Oat Milk – What is it, is it healthy and should you try it?
If you’ve been skimming the aisles of your grocery store lately, you might have noticed a new dairy-free milk alternative taking over the shelves — oat milk. You may be happy with cow’s milk or an alternative of your choosing, but are curious to see what all the buzz is about. Perhaps you are simply on the hunt for your new favorite dairy-free alternative. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Oat milk is a type of plant milk that comes from whole oat grains and is a source of protein and fiber, which are important components of your daily recommended diet. Oat milk has been around since the early 1990s, but recently came into popularity around 2017 as demand for alternatives to cow’s milk increased.
Oat milk is made by soaking whole or steel-cut oats in water to extract nutrients. The mixture is then blended and strained through a cheese cloth or nut milk bag. This process produces a milk drink with an oatmeal-like flavor and naturally creamy texture that more closely resembles cow’s milk than other dairy-free alternatives. Like many other store-bought milk alternatives, important vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and vitamin B12 are added; however, if you make oat milk at home, you will miss out on those nutrients.
If you are lactose intolerant or practice a vegan diet, oat milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk. Oat milk can be used as a replacement for cow’s milk in sweet or savory dishes, and it is quickly becoming a popular dairy-free alternative at coffee shops across the nation due to its slightly sweet flavor. In addition, oat milk can be used as a milk substitute in fermented products, such as yogurt and probiotics.
When compared to another popular dairy alternative, almond milk, a cup of oat milk contains twice the amount of protein and fiber (2g protein, 2g fiber in oat milk vs. 1g protein, 1g fiber in almond milk). However, oat milk is naturally higher in sugar per serving, since it’s made from a carbohydrate, and that does not account for any sweeteners added to your dairy-alternatives during production.
So, we ask, is oat milk healthy? Yes, in moderation, like most things and can be used as a substitute for cow’s milk or other dairy-free alternatives like almond, soy, coconut or hemp milk. Should you try oat milk? Sure, we say go for it! If you try it — let us know what you think on social media @Bowflex on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.