First up, apologies are in order for my absence! After the long and strenuous months leading up to the completion of my degree (dissertation, exams etc.), I went travelling around Europe, relaxing, soaking up the sun and enjoying general post-study merriment and now I’m back in the kitchen! So I thought I’d start off with a review and a delicious pasta recipe using the oh-so yummy dairy-free milk range from Oatly. Check out their motto – “It’s like milk, but made for humans” – how perfect is that?
It comes in a number of varieties including the three I chose which are the Organic Oat Drink, the Original Oat Drink and the Chocolate Oat Drink – all wonderful gulped down straight from the glass (or the container if you are a rebel like me) or incorporated into different recipes like smoothies, sauces and pastas! Oatly is a nutrious alternative to dairy milk and for those who are sensitive to soy. It is high in fibre and has a nutritional balance of protein, fat and carbs, relative to energy.
Look how awesome their new packaging is! Yeah, I am a bit of a sucker for funky branding – what can I do? I used the Organic Oat Drink in my morning smoothie with berries, bananas and maple syrup and it was positively scrumptious. It’s difficult these days to find the right dairy-free milk when there are so many out there, but I’m beginning to think I’ve found my favourite. The Chocolate Oat drink went down this afternoon with some carrot cake cookies I made using this awesome recipe from the divine Angela Liddon. Having never really been a huge fan of chocolate milk – I can safely safe this one is changing my opinion on that.
Chocolate-y and smooth without being too heavy, this is a drink I’ll definitely be buying again. Another thing I love about Oatly is the simple and short list of ingredients in their products. The original oat drinks contain oats, water and a hint of salt and the chocolate drink has in addition, sugar, cocoa powder, rapeseed oil, calcium, flavour and vitamins – not bad for a drink that usually contains some seriously nasty stuff! Try dunking your biscuits (or cookies) in this dreamy stuff, you’ll love it!
Now on to that pasta… I thought a good way to test the original oat drink was to make a creamy pasta using it, as previous attempts at making creamy sauces with other non-dairy milks have been too sweet or watery. I’m happy to report that Oatly milk works wonderfully in this recipe which means it would work equally as well in any white or cheese sauce where one would usually use dairy milk. This recipe is inspired by this pasta from the Minimalist Baker – a truly awesome blog.
Makes: Enough for 4 entrees or 3 mains
- 500g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 10 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 tablespoons plain/all purpose flour
- 2.5 – 3 cups of OATLY Original Oat Drink
- Pasta of your choice – Rigatoni works well with creamy sauces
Pre-heat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6 and line a baking sheet with baking/parchment paper. Throw the sliced tomatoes in a bowl and toss with a little oil and black pepper and lay out on the baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes – just enough time to complete the rest of the dish!
Now heat in a large pan/wok a large glug of olive oil. Throw in the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Next add in the flour, mixing with a whisk so it is incorporated into the mix, then add in the milk a cup at a time, whisking it so there are no lumps. Heat for a few minutes so it thickens and then turn the heat off.
Transfer to a blender and process until you have a smooth consistency. Pour back into the pan and heat gently, adding salt and pepper to your liking whilst you cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Drain pasta, reserving a ladel-full of cooking liquid. Add this and the pasta to the sauce and toss with roasted tomatoes and finish with black pepper and (if you like) vegan parmesan or crushed toasted nuts. Serve with a salad or bread and you’re ready to go!
The OATLY range is available at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda, Tesco and other retailers. For international readers, please check their awesome website for details :)