Have you noticed the new trend toward non-dairy milk in the food industry in the last year or so? You may have heard of other healthy milk alternatives like almond, soy, coconut, rice, and hemp milk, but maybe not so much about oat milt – yet. But the next time you're grocery shopping, notice it on your supermarket shelves! It's everywhere! My market carries at least 4 different oak milk brands!
Oat milk has a delicious flavor and here you can learn how to make oat milk at home. Keep reading to learn its nutrient profile as well as the health benefits of oat milk and get our Oatmeal Green smoothie recipe.
The Nutritional Profile of Oak Milk
Let’s check out all the approximate nutrients, etc. that you can expect to find in just one cup of oat milk, which consists of around 130 calories:
- 24 Grams carbohydrates
- 4 Grams of protein
- 2.5 Grams of fat
- 2 Grams of dietary fiber
- 350 Milligrams calcium
- 0.5 Milligram riboflavin
- 100 International units vitamin D
- 500 International units vitamin A
- 1.8 Milligrams iron
- 115 Milligrams sodium
8 Health Benefits of Oat Milk
1. It's Lactose-Free and Vegan
Whether you are trying to avoid eating animal products or are trying to improve your digestion, oat milk is a great alternative. You'll love the creamy texture made from just oats and water. This makes it lactose, dairy, and gluten-free. It is a wonderful substitute if you have dairy-free restrictions
2. It Promotes Healthy Red Blood Cells to Help with Anemia
Oatmeal promotes healthy red blood cells, assisting in the prevention of anemia. Anemia is characterized by a lack of red blood cells and it's no laughing matter. It causes fatigue and pale unhealthy skin. Enjoying one cup of oat milk will provide about 10% of iron. This makes it great if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
3. Your Bone Strength Will Improve
Commercial oat milk can be enriched with vitamin D and calcium. These are two important micronutrients that play an important role in bone health.
Did you know that around 99% of the calcium in your body is in your bones, used for the development and maintenance of your bones? According to a study from the University of Cologne’s West-German Osteoporosis Center in Germany, if you have low levels of calcium and vitamin D, this could result in the further breakdown of your bone cells and bone weakness which causes bone fractures.
4. You'll Have Better Immunity
Should you feel under the weather, reach for oat milk. Your immune system gets a strong boost from the vitamins D and A found in oat milk, warding off infections and illnesses.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
Oats are recommended as a healthy breakfast if you are looking after your heart and want to keep cholesterol levels in check.
Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This fiber is known for having potent properties in to help lower your cholesterol.
Research has also found that this same beta-glucan is retained in beverages made from oats, such as oat milk. In the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism, it is noted that when you drink oat milk for five weeks you will lower your bad LDL cholesterol more than you would if you drank rice milk.
6. Oats for Breastfeeding Moms
Oats have saponins. Saponins may have a positive effect on hormones related to the production of breast milk
7. Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
8. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Oats can help stabilize blood sugar. (As long as you don't add sugar).
How to Make Oak Milk at Home
Oat milk has a mild taste, a lot like oatmeal. It also has properties that makes it froth well, making it perfect in your morning coffee. It's my favorite coffee creamer hands down.
It's made by blending (in a blender) 1 cup of soaked old-fashioned oats with 2 cups of filtered water. After blending, take some cheesecloth or pour the oat milk liquid through a strainer to extract the milk.
You can add cinnamon or vanilla or other natural sweeteners to enhance the flavor, if you like.
The Best Commercial Oat milk (IMO)
I recommend you make your own oat milk if you can. It's super easy and you'll save money and natural resources. But if you are unable to make your oat milk for whatever reason, I recommend Oatly brand. What I like about this brand (no, this is not a sponsored post) is that they don't add ingredients to extend shelf life or enhance flavor. Also, in my opinion, it's the best tasting mass produced oat milk.
Oatly, is the current oat-milk market leader. It was actually founded over 25 years ago to produce a delicious plant-based milk. They were looking for an alternative to dairy milk that was environmentally friendly and nutritious. They chose oats because of it's nutrient profile and accessibility. Oats are a very sustainable plant-source. Oats thrive in cold weather climates and need little water or other resources to thrive.
More and more people (me included) are starting to add oak milk to their coffee. Oak milk is more environmentally friendly and this is a huge factor for millions of people.
Oatly was launched in the USA in 2018 and all their products are produced in North America. They use gluten-free, non-GMO oats and no soy, nuts or dairy. So if you want to buy your oat milk at the supermarket, go for the Oatly brand. In my opinion, it makes the grade!
What to Look for in Commercial Oat Milk
- Additives, sugars, and preservatives in them, which diminish the health-promoting properties
- Emulsifiers and thickeners can impact digestive health, altering the gut microbiome.
- Even though oats are naturally gluten-free, sometimes during manufacturing, other gluten-containing grains like wheat or barley get in, resulting in cross-contamination. Look for certified organic and gluten-free oat milk for that reason.
- Oat milk is not as naturally nutrient-dense as conventional milk is. The enriched varieties do have a whole heap of vitamins and minerals in them, but they are not as nutrient-dense as real organic milk. But if you make your own oat milk at home, you might need to get these extra nutrients from other sources.
Use Oat milk in Your Smoothies
If using cow's milk in your morning smoothies causes bloating, nausea, cramps or diarrhea, try substituting oat milk.
To break down the sugar found in milk, the enzyme, lactase, is needed. When there is not enough of this enzyme present, lactose breaks down in the bowel. This is what causes cramps, bloating, nausea, and diarrhea.
Consumers are choosing non-dairy alternatives because today's cow’s milk is full of growth hormones and antibiotics, creating illness and disease. So, it’s no wonder people are demanding healthier products for themselves and their kids.
