There has never been more interest in plant-based alternatives to dairy milk. If you’re keen to do your bit for the environment but have trouble finding a supplier, here’s how to make your own drinks – and save money while you’re at it. Just 50g of organic oats will make 750ml of drink.
Oat, Hemp, Rice, Seed and Nut Drinks
To make about 750ml, soak 50g of oats, hemp, brown rice, seeds or nuts overnight (if you have time) then drain, rinse and blend with 800ml of water for one minute. Pass through muslin, a nut-milk bag or a very fine sieve and store sealed in the fridge for up to seven days. Shake well before use. To sweeten, add four dates to the blender with two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil and an optional 3cm piece of vanilla pod or one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Lentil, Pea and Soya Drinks
These are something of an acquired taste, which is why I recommend sweetening them with dates and vanilla. To make about one litre, soak 50g of yellow split peas, soya beans or lentils in at least 300ml of water for 12-16 hours. Drain and blend with one litre of fresh water for one to two mins, then strain through a nut-milk bag or large piece of muslin into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes on a very low heat. Allow to to cool, then blend again with four dates, two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a 3cm piece of vanilla pod or one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Strain again, thin if necessary with cold water, allow to cool, bottle and refrigerate. Shake well before use.
Oat cream is delicious mixed into coffee or tea as well as on desserts. To make about 350ml, tip 50g rolled oats into a heatproof bowl, cover with 300ml boiling water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes. Pour the contents of the bowl into a blender, add two teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and blend until smooth. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator and use within seven days. Shake well before use.
Tom Hunt is an award-winning chef, climate change campaigner and author