Oat Milk Will Be Your New Dairy-Free Favorite
The biggest dairy-alternative buzzword among baristas and health gurus alike: oat milk. From hot chocolate to lattes to cappuccinos to smoothies, oat milk lets anyone who might be lactose intolerant, vegan or just opting out of dairy-based foods enjoy the thrill of a creamy beverage. The milk originated in Sweden but has recently become a booming industry in the United States. Food companies have also hopped on board the oat train, with oat milk ice cream, chocolate and canned coffee starting to show up on grocery store shelves.
Oat milk is made by soaking steel-cut oats or rolled oats in water, blending the mixture together and then straining the mixture through cheesecloth. During the blending process, you can add any extra flavoring components. If you want something sweet, add a little vanilla extract. If you want something a little more on the savory side, add sea salt.
Oat milk has become a favorite among baristas for it’s ability to froth and foam better than it’s nutty cousins. Because oats absorb water more easily than nuts do, more food passes through the strainer, which makes it naturally creamier without the addition of any thickeners. Next time you stop by your local coffee shop, try swapping out the almond for oats and enjoy a creamy but still dairy-free latte.
The 25-year-old Swedish company Oatly is a pioneer in the oat milk industry. Not only will you find Oatly on grocery store shelves, but you’ll find it at specialty coffee shops around the nation. For every 100-milliliter serving (which is a bit less than a half a cup), Oatly has 1.5 grams of fat, 6.6 grams of carbohydrates, 4.1 grams of natural sugar from the oats, .8 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein.
Oatly’s milk has also has been enriched with calcium, vitamins and beta-glucans, which are known to be good for your heart. Oh, and there’s no added sugar in this leading oat milk brand — any sweetness comes from the oats themselves.
Other oat milk brands that you might come across in cafes and supermarkets include Elmhurst and Pacific.
While there is a time and a place for nut milk, the process of making it can take a toll on our environment. This is where oat milk comes in. Oats require six times less water to grow than almonds do, so it’s already a more eco-friendly option.
If you ask us, it’s time to take a break from almond and soy milk and give oats a try.