Colorado ski resorts are closed for the season, Rocky Mountain National Park is closed, all restaurant dining is closed, schools and universities are closed, and a stay-at-home order is in place for the state in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been self-isolating since March 12, which does not feel too different from our normal lives with some limitations. It’s not that way for many who have lost jobs, are staring at financial uncertainty, are already vulnerable, are sick, or are working for the good of the community. And let’s face it: the majority of those essential workers DO NOT get paid what they are worth nor enough for what they are risking for the rest of us. If you have the means, now is a particularly good time to contribute to your local food banks, shelters for people and animals, and maybe purchase some gift cards from small businesses – especially restaurants – that may not make it to the other side of this pandemic without your support. I hope you and yours are safe and well right now.
I’ve been checking in on my parents regularly to see how they are and to make sure they aren’t doing anything to put themselves or others at greater risk. So far, so good. Jeremy is working from home 100% and the dogs seem to think this is a great idea. Last Friday was Neva’s fifth birthday, so I managed a little celebration of sorts from what was on hand.
birthday plate of beef meatballs, apple, cheddar, and homemade dog treats
such good girls
We are not combating boredom over here, but making the most of the time not spent driving anywhere, meeting in person, or traveling. This coincides with my ongoing Spring Cleaning goals. You know, the ones that I started in the fall… of 2018. Time to put a dent in that To Do list as well as chip away at our freezer(s) inventory!
baking a sextuple batch of dog treats
sewed two cushions to replace those unsightly piles of old blankets
assessing what size our next backpacking tent should be (we got this one pre-Yuki)
Despite all of the ski hill closures, the snow keeps falling in between those sunny spells because it’s Colorado and it’s springtime in the Rockies. The stay-at-home order makes a few exceptions, including getting outside for exercise in your own backyard/town. Flatlanders flocking to mountain towns has been problematic because mountain communities don’t have the capacity to handle the COVID-19 outbreak let alone any boneheads that get caught in an avalanche and require scarce rescue resources. We’ve been playing it safe on our local low-risk terrain for cardio workouts in fresh air. The turns can wait.
yuki loves that smell of freshly fallen snow
social distancing is how we roll
the girls get to ski tour, too
one day at a time
One thing I’ve noticed on our weekly trips to the grocery stores are the sections of empty shelves. Flour, rice, beans, bread, milk, eggs, chicken, toilet paper, soap, hand sanitizer. As we gathered the items from my grocery list last week, Jeremy pointed to a couple lonely cartons of oat milk and asked if I needed any. I shook my head, because I make my own oat milk. Months ago when I first tried oat milk, I figured this was the solution to my lactose-intolerant needs. I sought out organic oat milk, which is not only hard to find (for me), it’s expensive. Around the same time, a reader (Yvonne) had also written to me about glyphosate levels in oat milk. Glyphosate is an herbicide, the main active ingredient in Roundup. Another push for me to just make my own oat milk. As longtime readers already know, I like making food from scratch which gives me greater control over the quality of what I’m eating.
water, salt, steel-cut oats
You can use rolled oats or steel-cut oats. The difference is that the steel-cut oats require a 12-hour soak in water the night before. I had a giant bag of organic steel-cut oats intended for breakfasts but admittedly neglected because I don’t actually like to eat breakfast. The perfect excuse to use them for oat milk! And if you need this to be gluten-free, just make sure that the oats you are using are certified as such. The salt is for enhancing the flavor of the oat milk. You can make sweetened or flavored versions (sugar, honey, soak a dried date with the oats, maple syrup, vanilla extract, etc.), but I like my milk to be neutral.
soak steel-cut oats overnight
The biggest issue with making oat milk appears to be the slime factor. Oats soaked in water produce a slimy component that we want to minimize. So the first step is to rinse the oats after they have soaked. I placed mine in a sieve and ran cold water over them several times. The next step is to blender the soaked steel-cut oats (or unsoaked rolled oats) with fresh water, but not to blender too much. 10-30 seconds in a Vitamix should work. We’re looking to blend the oats, but overblending increases your slime factor.
place the strained and rinsed oats in the blender with fresh water
blitz for about 30 seconds
Now it’s time to strain out the oat bits from the milk. It’s a balance between getting the fine dregs out while limiting the amount of sliminess. Pouring through a fine mesh sieve helps to remove the bulk material from the liquid. Just don’t press the solids because that forces the slime through the sieve. Likewise, a fine mesh nut milk bag or cheesecloth also works, but refrain from squeezing the liquid out. I actually do the sieve and then the bag, but use what method works best for you. The aim is to allow for passive drainage. I know this because my first attempt at oat milk was slimy (yes, I squoze the bag) and pretty unpalatable no matter how much I diluted it. Lesson learned.
pour through a fine mesh sieve
i do a second filter through a fine mesh nut milk bag
stir in a pinch of salt to taste
The result is my own homemade organic oat milk that didn’t cost me a fortune. You can dilute the oat milk as you see fit. Shake well before using it as it can separate over time. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I’ve read it starts to smell bad past that point. I hope you all stay safe and well. xo
homemade organic oat milk
1 cup steel-cut oats (organic) or rolled oats (organic)
water for soaking
3 cups water
pinch of salt
If using steel-cut oats: Place the oats in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak for 12 hours. Drain and rinse the oats several times.
For steel-cut and rolled oats: Put the oats and 3 cups of water in a blender. Blend on high speed for 10-30 seconds until combined. Don’t overblend as this increases the sliminess of the final product. Strain the oat liquid through a fine mesh sieve, fine mesh nut milk bag, or cheesecloth. Stir in pinch of salt. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Shake well before using. Makes about 3 cups.
more goodness from the use real butter archives
|oat milk rice pudding||kombucha (plain, ginger, huckleberry ginger)||almond vanilla chia seed pudding||cold brew coffee|