Oat Milk Green Smoothie
This delicious healthy drink smoothie is made with only six ingredients. What you get in this 1½ cup of oat milk is 6 g of protein. That’s already 75% of your daily recommended intake of B12 plus 45% of your daily recommended intake of calcium. You will love it!
1½ cup of oat milk
1½ frozen bananas
3 Handfuls of organic spinach
A 2” piece of fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons of nut butter (of your choice)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Add some garnish using granola with some smooth nut butter if you like.
Add all the above ingredients to your blender. Puree until everything is smooth. If you want a bit of sweetness, add a couple of dates.
Oat milk vs Other Alternative Milks
Oat milk vs Almond milk
As far as taste and texture goes, oat milk has a nice sweet taste, almost like almond milk, but creamier. I've seen different flavors on the grocery shelves, like the coffee flavor or chocolate. Additionally, you can get unsweetened and unflavored varieties.
- Oat milk is higher in calories and carbs than almond milk.
- Oat milk contains more fiber and protein than almond milk. Almond milk is also often fortified and enriched with micronutrients like calcium and vitamin D. But still, there is a bit of a difference in that almond milk also has vitamin E in it. Oat milk has more riboflavin in it.
Oat Milk vs Organic Cow’s Milk
- Oat milk is lower in calories than cow’s milk.
- Oat milk contains nearly double as many carbs.
- Cow’s milk is higher in protein than oat milk.
- While a lot of micronutrients in oat milk have been added in during processing, with conventional milk you get natural sources of nutrients like riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin B12.
- Both almond milk and conventional milk are able to be warmed up using moderate heat. Oat milk becomes thick and gelatinous when heated. So, it might not be the best choice to use in place of milk for recipes that need heat, such as baked goods or hot beverages.
Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Recommend Oat Milk
Yes, oats already fit into the Ayurveda diet and are commonly used in TCM as well. In TCM, oats are helpful in lowering blood pressure, improving stool consistency and reduceing heated conditions.
Oats are noted to strengthen the spleen and the pancreas. Oats, in Ayurveda, helps to reduce the appetite and to promote regular stools and increase stamina. Oats also have calming properties.
There are plenty of potential uses for oat milk. You can swap it for conventional milk in your cereal or use it to whip up certain types of desserts that don’t require heat, like chia seed pudding or ice cream. You can also use it in your favorite beverages and add it to your morning smoothie, latte, tea or coffee. Just be sure to avoid over-heating this milk as it can thicken and develop a gelatinous texture. However, I use it in a milk frother and it works beautifully!
3 Ways to Use Oat Milk as a Beauty Product
Oat milk not only supports your health but totes a host of topical beauty benefits as well.
In its most basic form, oat milk is essentially oats and water blended together. Once strained, a smooth, creamy liquid is the end result.
Look at three ways you can use oat milk to improve your skin and hair:
1. Improves Your Skin Health
Because of it's moisturizing properties, oat milk is very nourishing for the skin. It helps to remove impurities and helps to eliminate dead skin cells.
If you want to try and combat acne, combine some oat milk with some raw honey. What a relaxing face mask, leaving your skin feeling so fresh and ‘well-fed’.
2. Soothe's Skin after Shaving
Sometimes after shaving, you experience those little red bumps and itchiness. Oat milk can soothe your skin, providing almost instant relief because it is so soothing. Lots of women take oat milk into their daily shower to wash with; creating their own body wash.
3. Remedies an Itchy Scalp and Dried Out Hair & Skin
While you're in the shower, you can apply some oat milk to your hair. Try it as either a rinse or as a leave-in conditioner. In much the same way that oatmeal soothes dry and itchy skin; the same applies to your scalp. It has the ability to combat dandruff while strengthening and nourishing the hair.
It has anti-inflammatory benefits for your skin, so says pharmacologist and hair-care researcher, Thomas Dawson, PhD. If you apply products that contain oat milk to your hair onto your scalp, you may help to reduce itching and irritation of the scalp, and actually potentially help to minimize hair loss.
Who doesn’t want that!
Oat milk has phytoestrogens in it, says Thomas, which can help to reduce hair loss, particularly for those who lose it because of hormone problems, such as in women with their menstrual cycles or menopause.
Because oat milk is so rich in lipids and proteins, it can add shine, strength, and smoothness to your hair. This plant-based milk is so rich in vitamin D, so important for hair growth.
And there's nothing better for dry, itchy skin than colloidal oatmeal!
The Global Milk Trend
With the introduction of oat, pecan, hemp, quinoa, hazelnut, and flax milk – all these are steering the global alternative to milk industry to great heights and huge sales of $10.9 billion expected for 2020 – this according to the Global Market for Milk Alternatives.
More and more exotic non-dairy milk is growing in popularity. Just one has dropped off in sales. People are drinking less soy milk – because of claims about soy and certain health conditions.
Oatly recently sold out of its Oat milk Barista Edition and had to stock up. They announced to their customers that only one case per customer would be sold due to overwhelming demand. When people do have an excess of oat milk, they sell it at marked-up prices. One Amazon seller hawked a 12 pack for $226!
Some claim oat milk sales have surpassed hemp, coconuts, macadamia, nut, and pea milk. It makes sense though, seeing there is a huge increase in the number of vegans and health-conscious people who are totally averse to drinking today's cow’s milk which is riddled with antibiotics and growth hormones.
The trend has become global.
Oat milk has been around for some time now and will be around for some time to come don't you think? Now I'd LOVE to hear from you below. Afterall, it gets pretty lonely if I don't hear from you. Let me know what your favorite milk is and if you allergic or intolerant to dairy or you just prefer the taste and texture of dairy-free milk? Or if you have any questions, I usually get back shortly.