Oat milk is one of the newest plant-based milks sweeping onto store shelves and across the internet. So I’d thought I dive in and tell you what it’s all about and whether or not you should jump on the bandwagon.
What is Oak Milk?
Oat milk is essentially oats, a type of grain, blended with water and then strained to remove the oat pulp. This is generally the way other nut, seed, and grain milks are made as well.
So what’s so special about oat milk? Well, the texture is thick and creamy. It also has a touch of sweetness that many enjoy. And while it doesn’t have as much protein as regular dairy milk and soy milk, it beats out other plant-based milks. Plus, it’s also the highest in fiber. You see, because oats absorb more water than nuts, more of the actual grain makes it into the final product. Thus, oat milk can be a good option for adding to smoothies, coffee, or any other recipe that calls for milk.
Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?
Oats in general do not contain gluten. But, they’re often processed in the same facilities as wheat and contamination is practically unavoidable. Thus, if you’re avoiding gluten for whatever reason, you’ll want to make sure the oat milk or the oats used are certified gluten free.
What’s the Catch?
When it comes to oat milk, keep in mind that oats are grains. And if you have trouble digesting grains (as many do), oat milk may not be your knight in shining armor. You may be best sticking with coconut, almond, or cashew milk.
Also, keep in mind that oats are higher in carbs than nuts and seeds. Which means this is also true for its milk when compared to coconut or almond milk. So if you’re on a low-carb diet, it might not be the best choice.
In addition, many oat milks claim to contain high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. However, you should at least be aware that these nutrients are most often added after the fact and aren’t naturally occuring.
And finally, as with most packaged plant-based milks, prepared oat milk may contain yucky gums, stabilizers, and preservatives. So…if you want give oat milk a try, I highly recommend making it yourself. It’s actually very simple and there are many recipes available online.
In general, simply combine one cup of rolled oats (preferably organic and certified gluten free) with four cups of water in a high speed blender. I recommend using ice cold water to prevent the oats from getting warm during blending, which can cause them to get a little slimy. After blending, strain the liquid from the pulp using a thin towel or piece of fabric. A nut milk bag might work, but you may find it to be too grainy.
For sweetness, you can blend with dates. You can also add a splash of vanilla or a dash of cinnamon. The milk should then be stored in the fridge and used within a week.
I can see why oat milk has a strong following. And it may be a good option when milk is called for, especially if you make it yourself. However, beware if your gut isn’t a fan of grains or if you’re on a low-carb diet.
Keep thinking Big and living BOLD!