Non-dairy milk may have started as a lactose-free substitute for vegans or people who don’t consume dairy. Still, the plant-based drinks have grown so well-liked that even people who eat dairy regularly now consider themselves fans. And today, there are countless options: shelves of nearly every grocery store’s refrigerated section are lined with almond milk, soy milk, banana milk, pistachio milk, cashew milk, and more. But one new beverage continues to draw interest from dietitians and foodies: oat milk.
Steel-cut or whole groats are mixed with water to make oat milk, which is then strained through cheesecloth or a specialized nut milk bag. While most of the fiber and the protein in the oats are in the residual oat pulp, some of these nutrients are also present in the liquid or “milk” produced. Oat milk can be prepared at home by combining oats and water, then straining the mixture to remove the pulp and create a creamy plant-based milk alternative.
Oatmeal Milk Nutrition Facts
What is Exactly Oatmeal Milk?
Oatly, a 27-year-old business, is the market leader in Sweden, where oat milk most likely got its start. Oats that have been soaked in water, mixed, and filtered are the source of oat milk. The milk still contains many oats’ nutrients, and the tiny particles give the beverage its creamy consistency. A slight oat flavor is still present in unflavored oat milk.
Oats and water are combined, then milled to a fine consistency to create commercial oat milk. The addition of enzymes breaks down the oat starch. The liquid base is then separated from the bran solids, leaving them behind. Before packing, additional flavorings and additives are added, and the product is heat-treated to extend its shelf life. A cheesecloth or nut milk bag can be used to strain oats while making oat milk at home.
Commercial oat milk typically contains oil (either sunflower oil or canola/rapeseed oil) to boost the fat content and texture. Other times, flavorings or sugar are added, and additional vitamins and nutrients are added to improve the milk’s nutritional profile.
How to Make Oatmeal Milk?
Oat milk is creamy, delectable, plant-based milk that can be prepared quickly—just five minutes—with a few simple ingredients. Oat milk can be used in place of dairy milk in baked products, as well as in coffee, smoothies, and over your favorite cereals.
It Takes About 3 Cups
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups cold water
- One pinch of salt(Optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup(Optional)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for vanilla milk(Optional)
- Two tablespoons of cocoa or cacao powder for chocolate milk(Optional)
- Handful berries for berry milk(Optional)
- Add oats, cold water, and any optional ingredients to a blender. Cover with the lid and blend for 30 to 40 seconds. It’s okay if you see little speckles of oats, and it is best not to over-blend since it can cause a slimy texture.
- Strain the oat milk. This is best done with a nut milk bag, clean cotton dish towel, or multiple layers of cheesecloth set over a large bowl or pitcher.
- For the best results, double strain the mixture so that most solids are removed.
- Store homemade oat milk in a sealed container and store up to a week in the fridge. Shake or stir before using.
How Healthy is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is often relatively healthy. Find additional information about the advantages of oat milk below to give you a better understanding of how beneficial it is for you:
Source of Vitamin B
This is a significant plus for oat milk because vegan diets do not naturally contain B vitamins. Because most commercial variants are often supplemented with vitamins B2 and B12, oat milk is a good source of these vital elements. An 8 oz cup of oat milk contains 25 to 100% of your daily recommended intake of vitamins B2 and B12.These two B vitamins aid in the production of energy from the meals we eat. In the meantime, vitamin B12 is essential for developing our brain, nerve, and red blood cells.
High Levels of Dietary Fiber
Oat milk has been recognized as supporting good digestion since it has more dietary fiber than other plant-based bowls of milk, including almond milk, according to research published in the Journal of Functional Foods in 2020. Fiber is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, binding cholesterol, ensuring regular bowel movements, and making us feel fuller for longer.
Oat Milk May be Good for Cholesterol
Drinking oat milk could lower cholesterol, and this is due to the beta-glucans ability to adhere to the gut and stop the absorption of cholesterol. About one-third of your daily recommended beta-glucan consumption comes from oat milk. A cup of oat milk contains around 25% of the daily needed calcium consumption, and if it has been fortified with vitamin D, about 20% of the recommended vitamin D intake. A study that appeared in Nutrition Reviews found that consuming 3 grams of oat beta-glucans daily reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels by 5 to 7 percent.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Oat milk’s beta-glucan concentration might lower your cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of heart disease. Initial research published in the Journal of the American Society for Clinical Nutrition suggests that drinking beta-glucan may have benefits for decreasing cholesterol. You should still maintain a healthy, balanced diet if you want to improve your heart health.
