Oat Milk

By Holly Bieler
Updated on 21. Sep. 2020

Oat milk has exploded in popularity in recent months. But is this latest plant-based milk craze worth the hype? Find out just how healthy oat milk is below.

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Table of contents

  1. What You Should Know About Oat Milk
    1. Origins
    2. Flavor
  2. How Healthy Is Oat Milk?
  3. Shopping and Preparation Tips
    1. Purchasing
    2. Preparation
  4. What to Make With Oat Milk

Oat milk...

  • ...contains no lactose, gluten, nuts or soy. Oat milk is free of many common allergens, including lactose, gluten, nuts and soy.
  • ...contains beta-glucans. Studies suggest this soluble fiber could have a range of health benefits, from supporting cardiovascular health to lowering cholesterol.
  • ...is rich in fiber. One cup of oat milk contains 2 g of fiber.
  • ...is a good source of numerous vitamins and minerals. Oat milk contains considerable amounts of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamin D, among other nutrients.
  • ...is higher in calories than other plant milks. In general, oat milk is on the higher end of the fat and calorie spectrum when it comes to plant-based milks. One glass contains 120 calories and 5 grams of fat, considerably more than most almond and soy milks.
  • ...can contain added sugar. As oat milk has become more popular so have sweetened and big-chain varieties. Make sure to read the ingredients to make sure there are no hidden sugar and calories in your oat milk before buying it.

What You Should Know About Oat Milk

From almond to soy to coconut, it seems like there’s always a plant-based milk of the moment, and right now it’s definitely oat milk. Oat milk begins as a mixture of crushed oats and water, which is tightly strained to yield the oat milk. Oat milk is characterized by its creamy texture, which devotees say is more similar to milk than other plant-based varieties. However that creamy texture also means more calories and fat than most other milk substitutes like soy milk and almond milk.

Origins

Oat milk was first developed at Sweden’s Lund University in the 1990s by scientist Rickard Öste, as he was researching ways to produce more sustainable milk alternatives. 

Flavor

Oat milk has a creamy texture similar to cow’s milk, with a oat-y flavor that’s generally more sweet than other plant-based milks.

How Healthy Is Oat Milk?

Oat milk has an array of health benefits. It’s rich in fiber, containing 2 g per cup, as well as beta-glucans, a soluble fiber that studies show could have a range of health benefits, from supporting cardiovascular health to lowering cholesterol. It’s also a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals including calcium, and phosphorus, which helps support tooth and bone health, vitamin B12 for boosting energy and vitamin A and vitamin D for healthy skin and vision. What’s more, oat milk is free of many common allergens, including lactose, gluten, nuts and soy.

On the downside, oat milk is higher in calories than many other plant milks. One cup contains 120 calories, while a cup of almond milk generally only contains 30-60.

OAT MILK NUTRITIONAL INFO (1 cup)  
Calories 120
Fat 5 g
Protein 3 g
Carbohydrates 16 g
Fiber 2 g

Shopping and Preparation Tips

Purchasing

Some oat milks can contain added sugar, even if they’re not flavored. It’s best to check the ingredients of your oat milk before purchasing-- if sugar is within the first five ingredients, choose another brand.

Preparation

Oat milk is incredibly easy to make at home! Simply combine oats, water, and your preferred flavorings such as vanilla or cinnamon, and blend it until the mixture is pulverized. Next, pour the mixture into a cheese-cloth mounted above a bowl, and strain the mixture to yield the milk. Refrigerate for a few hours for consistency to set and you have fresh, delicious oat milk.

What to Make With Oat Milk

While oat milk is most popular with coffee or tea, it makes a great cooking ingredient as well. In fact, oat milk has quickly become a cult-favorite alternative milk for bakers, thanks to its unique consistency so similar to the creaminess of cow’s milk, and its mild, oat-y flavor. Oat milk also has a naturally sweeter flavor than many other alternative milks.

Oat milk is also great in savory dishes. As in baking, oat milk adds a creamy texture that can replicate the consistency of cow’s milk in dishes from vegan mac and cheese to creamy vegetarian soups. Just make sure to purchase unsweetened, unflavored oat milk. 

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