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4-ingredient chocolate oat milk is a healthy, budget-friendly, smooth, creamy, refreshing, dairy-free milk perfect for drinks, cereal, chia pudding, & more. + Tips to avoid sliminess!

completed Chocolate Oat Milk in glasses

Get ready to enjoy an (enthusiastically) child and adult-approved chocolate treat with this simple, delicious, healthy chocolate oat milk recipe. Not only do you get to ditch unnecessary additives, gums, thickeners, and an abundance of sugars in many store-bought versions (powder or liquid), but you can make it at lower cost, and it’s actually fairly good for you!

This healthy dairy-free chocolate milk is indulgent yet wholesome and loaded with gut-beneficial fiber, antioxidants, moderate levels of plant-based protein, and several vitamins and minerals (like iron, zinc, and magnesium). Plus, it’s made with no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no nuts (unless you want to), and with regular or unrefined sugar (or a sugar alternative)

Best of all, this homemade oat milk recipe takes just 5 minutes, with no need to soak anything (unlike nut milk). Plus, we’ve included several tips to avoid slimy oat milk every single time. If you want to try more homemade plant-based milk, check out our cashew milk recipe.

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The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Chocolate Oat Milk on a white surface
  • Oats: Use whole old-fashioned oats (regular or organic), certified gluten-free if necessary.
  • Water: Use cold water – regular or filtered.
  • Sweetener: Use maple syrup, agave, rice syrup, date paste (or even an actual date or two), regular sugar (white, brown, coconut sugar), or a sugar alternative.
  • Cocoa powder: Use high-quality cacao or cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed cocoa powder) for a rich chocolatey flavor.
  • Salt: To balance the sweetness and enhance the chocolate flavor.

To make plain oat milk, simply omit the cocoa powder. Reduce the sugar if preferred, too.

Recipe Variation Options

Once you’ve started making oat milk at home, you’ll quickly realize how easy it is to make all kinds of delicious flavor variations with very little additional effort or cost, including:

  • Cashews: For creamier oat milk, we like to pair it with other nuts or seeds. Raw, unsalted, soaked cashews, in particular, are a super creamy addition; you only need a handful. Nut flours like cashew, almond, or nut-free sunflower seed flour also work.
  • Nut butter: Instead of the above, add a spoonful of your favorite nut butter (we use raw cashew butter) for extra creaminess; no soaking is necessary.
  • Vanilla extract: Technically optional, but a great pairing with the vegan chocolate.
  • Cinnamon: Add to taste for extra warm, toasty deliciousness. Nutmeg, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice will also work well.
  • Coffee: Just a small amount of instant coffee/espresso powder will enhance the chocolatey flavor. Add even more for delicious mocha oat milk (and a great morning pick-me-up).

You can also replace the cocoa powder in this recipe for oat milk with ingredients like vanilla, fresh berries, or coffee for other flavored oat milk variations.

How to Make Chocolate Oat Milk

  • First, add the oats and water to a blender and blend for 1 minute.

If you have a super high-speed blender like a Vitamix, it’s technically possible to blend it on its highest setting for 2 minutes and skip the straining, but some may not like the consistency.

  • Strain the oat milk through a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth, leaving it to strain naturally (this can take a few minutes).

It’s important not to press or squeeze the bag while straining, as this will lead to slimier plant milk.

  • Rinse the blender, then pour it back in and add the cocoa, sugar, and salt. Blender again until fully combined (we did for one minute). Then, taste it and adjust anything (cocoa, sugar, salt) if preferred. Enjoy!
  • Enjoy it immediately or, even better, leave it to chill in the fridge for a short while first.

Top Tips to Avoid Slimy Oat Milk

Oats are a highly starchy food – those starches gelatinize in liquid and become ‘slimy.’ Honestly, we don’t mind a little slime, but depending on your preferred level, there are several tips to follow for slime-free oat milk.