Zero Saturated Fats
In oat milk, all of the saturated lipids found in cow’s milk have been replaced by unsaturated fat. Additionally, oat milk is trans fat and fatty acid-free. Because it has been associated with higher cholesterol levels, saturated fat is the kind of fat that we should ideally consume less of. At room temperature, saturated fats, primarily found in animal products, tend to be solid.
How to Use Oat Milk?
Take advantage of the chance to experiment at home with these original ideas since oat milk works in virtually anything. Make sure you use raw, unsweetened oat milk when cooking savory foods.
- Baked Goods: Any recipe for baked goods can use the same amount of oat milk as that milk. Again, unsweetened oat milk is preferred because sweetened kinds risk overpowering the sweetness of your muffins, sweet bread, pudding, and cakes. Since baked dishes sometimes incorporate other grains like flour, the flavor of oats works particularly well in this context.
- Creamy Soup: Oat milk can easily be substituted for heavy cream because it is creamy and thick. Any item, including broccoli, tomatoes, and even butternut squash, pairs well with the flavor.
- Gratin: An excellent comfort food is sliced, stacked potatoes coated in a creamy sauce (and occasionally cheese). Use oat milk instead of heavy cream or cow’s milk to lighten up these often more serious recipes and still get the same level of comfort. The two-potato skillet gratin casserole is lovely.
- Hot Cocoa: Although oat milk lattes are all the rage, it also works great in other hot winter beverages. You may try matcha and turmeric lattes, but Hamshaw prefers combining them with cocoa’s potent antioxidants.
- Mac and Cheese: Heavy cream or half-and-half are frequently used in traditional macaroni and cheese recipes instead of whole milk. Oat milk will do the trick and add to the creaminess for a lighter version. This is particularly advantageous for making vegan mac and cheese.
- Mashed Potatoes: Recipes for mashed potatoes can be creamy with the correct oat milk. Hamshaw suggests using full-fat (or barista-style) oat milk for a very meaty mouthfeel. Your potatoes will also be dairy-free if you skip the butter or substitute with a plant-based alternative.
- Pasta Sauce: Like soups, rich alfredo, garlic sauce, bechamel, vodka sauce, and other creamy pasta sauces work nicely with the consistency of oat milk. To make creamy, dairy-free choices, it can be cooked with cornstarch, flour, or another thickening. Make a sauce to serve over some of these nutritious pasta meals.
- Pudding: Desserts can be included in a weight-loss plan, but thick, creamy pudding doesn’t necessarily require whole milk. Instead, switch to oat milk and make this vegan oat milk chocolate pudding.
Is Oat Milk Better than Dairy?
According to most nutritionists, oat milk is a healthy choice. It is crucial to remember that oat milk’s nutritional content varies from brand to brand and may not have fortified micronutrients in specific brands. In contrast, other brands may contain more vegetable oils or sugars, which will affect the amount of fat, sugar, and calories in the beverage.
Nutritionists often advise consumers to keep an eye out for added sugars in brands and choose unsweetened options whenever possible. The secret, though, is moderation. When asked if oat milk is healthy, Jessica Overfield, a BSc nutritionist at BrandRated, responds, “In moderation and as long as you make good choices.”
Trans-fatty acids, sometimes known as trans fats, are one area where traditional cow’s milk and oat milk differ. Oat milk and all other plant-based glasses of milk do not contain trans fats, which are created naturally from animal fat because they do not have any animal ingredients (non-animal trans fats are artificially produced via hydrogenation of vegetable oils).
Trans fat consumption has been associated in scientific research with several detrimental health consequences, including inflammation, an increased risk of coronary heart disease, greater levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. It has also been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, one of the primary sources of dietary trans fats in the typical Western diet is dairy. Trans fats make up between 3 and 7 percent of the total fat in dairy products, according to the NIH.
Those who are allergic to soy, tree nuts, or gluten can benefit significantly from oat milk. To check the label to ensure it wasn’t processed on the same machinery as these allergens, jat milk is more calorie-efficient than soy and cow’s milk and is a better source of fiber and, shockingly, calcium. Then cow’s milk! Oat milk’s creamy texture makes it ideal for coffee and smoothies. When added to specialized coffee drinks like lattes, it even froths. To avoid the milk separating in coffee, look for varieties like the Oatly Barista Edition that contain an acidity regulator.