Yes, oat milk is completely dairy-free. It is a plant-based alternative to traditional cow’s milk, made by soaking and blending oats with water, then straining out the solids. Being free of lactose, it is suitable for vegans and people with lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.
Dairy-Free Oat Milk Recipe
- 1 cup of rolled oats
- 4 cups of water
Optional: Sweeteners like honey, sugar, agave syrup, or vanilla extract for flavor
- Rinse the oats under cold water.
- Combine the oats and water in a blender.
- Blend for 30-40 seconds, don’t over-blend, as it can make the milk slimy.
- Strain the mixture in a large bowl through a cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or a fine mesh strainer.
- If you like, sweeten your oat milk with your preferred sweetener and mix well.
- Store it in a sealed container in the fridge. Shake well before use, as it can separate over time.
10 Different Ways to Use Oat Milk
Coffee or Tea: Oat milk can be used as a creamer substitute in coffee or tea due to its creamy texture and mild flavor.
Smoothies: You can use oat milk as the liquid base in smoothies. It adds a subtle sweetness and a creamy texture, enhancing the overall taste and nutrition.
Baking: Oat milk can be used as a dairy-free substitute for regular milk in various baking recipes, including cakes, muffins, and bread.
Pancakes and Waffles: Replace regular milk with oat milk in your pancake or waffle batter to make them dairy-free. The result will be just as fluffy and delicious.
Cereal: Use oat milk as a plant-based alternative to cow’s milk with your breakfast cereal. It pairs well with all types of cereals.
Cooking Soups and Sauces: Oat milk’s creamy consistency makes it a great addition to soups, sauces, and gravies, providing a velvety texture.
Porridge: Swap out dairy milk for oat milk in your oatmeal or porridge for a double dose of oats. It gives a creamy texture and a slightly sweeter taste.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream: You can use oat milk as a base for homemade dairy-free ice cream. Its creamy texture works perfectly for this purpose.
Hot Chocolate: Oat milk makes a deliciously creamy hot chocolate. Just heat it with some cocoa powder and your sweetener of choice.
Risotto: Risotto often calls for a bit of creaminess which can be achieved by adding oat milk. It’s a great way to make vegan or lactose-free risotto.
Some Plant-Based Milk Options
Almond Milk: Made by blending almonds with water and straining the mixture, it has a light texture and a slightly nutty taste. It’s low in calories but also low in protein.
Soy Milk: Made from soybeans or soy protein isolate, it has a creamy texture and a mild taste. It’s the most similar to cow’s milk in terms of protein content.
Rice Milk: Made from milled rice and water, it’s naturally sweet and quite thin in texture but is low in protein and high in carbohydrates.
Coconut Milk: Made from water and the white flesh of brown coconuts, it has a rich, creamy texture and a sweet, coconutty flavor. It’s higher in fat and lower in protein.
Hemp Milk: Made from the hemp plant’s seeds mixed with water, it has a slightly nutty, sweet taste. It’s a good source of plant-based protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cashew Milk: Made by blending cashews with water, it’s creamy and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It’s low in protein but high in vitamin E and magnesium.
Pea Milk: Made from yellow split peas, it has a creamy texture and neutral taste. It’s a good source of plant-based protein and is often fortified with other nutrients.
Oat Milk vs. Almond Milk
Taste and Texture: Oat milk has a creamy texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor, making it a good choice for those who prefer a milk-like taste.
Nutrition: Oat milk is high in fiber and contains a decent amount of protein. However, it’s higher in calories and carbohydrates compared to almond milk.
Environmental Impact: Oat milk typically has a lower environmental impact than almond milk, as oats require less water to grow.
Taste and Texture: Almond milk has a light texture and a slightly nutty taste, which all might not prefer.
Nutrition: Almond milk is lower in calories and carbohydrates than oat milk but is also significantly lower in protein. It’s high in vitamin E and is usually fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Environmental Impact: Almond milk production requires a lot of water, making it less environmentally friendly than oat milk.
Best Oat Milk Brands
One of the most popular brands, Oatly is known for its creamy texture and unique flavor. They offer various options, including full-fat, low-fat, and chocolate.
This brand offers unsweetened and lightly sweetened oat milk options. They’re known for their environmentally-friendly practices and use of non-GMO ingredients.
This brand prides itself on simplicity, using minimal ingredients in its oat milk. They offer a gluten-free product that is made without added gums or emulsifiers.
Planet Oat offers a variety of flavored options, including vanilla, chocolate, and extra creamy. Their oat milk is free from dairy, nuts, soy, and gluten.
Well-known for its soy milk, Silk also offers oat milk under the “Oat Yeah” line. They offer various flavored options, all free from dairy, gluten, and nuts.
Health Benefits of Oat Milk
High in Nutrients: Oat milk is often fortified with vitamins A, D, B2, and B12, as well as calcium, making it a nutritious dairy alternative.
Lactose-Free: It’s a great option for those with lactose intolerance or milk allergy, as it’s naturally free of lactose.
High in Fiber: Oat milk contains a type of fiber called beta-glucan which can help maintain heart health by reducing cholesterol levels.
Bone Health: Most oat milk brands fortify their products with calcium and vitamin D, essential for bone health.
Low in Allergens: Oat milk is free of nuts and soy, making it a good choice for those with allergies to these foods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is oat milk vegan?
Yes, oat milk is vegan. It’s made from oats and water, and any additional ingredients like vitamins and minerals are also typically vegan.
Is oat milk gluten-free?
Oats are naturally gluten-free but can be contaminated with gluten during processing. Look for oat milk labeled as gluten-free to ensure it’s safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Is oat milk keto?
Oat milk is not typically suitable for a keto diet. It’s high in carbohydrates and relatively low in fat, which doesn’t align with the high-fat, low-carb nature of the keto diet.
Is oat milk healthy?
Yes, oat milk is a healthy dairy alternative. It’s often fortified with vitamins and minerals and contains heart-healthy fibers. However, like any food, it should be consumed as a balanced diet.
Is there any health risk with oat milk?
Oat milk is generally safe for most people. However, some brands may add sugars or other additives, so reading the label is important. Those with gluten intolerance should ensure they choose a gluten-free brand.