Oat milk has emptied the shelves at the grocery stores and made its way into everyone’s refrigerators (and hearts). But, can you make your own at home?
Plant based milk has been around for a while, but nothing has compared to the infamous oat milk. Oat milk is arguably the best milk alternative in the game. It has become so widely loved that it’s no longer considered just another food trend and instead has become a lifestyle for your everyday milk needs.
What is oat milk and how is it made?
Oat milk is essentially taking steel cut oats or groat oats and soaking them in water. Then you blend it all up and strain it to remove the “pulp” or ground up oat bits. That’s the “simple” way to do it anyways.
In a factory that mass produces oat milk, it’s much more complicated. According to this Bloomberg article, popular oat milk brand Oatly adds enzymes and removes the fibers to achieve the milk-like texture. They source all their oats from Canada and Oatly prides themselves on the quality of their oat milk and how difficult it is to replicate the recipe and process.
There are various types of oat milks available such as low fat, full fat, chocolate, and even a “barista” edition that can easily foam for all your coffee needs. The reason oat milk is so popular is because it resembles the texture, consistency, and creaminess of cow milk so well, compared to other alternatives such as almond or soy milk.
More notably, baristas and cafe shops love oat milk particularly because it foams the same way cow milk would, making it great for coffee and lattes. Oat milk became so popular that according to Andie Corban and Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace, oat milk sales rose from $4.4 million in 2017 to $29 million in 2019. Food Navigator reported that oat milk sales rose to $527 million in 2022 after barely registered in any sales report five years ago. Soon, almost all cafes offered oat milk options to all their drinks.
Is oat milk healthy?
In general, oat milk is higher in calories and fat compared to other milk alternatives. Oat milk has no nuts, dairy, gluten (depending on the brand), or GMOs. However, since the oats are strained during the oat milk process, it loses the nutrients from the oats.
To make up for this, oat milk brands will often add these nutrients back in during manufacturing. Oat milk is also packed with lots of fiber from the oats, much more than you would get from milk or other milk alternatives. You also won’t get the same nutritional benefits (such as protein) as regular cow milk, of course. From the Oatly website, here are the nutritional facts for one cup of oat milk.
- Calories – 120
- Fat – 5 g (6%*)
- Saturated – 0.5 g (3%*)
- Trans Fat – 0 g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg (0%*)
- Sodium – 100 mg (4%*)
- Total Carbohydrate – 16 g (6%*)
- Dietary Fiber – 2 g (7%*)
- Soluble Fiber – 1 g
- Total Sugars – 7 g
- Includes 7 g added sugars (14%*)
- Protein – 3 g
- Vitamin D – 3.6 mcg (20%*)
- Calcium – 350 mg (25%*)
- Iron – 0.35 mg (2%*)
- Potassium – 390 mg (8%*)
- Vitamin A – 160 mcg (20%*)
- Riboflavin – 0.6 mg (45%*)
- Vitamin B12 – 1.2 mcg (50%*)
- Phosphorus – 270 mg (20%*)
According to another popular oat milk brand, Califia Farms, their oat milk is:
- Dairy Free
- Sugar Free
- Gluten Free
- Carrageenan Free
- No gums or stabilizers
Bottomline, oat milk primarily serves as an alternative milk option for those who are lactose intolerant, have nut allergies, or need gluten free options.
Can I make oat milk at home?
To put it simply: Yes. But don’t expect it to be just like the oat milk you get at the stores.
There’s mainly one method to make oat milk: blend some oats and water and strain it. Here’s a simple and quick recipe:
What you’ll need:
- Cheese cloth, nut milk bag, or any thin cloth for straining
- Pinch of salt
- Rolled oats
- Clean water
- Soak the oats for at least 30 minutes.
- In a blender mix the oats, salt, and water for about 30 seconds. Make sure not to over blend!
- Using a thin cloth, strain your mixture into a large bowl. For an even smoother texture, strain twice.
- Store in a container and refrigerate
You can add oat milk to your coffee, smoothies, or your baked goods. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add different ingredients to add flavor such as vanilla extract, dates, cocoa powder, or berries.