend saving time and effort, and blending everything in at once!

Oat milk mix being poured into a strainer in a sieve.

Straining bags

If you’re not sure how often you’ll be making this, there’s no need to invest in a nut milk bag – anything will work. The finer the weave of your strainer, the smoother your drink will be, but the more effort it may take to strain through it.

For example, I first used a regular piece of cotton (a bedsheet material), and it was pretty hard to strain through, but so smooth. The next time, I used a cheese cloth, which has far larger holes. That was super easy to strain through, but created oat milk that was a little gritty. To be honest, the grittiness wasn’t too noticeable for me and I’m lazy, so I tend to opt for the quicker method.

I’ve even used a produce bag (the ones you can get in supermarkets to put veg in), and that worked fine! Have a hunt around your house and I’m sure you can find something suitable.

Using the oat milk

You can use this for all the normal things: tea, coffee, cereal, porridge.

I use this recipe mostly for situations where I need a large amount of milk. That’s when I don’t want to use up a ton of expensive stuff and any grittiness from using the lazier straining method are less noticeable.

In those situations, this recipe hasn’t failed me!


Here are some suggestions:

  • in a pancake recipe
  • in a beetroot latte
  • for custard
If you’re wondering how to use the residue, check out my oat face mask tutorial.

1 thought on “how to make heatable oat milk”

  1. Just reading your post, and I had a thought on enzymes. Something I remembered from some learning about home-brewing: there is an enzyme that is used in the production of light beer to break down complex carbohydrates into simpler sugars, that may well be the same enzyme that oatly uses. As a bonus, it’s commonly available to consumers. Beano. Just idle speculation, but it might be worth trying a batch with a beano tablet tossed in the blender. It might take a bit of experimentation to get the proportion right. One beer recipe I read referenced 3 tablets for 6 lbs of grain as a starting point.

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