It was a Friday morning, and my 12 year old friend Arran came over for lunch. I was just about to start the experimental process of trying to make barista oat milk in my lab (aka kitchen).
It was his first time trying Barista oat milk and he was converted instantly.
He got really excited and wanted to help develop a home made Barista milk.
It's best to mention here we were lucky to have a resident chemist around (my mum) and a plumber (Arrans dad), proffesional problem solvers!
I’d already soaked the oats and blended them with water, I’d added some rapeseed oil, so what next?
Well Arran wanted to try it and compare to the Oatly: great idea!
How did it taste? “Well not discusting, but very lumpy and watery.”
Then we strained it through some muslin cloth, and as it strained, it started to go quite creamy! Looking good!
(It doesn’t look creamy in the picture - but thats because we were leaving the samples to settle to see if they would separate: which it did)
How did it taste? Much better than the unstrained milk, quite creamy and almost delicious, but it definitely didn’t have the same sweetness as the barista.
Why not? We thought it could have been the oats. Maybe Swedish oats are sweeter?
Then Arran had a great idea! Lets heat it and see what happens….
So we heated a sample, It got a lot thicker, perhaps too thick, and you can see from the picture that it didn’t separate.
So we decided to deal with the sweetness issue, add sugar, coconut sugar.
How did it taste? “It tasted yummy! Almost perfect!”
At this point, our resident chemist and plumber were drinking coffee: “Wait!” We said, “we will try to froth some of our milk for your coffee!”
It didn’t work. WHY? Why didn’t it work?
We did some research and we found out that fats make it frothy.
So we added more rapeseed oil, but it still didn’t froth.
I'd had a conversation with my friend Chloe and we thought maybe adding flour (corn flour) might help. It didn’t. It turned it into a custard.
How did that taste? “It tasted alright, it would have been nice with sugar because it would have been a dairy free custard.”
Then we got thinking about Homogenisation. Perhaps The big company Oatly, had the ability to homogenise their milk. So we did some more research. It cost $3000 for a sonifier, which would do the job. We asked the resident chemist and plumber if they would get us one, they weren’t interested.
So what was our favourite experimental sample?
Oat milk, strained, boiled, watered down, with coconut sugar.
(It needs a good shake before using, and does separate a bit in hot drinks)
Here is the recipe (more or less, it was an experiment!!):
A handful of oats
3 cups of water
3 table spoons of rapeseed oil
A pinch of salt
A teaspoon of coconut sugar
1. Soak the oats (preferably over night)
2. Use a blender of some sort to blend it up, until smooth
3. Get some muslin cloth and strain it, squeeze out as much liquid as possible
4. Add rapeseed oil to the liquid, add salt and coconut sugar, blend again, for as long as you can: this helps the oil to mix in well
5. Heat the milk until it starts to thicken
6. Add some more water: so it’s the thickness you like.
7. Leave to cool in the fridge
8. Shake it up
9. Drink! (yum)
Then the resident musician showed up, she was reading our blog post (and laughing) and when she got to the end she said, "Oh a sonifier, i've got one of them, it cost me £45 quid."
We asked her if we could borrow it... she said yes.
TO be continued.....
Written by Arran Brough and Lauren Goodey
Herbal study 2: Plant Science (part 2)