Okay, I obviously haven’t gone off the grid and started milking cows, but I have produced jars and bottles of milk so here’s my experience with oat and almond milk and which one is more worth it.
This is fairly inexpensive at about $4 for gluten-free, organic rolled oats. I had about half a packet left, and popped a cup into the blender and then poured three cups of filtered water (I just used water from a recently-boiled kettle) into it. I doubled the oats, but realised belatedly the Cuisinart blender doesn’t have enough capacity for six cups of water, so the ratio was more like 1:2.
The blending was pretty smooth, and then I strained it with a strainer that my mum had passed me. I tried it also with a tea towel, but this proved to be a greater mess than almond milk and oozed right out of the tea towel. After doing this a couple of times for all the oats, I filled two mason jars, one almond butter and one coconut butter jar and a bottle that used to hold white vinegar, which is a lot for that deceptively little amount of oats.
If you find the mixture too thick, as I did when I tried to add it to my fertility smoothie (more on that in a separate post), simply add more water to the smoothie. I divided the remainder of the milk between the coconut butter jar and almond butter jar and then topped them up with water and gave both a good shake. Also if you want to minimise the amount of oat (meal?) left behind, use instant baby oats.
Pros: Cost effective, no need to strain with tea towel, can top up water for more output. Will definitely try again.
Cons: Your kitchen will be a mess, and you can’t reuse the insoluble oats–or at least I didn’t try to.
I described the process already in my last post, but here’s a quick summary and the recipe I used. You have to soak the almonds overnight (or for eight hours) with a ratio of 1 cup of almonds to 4 cups of purified water. You blend the softened almonds with the same amount of water till it forms a milk-like texture, and then pour it out over a strainer or tea towel.
The tea towel method here is easier than with oat milk, because the almond meal is more solid, and won’t ooze out too much. Wring it as much as you can until most of the liquid has been extracted (you likely won’t get all of it). For the second batch, I used the strainer first to make sure most of the milk had been strained out, and wrung it with a tea towel. This makes drying your almond meal a lot faster.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to buying almond meal/flour, you can just take the solid remains of the almond milk, and pop it into an oven and toast it, for about three hours. The first batch had to be done for around seven hours because it was much wetter.
Pros: Fairly quick and hassle-free, no waste is produced (except the plastic bag the almonds came in) and much easier to wring out the milk. Just be patient waiting for the almonds to dry out.
Cons: It makes the kitchen messy too, and you kinda have to be home when the oven is on.
Cost effectiveness: One 514g bag of almonds yielded probably about 300-400g of almond flour (I think, I’ve not weighed it) and two and a half mason jars of almond milk, which I finished within two to three days. Based on my calculations of the price of almonds is $2.49 per 100g and almond flour is $11, the costs basically even out with buying off the shelf. So I’m not sure you save money at all.