Want to know what just might be the non-dairy product to supplant soy or almond milk? How about oat milk. Yes, oat milk. It's starting to make inroads into coffee shops and homes as another health non-dairy alternative.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is essentially oat-infused water. It's easily made by straining water soaked rolled oats through a cheesecloth. Oats will absorb more water than most nuts and tends to allow more of the oat nutrients through. It tends to be creamier than the nut-based milks.
Oat milk is creamy enough to be a great alternative in coffee and has a slightly sweet taste. You can use it any way that you would use cow's milk or other plant-based milk.
How about the nutrients
Oat milk measures up pretty well against the other plant-based milk. One cup of oat milk provides around 120 calories, 5g of fat, 0g saturated fats, 2 grams fibre, 3 grams protein. It has calcium and vitamin D.
It has less protein than soy milk and more than almond milk but when it comes to fibre it's double that of soy and almond.
It's important to mention the fibre as research has shown that oat beta-glucans (oat fibre) help support and maintain normal blood cholesterol. levels.
Beta-glucan, a type of dietary fibre found in abundance in oats, has been recognised as having blood cholesterol-lowering properties. A major proposed mechanism is that dietary oat beta-glucan forms a viscous layer in the small intestine. The viscous layer attenuates the intestinal uptake of dietary cholesterol as well as the re-absorption of bile acids (which the body makes from cholesterol).
One word of caution. While oats are naturally gluten-free many of the processing plants process other gluten-based grains so check the product labels if you are celiac.
Where can you get it?
Well, the market leader seems to be Oatly. Oatly is a 25 year old food and beverage company that started in Sweden. The company's approach was novel in that they introduced their product through coffee shops rather than grocery stores. You can find it in coffee shops around the US. oddly enough I can't find it here in Canada yet Oatly sources its oat from Canadian producers.
You can find other manufacturers of oat milk products like Pacific Foods or Elmhurst Milked. If you are like me and can't find it in your local speciality coffee shop you can make it right at home.
Make Oat Milk at home
This is a pretty standard recipe for making oat milk and should yield approximately a litre or so of oat milk.
Start off with 50 gm (1/4 cup) of raw oats (can be organic or gluten-free) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (this is optional, check your oat ingredients as they may already have salt.)
Place the oats and salt in a blender with 1 litre of water and blend until smooth. Let the mixture sit for approximately an hour at room temperature.
Strain into a container through a cheesecloth.
You can keep the remnants to use as a flour base in muffins or bread. The oat milk will keep for four to five days in the fridge (it will separate so you will need to stir it.)
Have you had oat milk yet? Do you think it will take over from soy or almond milk?