You’ve seen soy, almond, cashew, hemp, coconut milk, and more. The dairy-free dairy aisle is growing by the day, it seems, and if you’re looking for yet another alternative to regular ol’ milk, there’s another addition that’s getting major hype at the moment. Oat milk is here and it’s here to stay.
As a vegan option, oat milk is no doubt popping up across diners and coffee shops around New York City, and beyond. According to its dedicated fans, it has a not-too-sweet, not-too-thick, not-too-watery consistency, and is easily frothed, meaning you can add it to your lattes and have a foam-y texture that wasn’t really possible with either almond or soy milk.
Perfect also for people who have nut allergies or are gluten-free, oat milk gives you the texture and flavor you crave from milk, without all the added allergens and sweeteners that other milk alternatives sometimes carry. On top of that, some experts note that it’s much more sustainable for the environment because it takes much less water to produce it — unlike almond milk, which needs a significant amount of water to make.
While it’s been a fairly new addition to cafes throughout the U.S., Swedish outposts have been benefiting from oat milk for years. Shops like Johan & Nyström boast an entire oat milk-based menu. And New Yorkers are more and more familiar with Oatly, the Swedish import that gives customers varieties of oat milk flavors.
“When we created this product, we knew people would want to pour it into coffee and tea—since it’s just like milk and everything,” the company says on their website. “So we made sure it would perform beautifully in pretty much any hot beverage by adding something called dipotassium phosphate as an acidity regulator. It keeps your Oat Milk from separating or otherwise wimping out when it hits your favorite hot drinks. And you can be sure that there is nothing in this product that isn’t absolutely necessary or absolutely approved for consumption. Everything is plant-based, void of stupid GMOs and made carefully with your health and the health of the planet in mind.”
When made at home (more on that in just a bit), oat milk consists of just a couple ingredients: oats and water. A pinch of salt, optional.
One of the benefits of oat milk is its price tag. Any good healthy snacker knows that while almonds are loaded with nutrients, they may come with a bit of sticker shock. But oats (fairly inexpensive) and water (free), make for a much cheaper alternative to other nut milks.
But more than that, oat milk is a great alternative for anyone who is allergic or intolerant to dairy, nuts, and is quite safe for people who are gluten-intolerant (when made with gluten-free oats, or oats that were not processed in the same facility as glutenous products).
Generally, one cup of oat milk has less protein than cow’s milk or soy milk, but has more protein than nut milks. It does, however, have more fiber than cow’s milk and almond milk.
To make your own oat milk: