This Wednesday was an exciting day for me: After almost four years of being vegan, I made my own plant-based milk! Writing my post on everything to know about vegan milks made me want to get some hands-on experience. I decided to try oatmilk, since oats are much cheaper than nuts. All I needed was water, oats, a blender, and something to strain with. I let myself splurge a bit and purchased a pair of beautiful, reusable nut milk bags made of organic cotton from a responsible company for straining, since I knew there would be lots of other recipes I could use them for. Once I had made the oatmilk, I also added canola oil, salt, and vanilla. Here’s a step-by-step photo guide to my experience.
Swapping out cow’s milk for lactose-free vegan milk made from plants is probably the easiest change you can make for animals and the planet. Vegan author Carol J. Adams even features this switch as Daily Action #1 in her book Protest Kitchen. These milks are made from a wide range of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains. Boxes, bottles, cartons, and cans of plant-based milk can be found in grocery stores across the world, and new flavors and brands are showing up on the shelves all the time. I regularly stock my fridge with vanilla, chocolate, unsweetened, and plain flavors depending on what taste I’m craving and what I plan on cooking or baking. You can even make your own plant milks at home by soaking unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews, seeds, or grains in water overnight, blending them, and straining the mixture through a cheesecloth.
But maybe you don’t know what plant-based milk to try, or if plant-based milks can stack up to the nutrition in cow’s milk. What vegan milk should you use for what in the kitchen? What are the environmental impacts of different plant-based milks? Is soy bad for you? Read on to answer these and other questions.