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by Ashley Schleeper

This week has been an extended episode of rain in the Big Apple. And it’s been, well, lovely. Most days in the city are a whiz of activity, and after several hours of hustling in the streets, all I crave is bare feet, elastic-waist house shorts and a mug of tea. However, lounging around the casa in such a way often feels wrong on sunny days in Manhattan. Guilt sets in. But this week, Ma’ Nature has granted the city with a wash of rainstorms and the chance to relax and boil a kettle of water.

My morning routine is often comprised of a quick cup of coffee and a spoonful of bircher muesli straight from the jar in the fridge. Quick and easy. Alas! Over the last few damp days, I’ve taken advantage of the gray mornings and allowed myself to move a bit slower and enjoy a bowl of warm oats. The secret to making fantastic porridge is the milk. Inspired by the time I’ve had on my hands, I decided to make my own milk–oat milk.

The process is simple, yet the results are incredibly fulfilling, clean, and nourishing. Turn on this playlist and give this recipe a whirl when you have an itch for a warm breakkie and need a breather from the bustle of routine, deadlines, and stress!

Oat Milk with Cardamom and Clove

1 cup whole oat groats
1 small piece of kombu (optional)
A pinch of sea salt
½ tsp cardamom seeds
½ tsp cloves

Have on hand:
1 piece of cheesecloth, nutmilk bag, muslin, or fine sieve
1 large glass container or pitcher

Begin by soaking the oat groats in a medium bowl with the kombu. (Note: kombu is a sea vegetable often used to make dashi, but when added to soaking grains/beans/nuts it adds nutrients and improves the digestibility of the ingredients). Soak for 6-8 hours, or overnight.

Remove kombu if using, rinse the groats well and place in a blender with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Blend on high for about one minute. Place the cheesecloth over the glass container or pitcher and pour the blended mixture into it. Strain the milk until only the pulp is left. Squeeze out the last drops of milk.

Transfer the milk to an airtight container, add cardamom and cloves, and refrigerate. Milk will stay fresh for 3-4 days.  Makes 3 cups.