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.
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.
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!