Oat milk has become a popular dairy-free, vegan alternative to cow and goat milk. It is lactose free, high in protein and low in fat, and provides plenty of flavor and nutrition.
Europeans have used oat milk for decades, but it is becoming more prevalent around the world—partly because it is much less expensive to make at home than almond or coconut milk.
Benefits of Oat Milk
As far as non-dairy milk options go, oat milk is one of the best choices available. It contains 10 minerals and 15 vitamins, as well as calcium and iron.
Oat milk contains none of the common allergens; it has no dairy, no lactose, no nuts, no soy, and no gluten—if you purchase certified gluten-free oats, of course. It’s also vegan, so it works with nearly any diet. It’s low in calories, high in protein, and it will help you feel full, which is important for those watching their weight.
Oat milk has 130 calories per cup, just 2.5 grams of fat per cup, and 4 grams of protein per cup. It has more protein than almond, cashew, rice, or coconut milk. Plus, it has more fiber than any other milk option, at 2 grams of fiber per cup.
It’s also one of the creamiest milks on the market, making it perfect as a coffee creamer or as a beverage.
Make Your Own
When you make your own oat milk, you know exactly what’s in it. Making it at home will also help you cut costs—it’s much cheaper to make it at home than to purchase it at the store. It’s quick and easy to make, and you need no special equipment.
This recipe requires just two ingredients, but you can add ingredients like cinnamon and honey for added flavor.
- 1 cup rolled or quick oats (if you would like to make gluten-free oat milk, make sure to look for certified gluten-free oats)
- 3 to 4 cups water (4 cups will give you thinner oat milk, 3 cups will make it thicker, depending on your taste)
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg
- You will need to soak the oats in water for at least 30 minutes. You can soak them overnight, but you do not need to. However, it is important to make sure you soak your oats long enough to remove the phytic acid they contain. That will ensure the acid does not keep the minerals from being properly absorbed by your body. This helps with proper digestion, as well.
- Next, drain the oats and rinse. Discard the water they were soaking in. Washing the oats thoroughly ensures your milk turns out like milk, rather than like oatmeal.
- Now, blend the oats with the 3 to 4 cups of clean water. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes; at this point, you can add the spices or sweetener if desired.
- Strain the results using cheesecloth, a strainer, a napkin or a nut milk bag. That’s it!
If you like, you can save and use the excess pulp in smoothies or baked treats. It will add flavor and fiber.
Store your oat milk in a jar in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. Shake well before using.
Oat Milk vs. Almond Milk
Is oat milk better for you than almond milk? Yes! It is cheaper to make, contains more fiber and more protein than almond milk, and is much creamier.
Oat milk has less fat than almond milk, too (oat milk has just 2.5 grams per 1 cup serving, while almond milk has 6 grams per serving). Oat milk also contains more vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and phosphorus. All of these are great for those who are watching their weight or looking to gain energy.
Additionally, oat milk is actually better for the environment, so if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, choose oat milk. Most almonds are grown in California, which is prone to droughts—and almonds are a very thirsty crop. Oat crops require just a sixty of the water needed to grow almonds.