  1. Try soaking the oats. This is a method we actually haven’t tried yet. But some claim that soaking the oats and then thoroughly rinsing them to remove the slimy starches from the outside can help make creamy oat milk with minimal slime.
  2. Use cold water. Ice-cold water is best. Warm liquids will activate the enzyme in the oats that causes ‘sliminess’ (like oatmeal’s ‘stickiness’).
  3. Reduce the blending time. We like the results with the method posted as it provides nice creaminess and plant-based milk that’s not overly slimy. However, you can reduce the blend time to just 30 seconds if preferred. In that case, we highly recommend adding a handful of nuts/seeds so it isn’t too watery.
  4. Be careful when straining. Don’t squeeze the bag or press down on the oat pulp. You can strain it twice for even smoother plant milk.
  5. Use a food enzyme capsule. (Or broad-spectrum digestive enzymes) Amylase within the capsule can help to break down the starch that produces the slime.

FAQs

Can you heat oat milk?

Yes, though it can become slimmy/thicker upon heating if you haven’t strained out enough of the starches.

What does oat milk taste like?

Oat milk is mild but slightly creamy with an almost oatmeal-like flavor. This version is also wonderfully chocolate-flavored.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • To adjust the creaminess: We recommend adding a handful of nuts or seeds for creamier homemade oat milk. Increasing the oat-to-water ratio will just lead to slimy oat milk.
  • For the smoothest plant milk: Strain it twice or strain it through a very fine material, like a kitchen towel, to remove maximum sediment/starch.  
  • To fortify homemade oat milk: Blend the contents of a supplement capsule into it (like vegan vitamin D, calcium, or B12).
  • If the plant-based milk is slimy: Rather than discarding it, try straining it once more or adding a food enzyme capsule. Alternatively, use it to make oatmeal (it won’t even be noticed, then!).
  • To use leftover oat pulp: Add it to smoothies, enjoy with vegan yogurt and fruit, add it to overnight oats or oatmeal, use it for baking, and more.
completed Chocolate Oat Milk being poured into a glass

Storage Instructions

Pour the homemade chocolate oat milk into a lidded pitcher or bottle and store it in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (since it’s preservative-free), giving it a good shake between servings.

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, though it can become somewhat gritty when thawed, so it may require pulsing in a blender or straining once more.

completed Chocolate Oat Milk in a glass jug

More Vegan Drink Recipes

You may also enjoy browsing our entire collection of budget-friendly vegan drink recipes!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Chocolate Oat Milk being poured into a glass

Chocolate Oat Milk

5 from 29 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
4-ingredient chocolate oat milk is a healthy, budget-friendly, smooth, creamy, refreshing, dairy-free milk perfect for drinks, cereal, chia pudding, & more. + Tips to avoid sliminess!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste
  • ¼ sea salt

Instructions 

  • Add the oats and water to a blender and blend for 1 minute.
  • Strain the oat milk using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and allow it to naturally strain. This process will take a few minutes. Do not press on the cheesecloth to force the oat milk out. This will result in a smoother oat milk.
  • Rinse the blender and pour the oat milk back in the blender. Add the cocoa, sugar, and salt. Blend for one minute. Taste and adjust the sugar levels to taste.
  • Pour the oat milk into a pitcher or bottle with a lid and store in the fridge.

Notes

  • To adjust the creaminess: We recommend adding a handful of nuts or seeds for creamier homemade oat milk. Increasing the oat-to-water ratio will just lead to slimy oat milk.
  • For the smoothest plant milk: Strain it twice or strain it through a very fine material, like a kitchen towel, to remove maximum sediment/starch.  
  • To fortify homemade oat milk: Blend the contents of a supplement capsule into it (like vegan vitamin D, calcium, or B12).

Nutrition

Calories: 480kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 14gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 176mgPotassium: 522mgFiber: 14gSugar: 37gCalcium: 104mgIron: 6mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Drink
Cuisine: American
Method: No cook
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto
5 from 29 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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