Out of the numerous plant – based milk alternatives that have sprung up in the last few years, oat milk is the most famous of the lot. Its popularity can be tied to the increasingly health conscious public and the rise of veganism.
So is oat milk really healthier than regular dairy milk? Are there any possible side effects of drinking oat milk? Make sure to read till the end to find out the answer to these questions and more!
What Is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is a vegan – friendly product made by blending oats with water (more on how they are made later). They are marketed as the healthier and better cousin of dairy milk, making them often the more expensive of the two.
Oat milk is usually made with gluten – free oats so that those suffering from gluten – related disorders can enjoy it. They also do not contain nuts, soy, and lactose which means people with allergies and intolerances to these can consume oat milk safely.
However, oat “milk” cannot compete with regular milk in terms of nutrients. This is why you often see store – bought oat milk being fortified with extra nutrients such as iron, calcium, Vitamin A, potassium, Vitamin D, and many others.
Oat milk is also the go – to vegan milk for espressos and other coffee beverages since they have the best texture for steaming among dairy alternatives. Hence, oat milk is now an option you commonly see in coffee shops.
How To Make Oat Milk At Home
As we mentioned, oat milk sold at grocery stores and supermarkets is often quite pricey. A great way around this problem is to make your own oat milk at home. Here is how:
- Add 1 cup of steel cut or rolled oats to your blender
- Pour in 3 cups of cold water
- Blend at high speed for 30 seconds
- Place a cheesecloth over the opening of a container (bottle, glass, jar, etc)
- Pour your mixture through the cheesecloth and strain the oats from the milk
- Lift the ends of your cheesecloth to create a sac, before then squeezing the sac to force any leftover liquid to force into the container
- You can add your additive of choice to enhance the flavour
- Serve immediately or place it in an airtight container before then putting it in the fridge
Tips For Making At Home
- Always use cold water or your oat milk will turn out slimy
- Do not blend for more than 30 seconds for the best oat milk texture
- You can store oat milk in the fridge for up to 5 days
- Some of our favourite additives include salt, cinnamon extract, vanilla extract, honey, syrup, etc
What Are The Health Benefits Of Drinking Oat Milk?
Here are some of the benefits you will get by adding oat milk to your daily diet:
- Fortified oat milk is great for maintaining the health of your bones since they are full of calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
- Speaking of vitamins, the abundant amount of B2 and B12 vitamins in commercial oat milk is essential for a healthy body. They have been linked to stress reduction, improvement of skin health, combating oxidative damages, and promoting healthy keratin (nail & hair) growth.
- Oat milk is a great option for those with dietary restrictions since it can be gluten – free and contain zero lactose, soy, and nuts.
- Oat milk contains high amounts of beta glucan, the fibre that creates a gel – like substance in your body which helps control cholesterol levels
Despite its countless health benefits, oat milk does come with its drawbacks:
- Some varieties of oat milk you find in stores are sweetened or flavoured, which means they are likely high in sugar. Make sure you avoid these and stick to unsweetened oat milk.
- Oat milk is usually quite expensive
- A lot of commercial oat milk brands are not gluten – free, which may cause digestion problems for those with gluten – disorders. Always look for certified gluten – free oat milk when purchasing or simply make gluten – free oat milk at home.
- Home – made oat milk is not fortified with nutrients, so it naturally is not as beneficial to your body as store – bought alternatives.
- Oat milk cannot substitute breast milk or cow milk in the diet of babies and children since they don’t contain the necessary nutrients for growth.
- Oat milk contains much less protein than cow milk, so you likely won’t feel full after drinking it.