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I want that Oatly milk!

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“GAMECHANGER! REVOLUTIONARY! LIFE-ALTERING! PARADIGM-SHIFTING! Just so you know, we are none of the above. We are just a really really really good oatmilk. If you are not into the concept of oatmilk, then we are going to taste like a boring oatmilk. But if you are into the concept of oatmilk, then we are going to taste like a really really really great oatmilk, because we are the ones who made the first oatmilk 30 years ago in the south of Sweden (when it was uncool to be making oatmilk) and we have been improving the way we turn oat kernels into liquid while keeping the nourishment intact ever since. So if you happen to be shopping for groceries some day and stumble across this package, please feel free to try it. Just don’t expect to be blown away with a reality-defying adjective, because honestly, we are just an oatmilk.”

Message on Oatly’s packaging
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Message on Oatly’s packaging

This is the message on the Oatly chocolate milk carton that I bought. 

I’ve never once seen a full shelf of Oatly cartons at the store. They’re quickly sold out, leaving other brands hanging there begging for the same attention. Oatly is not cheap compared with other brands. But why is it in such high demand? Why is everyone talking about it? Have you tried it? Do you know that you can make a homemade version of Oatly on your own?  

What is oat milk and who is Oatly? 

Generally, oat milk is a vegan milk alternative to traditional cow milk with the main ingredients of oats and water. It’s gluten-free by nature but could be contaminated if processed in the same facility with other crops that contain gluten like rye, barley, or wheat. Oatly is a Swedish brand that sells gluten-free oat milk and oat-related products including Frozen Dessert and Oatgurt

Why is Oatly ridiculously famous?

  • It has bold marketing movements – Have a look at these examples: 
    • Oatly CEO Toni Peterssona singing a song about oat milk in the commercial for this year’s Super Bowl. The company knew that people would hate it because the show sucked, so they sold T-shirts with texts that read, “I TOTALLY HATED THAT OATLY COMMERCIAL”. And guess what, they were sold out.
    • They communicate their values through their packaging. You will encounter different messages even with the same kind of products. The messages are sometimes hilarious, sometimes silly, but every time honest. At least, that’s how I see it. Customers crave to know what else Oatly has to say through each carton, so they keep buying more as a result. That’s what makes Oatly unique and memorable.
    • The “Are you stupid?” campaign was launched to attack European Parliament’s potential regulations about packaging restrictions. They’re afraid that consumers may get confused between cow milk and plant-based milk and end up being misled. The campaign proved that people are not stupid. In the end, it encouraged the audience to sign a petition to fight against the law amendment 171.

  • Its products are plant-based and environmental-friendly – Plant-based food and drinks have gained much more momentum due to the awareness consumers have regarding climate change from dairy products consumption. It’s time that people look for alternatives that are not only good for themselves but also great for the planet. This isn’t specific to just Oatly but other plant-based drinks as well.
  • It tastes amazing – Don’t take my word for it. Try it yourself. 
“Are you stupid?” Campaign

Why should you try oat milk? 

How to make oat milk by yourself? 

No matter how much I love Oatly, it still has a high environmental cost packaging-wise. So, I managed to make it myself. After testing some recipes on the internet, I developed the version that I like. It’s simple, budget-friendly, and needs only four ingredients and a few simple kitchen gadgets. 

Homemade oat milk
Gift Homsaen | The Seattle Collegian Homemade oat milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (soak with water in the fridge for 30 minutes before making). If you use regular rolled oats, no soaking needed.
  • 3.5 cups water
  • 3 pitted medjool dates 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Equipment

  • blender
  • strainer
  • nut milk bag/cheesecloth/ old T-shirt (optional)

Instructions

  • Blend everything together for 45 seconds at high speed. 
  • Strain the liquid twice with a strainer. While straining, avoid squeezing the milk out of the pulp as it can make the milk slimy. Instead, use a scoop or a spatula to stir the pulp till it releases most of the liquid. 
  • If you want a smoother finish of the milk (less grainy), strain it one more time with a nut milk bag or old T-shirt. Again, try not to squeeze it too much. 
  • Store the milk in a tight-sealed container and keep it in the fridge. It will last for about five days.

Check out Minimalist Baker for another simple way to make oat milk. The leftover pulp can be used for baking or making other recipes. You can store the pulp in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a couple of months. 

Some things to keep in mind about homemade oat milk

  • You will find that it separates into two layers after a few hours. That’s normal. You just need to shake it well before drinking. 
  • It won’t be as nutritious as store-bought ones because those are enriched with vitamins and minerals, but you can hardly add them into your homemade milk.
  • It won’t be as nutritious as whole oat groats or rolled oats because you strain out the grains (pulp) which contain most of the nutrients and drink the liquid. What you can do is mix the milk with rolled oats for breakfast and use the pulp to make other recipes. 

Although this version of oat milk is not as perfect as Oatly’s, it is my favorite milk so far. It’s both creamy and slightly sweet and damn easy to make. I have oat milk mixed with thick rolled oats soaked the night before, some apple slices, and dark chocolate chips for breakfast every morning. It’s delicious and fuels me really well. If homemade oat milk is still too far from your personal taste, or you’re still skeptical with the whole plant milk thing, give Oatly a try! 

Gift is a Programming AAS-T student and a Web Manager at the Seattle Collegian. She covers the column, Give me a break!, as she believes that everyone needs a break once in a while during this stressful time. She enjoys improving the Collegian website as much as writing, baking, making oat milk, and listening to podcasts.

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