Oat milk is a nut- and dairy-free milk alternative
Oat milk is popping up everywhere. The dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk is at the grocery store, the little corner store I run to when I forget something, and of course, my local coffee shops. I often wait, now in the cold, outside of those coffee shops for my cappuccino.
My drink of choice is a typically cappuccino with cinnamon, almond milk, and one stevia; that is until one of my friends asked me if I had ever tried oat milk. People said that once I did try it, I would never go back.
To me, this seemed like a no-brainer. I like oatmeal, and after some research, I realized I could also make my own before committing to buying a carton.
Since quarantine, I’ve become relatively adventurous in doing things for myself. Does anyone need a manicure? Come on over. Hair cuts? I’m pretty skilled at this as well. Plus, I’m here trying Beef Wellingtons and pretzel-making, so why not add oat milk to the roster.
How to make oat milk
Oat milk, I discovered, is pretty simple to make. All you need are hand-rolled oats, water, a blender, and a fine mesh strainer, which I all have in my home. This oat milk recipe uses vanilla extract because I thought it might go nicely with the cinnamon I usually add to my healthy coffee.
Basic Oat Milk Recipe
(Serves about five)
1/2 cup hand-rolled oats
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Blend all ingredients in a strong blender (I used my Vitamix) and strain liquid through a fine-mesh strainer. You can strain again if you would like but once was fine for me.
I store my oat milk in the refrigerator for five days in a glass milk jar I had previously purchased when I made my own almond milk.
Oat milk nutrition
Oat milk is dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free, so it can be an alternative to those living a plant-based, vegan lifestyle but who may have an allergy to nuts. Oat milk can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats; while oats are technically gluten-free, they are grown in the same fields as wheat, and there can be cross-contamination through wind or through processing. (So check the label to make sure they’re gluten-free.)
Here’s what you might find in one cup (about 240 ml) of store-bought oat milk:
Protein: 3 g
Fat: 7 g ( 9 percent Daily Value)
Carbs: 16 g ( 6 percent DV)
Fiber: 2 g ( 7 percent DV)
Calcium: 350 mg ( 25 percent DV)
Vitamin B12: 1.2 µg (50 percent DV)
Oat milk has about the same number of calories as whole milk. Oat milk, however, is slightly higher in carbs and lower in protein. Unlike whole milk, oat milk has more fiber and little to no saturated fat, making it a great heart-healthy alternative to full-fat cow’s milk.
Reasons to try oat milk
While there is a lot more processing when it comes to making oat milk, if put up against almond milk, it requires significantly less water which makes it more environmentally friendly, according to the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. It’s also an excellent choice if you are following a vegan or plant-based diet.
Oat milk is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin D, which are both known to help maintain immunity, according to a review in the Journal of Investigative Medicine. It is also a good source of vitamin B12, which is believed to help neurological orders and also enhance mood, per a review in Ontario Health Technology Assessment Series.
Eating more fiber also helps to draw cholesterol away from the body while maintaining good levels of fullness until your next meal, which ultimately can help maintain a healthy weight.
Oat milk is delicious. What’s more, is that I ditched my one little stevia because the creaminess and natural nutty flavor really come through. I have kept with the oat milk as of late mostly because I like the ease of making it and the fact that you don’t need to add any more sweetener to it. If you were wondering, cinnamon is non-negotiable, and I put it in everything.