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Everything You Need to Know About Oat Milk
On the lookout for a great oat milk recipe and find out everything you need to know about this dairy alternative that’s made a huge splash in the coffee world? You’ve come to the right place!
I have never been a big fan of milk. When I was a kid and my mom poured me a glass of milk at dinner, I remember sipping it slowly to avoid having to drink the whole glass. When I had a choice I opted for water. As I grew older I became a vegetarian at fifteen, and then a vegan in my thirties.
Almond milk has been my go-to milk alternative using it mostly in smoothies. When it comes to a dairy free milk alternatives in my hot drinks almond milk doesn’t cut it! It’s not creamy or sweet enough to make a delicious latte, which is one of my most favorite treats!
When I came upon oat milk, I was sold! Creamy, naturally sweet, frothy, it’s delicious. Not to mention it is easy and simple to make in less than five minutes. I’ve never attempted to make almond milk, and instead have gone for the store bought brands which have their drawbacks with additives, preservatives, and emulsifiers. When I discovered oat milk was simple to make at home, without the drawbacks of store bought dairy alternatives, I was ready to give this dairy alternative a chance.
In this post I’ll share everything you need to know about oat milk including:
- Oat Milk Ingredients
- Oat Milk Nutrition Facts
- Dietary Compatibility
- Health Benefits
- Comparison to Other Milks
What is oat milk?
Oat milk is a dairy free alternative to milk. It has gained popularity over the last year and can be found in coffee shops around the country. People love oat milk for its creamy and rich consistency, and mildly natural sweet flavor.
Is oat milk tasty?
Yes, homemade oat milk is tasty and delicious. When it comes to store bought oat milk tastiness varies on brand. See below for my recommendations of the best store bought oat milk, and my number one recommended brand.
What are the ingredients in homemade oat milk?
If you’re making your own oat milk there are only two main ingredients, water, and oats. You can choose to add a bit of vanilla extract are medjool dates to give it a bit more natural sweetness. You can add other natural sweeteners, or cocoa powder to make a chocolate oat milk.
What ingredients are in store bought oat milk?
If you’re purchasing store bought oat milk you can expect to get added preservatives, additives, emulsifiers, thickeners, and sugar. Some of those ingredients include: rapeseed oil, dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin D2, vitamin B12, and sugar.
What is the best store bought oat milk brands?
The best store bought oat milk depends on a few factors, taste, ingredients, and for many how it froths and tastes in their coffee. One of the big reasons people rave about oat milk is that it froths so well for lattes and other milky coffee drinks. I have to admit I love a good latte! But I also want natural ingredients. The drawback of many of the “barista” brands of oat milk is that they contain dipotassium phosphate which aids in the ability to heat and froth the oat milk. While it tastes good, it’s not the most natural ingredient. Here’s my take on the top brands, taste, ingredients, and ability to blend well in your favorite coffee drinks.
This brand is gluten free. If you have a gluten intolerance, you have to be careful when it comes to oats. While oats are naturally gluten free, they are often made in facilities that also produce products with gluten and could be cross contaminated. This oat milk is a barista blend because it contains dipotassium phosphate which helps it create a smooth and creamy froth for coffee drinks.
Oatly Oat Milk is not labeled gluten free. Their barista edition is creamy and froths well for coffees due to the added dipotassium phosphate. Oatly Oat Milk also comes in other flavors including Oat Milk Chilled, Low-Fat Oat Milk Chilled, and Chocolate Oat Milk Chilled.
Pacific Foods makes an oat milk in original and vanilla. Some like the flavor in coffee because they find that it’s not overwhelming, while others don’t like the color.
Silk has their own take on oat milk in three flavors, Original, Vanilla, and Chocolate. Silk contains more additives than Califia and Oatly. Those who taste tested the Silk brand didn’t love it or hate it. Their biggest complaint about it was that it was creamy and had an aftertaste. The vanilla oat milk is extremely sweet, and not popular with taste testers. While the chocolate edition tastes like chocolate health shake.
Elmhurst Unsweetened Oat Milk is made with only three ingredients, oats, water, and salt. If you’re looking for the most natural store bought oat milk around this is the one. Elmhurst is also gluten free, While this oat milk doesn’t contain any gums or emulsifiers it was also ranked poorly for taste and separates in coffee.
My #1 Recommended Store Bought Oat Milk Brand
With all of the above considerations my number one recommended store bought oat milk brands is…
This oat milk tastes great! It’s dairy free, nut free, gluten free, sugar free, carrageenan free, contains no gums or stabilizers, non-GMO, vegan and kosher. It also tastes great in coffee and on it’s own. It does contain the minerals dipotassium phosphate, calcium carbonate, and tricalcium phosphate, however these minerals are less worrisome than the gums and stabilizers of other brands.
Oat Milk Nutrition Facts
On average the store bought oat milk nutrition facts are as follows.
- Calories- 115
- Fat- 3g
- Saturated Fat- 0.2g
- Trans Fat- 0g
- Cholesterol- 0g
- Sodium- 110mg
- Total Carbs (Carbohydrates)- 19g
- Dietary Fiber- 2g
- Soluble Fiber- 1g
- Total Sugars- 10g
- Protein- 3.5g
Can I drink oat milk on my diet?
