Oat milk has often fallen in the shadow of other, plant-based milk alternatives such as coconut and almond milk. However, its recent surge in popularity and numerous benefits has made it a viable contender for the top spot. So what exactly is oat milk? Is it actually good for you? And what should you look for when buying this yummy milk?
Reasons to drink oat milk
It is delicious
Oat milk is creamy and has the perfect level of natural sugar. In fact, many people think it simply tastes too good to actually be healthy. In reality, this decadent milk alternative will elevate your latte to a whole new level and bring a natural hint of sweetness to any dish or smoothie you create.
It is usually thicker than almond milk and is generally considered more similar in texture to cows milk. This makes it a great option if you are still getting used to the taste and feel of milk alternatives.
It is great for those with allergies
Many lactose-intolerant people turn to plant-based milk to enjoy the taste of milk without the digestive upset. Or, many people seeking to improve their health decide to cut out cows milk entirely. Unfortunately, the most common types of alternative milk is made with nuts such as almond, cashew, and coconut. For many with nut allergies, that makes enjoying these beverages impossible. Since oats don’t usually cause an allergic reaction and are gluten-free (just make sure that any oat products you buy are certified gluten-free if you have a gluten-allergy as they are often processed in facilities with cross contamination), this milk is an excellent choice for anyone with allergies. Plus, it is totally vegan.
Better for the environment
Almond milk, currently one of the hottest alternative milk options, is fairly hard on the environment. Almonds take a ton of water and space to grow and require significantly more resources to produce. Oats, on the other hand, are easy to grow and are a greener, more sustainable crop.
It has more fiber than its counterparts
Oat milk contains more fiber than traditional cows milk and other milk alternatives. This is due to beta-glucan, which is an oat fiber that is known for its ability to lower bad cholesterol that contributes to several cardiovascular issues.
How to make your own oat milk
If you are worried about hidden ingredients, it is possible to make your own easy, affordable oat milk in just a few simple steps. If you choose to use steel-cut oats, be sure to soak in the water overnight before blending.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups filtered water
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
What to do:
- Add ingredients to the blender and pulse on high speed for 30 seconds.
- Strain through the cheesecloth, making sure to squeeze out extra liquid.
- Repeat blending and straining process with the strained oat milk to ensure a smooth product.
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and any natural sweetener, if desired.
- Keep in a glass bottle in the fridge for up to five days.
- You can also add other ingredients such as cinnamon or salt to enhance the flavor.
Things to keep in mind
Though oat milk is a great option for those seeking a healthy milk-alternative, too much of a good thing could be detrimental. If your oat milk seems overly sweet, it probably is. Always check the label before buying to discover any hidden ingredients or added sugar or oil. As the market expands, different companies are coming out with even healthier versions, so it is important to buy organic whenever possible. Keep an eye out for flavored options that usually lack key nutrients and contain harmful processed additives. As always, be your own food detective and make sure that you really understand what’s on the label before putting something in your body.
Remember, everything in moderation. Adding a few splashes of oat milk to your morning coffee is a great idea and could give you a much, needed boost of essential vitamins and minerals to get your day off to a great start. However, merely chugging a glass of this rich milk on a daily basis won’t do you any favors.
What do you think about oat milk? Let us know in the comments below!