• Oat milk (also labelled as oat drink) consists of steel-cut oats or whole oat groats that are soaked in water, blended and then strained.

    With headlines blasting the environmental impact of our almond milk obsession, oat milk has stepped in to save the day – and the bees! It takes six times more water to produce almond milk compared to oat milk.

    And from a nutritional point of view, it has plenty of benefits. Compared to nut milks, oat milk has the highest amount of protein and fibre; not to mention its delicious creamy texture, neutral flavour and great frothing ability, which make it an easy swap for your morning cappuccino!

    GOOD TO KNOW

    You may see the word mylk on products – this is a Medieval spelling of milk, which is increasingly being used nowadays to denote dairy alternatives.

    Vegans can substitute with vegan cheese in this recipe.

    RECIPE, STYLING AND PHOTOGRAPH BY KATELYN ALLEGRA

    ASSISTED BY CASSANDRA UPTON

    Loaded oat milk mac ’n cheese gratin

    Serves: 6
    Total Time: 50 mins

    Ingredients

    • 60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
    • 1 leek, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and stems discarded + extra sprigs, to decorate
    • 2 tbsp cake flour
    • 500ml (2 cups) oat milk/drink (unflavoured)
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • pinch ground nutmeg
    • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 250g mozzarella, grated
    • 200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
    • 500g macaroni, cooked
    • OAT GRATIN

    • 25g nutritional yeast (find at health stores)
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
    • 140g rolled oats
    • 35g (¼ cup)
    • ground almonds
    • pinch sea salt flakes
    • 100g unsalted butter/coconut oil

    Instructions

    1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C. Heat ½ the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the leek, garlic and leaves from the 2 thyme sprigs until softened, 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from saucepan and set aside.

    2

    Pour the remaining ½ of the olive oil into the same saucepan over medium heat and add the flour. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the oat milk all at once and whisk to combine. Cook until thickened and bubbling, 3 – 5 minutes. Add the leek mixture, mustard, nutmeg, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and season to taste. Stir in the cheeses and cooked macaroni. Mix well and spread into a large ovenproof casserole dish.

    3

    For the oat gratin, mix the 25g nutritional yeast with leaves from the 4 thyme sprigs together with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Rub together to form crumbs. Sprinkle over the mac ’n cheese and bake in the preheated oven until golden and bubbling, 30 – 35 minutes. Serve decorated with the extra thyme sprigs.

    Imka Webb
    Author

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com

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