Oat milk is suitable for vegetarians, vegans, plant-based diets and those on a gluten free diet if you purchase or make your own oat milk using certified gluten free oats. If you are Keto, or Paleo oat milk is not compatible as oats are a grain and contain carbs. Oat milk does not contain dairy, eggs, soy, or nuts. It is a great alternative to nut milks for those with nut allergies. Be careful to read the label of the oat milk to be sure it was not made in a facility that also makes products with peanuts or tree nuts if you have an allergy.
What are the benefits of oat milk?
Oat milk has numerous health benefits. The health benefits listed are for store bought oat milk that have added vitamins. I recommend making your own oat milk at home to reduce your intake of processed added ingredients and have more control on the added sugar your oat milk contains. However, there are some health benefits to the added vitamins of oat milk.
Helps Prevent Anemia
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian you could be at risk for anemia if you’re not getting enough B12 or iron in your diet. These micronutrients are not found in most plant foods. Oat milk contains iron which can help reduce risk of anemia for vegetarians and vegans.
Store bought oat milk often has added vitamin D and calcium. These micronutrients are essential for bone health. While calcium helps with bone maintenance and vitamin D helps with absorption of calcium.
As mentioned above store bought oat milk is enriched with vitamin D, it’s also often enriched with vitamin A, two micronutrients that help with immunity.
Oats are high in fiber and oat milk contains more fiber than other dairy alternatives. While eating a bowl of oatmeal will contain more fiber than oat milk, the added fiber in oat milk into your diet can help with lowering your cholesterol. Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
What are the drawbacks of oat milk?
While commercial brands of oat milk add vitamins that have health benefits to their beverage, there are also some drawbacks to drinking the store bought brands.
Additives, Preservatives, Sugar, and More
With the added vitamins also often come preservatives and sugar. We all know we don’t need any added sugar in our diets, and that preservatives in our food have an effect on our health. In order to make oat milk creamy, thick, and froth well in your coffee oat milk brands often add thickeners, and emulsifiers which can impact your digestive health and microbiome. Unless a brand is specifically labeled gluten free, you have to watch out if you have a gluten sensitivity. Many brands are also not labeled as Non-GMO or organic. That’s why my top pick
How does oat milk compare to regular milk and other dairy free milk alternatives such as almond milk?
Oat milk is naturally sweet like almond milk and thin like skim milk.
It’s higher in calories than almond milk and skim milk. Unsweetened almond milk typically has 30 calories per one cup. Skim milk typically has 98 calories per one mike. Oat milk has 110 calories per one cup. Oat milk is also higher in carbohydrates. It also contains more protein and fiber than almond milk, while skim milk contains more protein, oat milk contains more fiber as skim milk has zero fiber. For those on a low saturated fat diet who are also looking to lower cholesterol oat milk is a great alternative to regular milk.
How can you use oat milk?
Oat milk has made a big splash in local coffee shops. Starbucks has not yet gotten around to introducing this milk substitute as an option, but many small coffee shops do offer oat milk. It is enjoyed by coffee lovers because it froths well and has a creamy sweet taste that makes for an excellent latte or other milky coffee drinks.
Almond milk is popular for smoothies. It adds some creamy and sweetness to those powdered protein shakes you can purchase. Oat milk makes a great add in for smoothies with it’s creamy sweet nature. It also adds a bit more protein and fiber to your favorite shake or smoothie recipe.
Use oat milk as a base for vegan creamy soups. I often use coconut milk for a cream base in soups, oat milk has less fat and calories than coconut milk, and is a nice substitue if you’re looking to cut back in calories in your favorite cream based vegan soup.
Pour oat milk over your favorite cold or hot cereal or granola.
Use oat milk as a substitute for milk to make it vegan in pancake and waffle mixes. If you’re making vegan pancakes and waffles also check for eggs substitutes as necessary.
Need milk for a baking recipe, try oat milk instead. When making substitutions in baking it can be a bit trickier than other meals, as there’s quite a science to way the ingredients work together. Look for recipes that call for oat milk, before you start subbing oat milk in for milk in your personal favorite recipes. The recipe might not turn out as expected.
Easy 2 ingredient Recipe for Oat Milk
Oat milk is easy to make! If you’re not ready to commit to buying oat milk in the store, make your own. Or if you’d like to save money, homemade oat milk is inexpensive to make. All you need are oats, and water.
Simple Homemade Oat Milk
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats or other rolled oats of choice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- 2-3 pitted dates optional
- Pour water, oats and optional vanilla extract and dates into a blender.
- Blend for 30-60 seconds or until the mixture is evenly mixed together.
- Using a strainer and a bowl, pour the mixture over the strainer and into the bowl. You can also use a cheese cloth. Press firmly to extract all the liquid from the oats.
- Transfer to a sealable container and refrigerate.
Are you ready to give oat milk a try?
There is a lot of information out there about oat milk. Various brands have come on the scene with their own version of this creamy, sweet, frothy dairy substitute. When choosing a store bought oat milk, look at the label. What’s in it? Be sure to buy an oat milk that is labeled gluten free if you have a gluten intolerance. Also, check to see how much added sugar is in your oat milk. With all the added sugar this healthy milk substitute isn’t so healthy anymore. You also want to stay away from emulsifiers and stabilizers. Making your own oat milk at home is easy, quick, and inexpensive. That’s what turned me onto oat milk in the first place.