This creamy, nutty plant-based milk is a popular non-dairy alternative. But there are still questions surrounding this relatively new alternative. Is oat milk good for you? Is oat milk gluten-free? We’ll take you through the many ins and outs of oat milk nutrition facts so you can learn everything you need to know about this nutritious vegan beverage.
The plant-based milk aisle is growing steadily at the grocery store as more and more people start to adopt vegetarian and vegan diets.
Oat milk sales are ten times higher than they were in 2017 as it becomes more well-known, a popular favorite that has a more similar taste and texture to cow’s milk than other plant-based alternatives.
When comparing oat milk vs. almond milk, oat is a barista’s non-dairy milk of choice - it’s creamy, thick texture froths up nicely for the perfect microfoam on a cappuccino or latte.
There are many benefits nutritious oat milk offers. As with any food, there are a few oat milk dangers. Read on to learn more.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is a creamy, non-dairy beverage made of milled oats. The oat milk ingredients list is concise, with most recipes containing just oats, water, enzymes, and added vitamins and minerals.
What does oat milk taste like? The taste of oat milk is slightly sweet and similar to that of cow’s milk, with a distinctive oat aftertaste.
It’s creamy, thick, and perfect for coffee, baking, or drinking a cold, tall glass.
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Oat milk calories average 120 calories per cup, slightly lower than the calories in a cup of cow’s milk.
The oat milk protein content is approximately 2 grams, much lower than cow’s milk but higher than some non-dairy alternatives, like almond milk.
For those looking for a lower-carb option, oat milk may not be for you, as an oat carbohydrate content is on the higher end, at 16 grams per cup.
Unsweetened oat milk is your best option, as it doesn’t contain added refined sugar that can mess with your blood sugar levels.
The Many Benefits of Oat Milk
Many non-dairy kinds of milk contain tree nuts like almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts. These alternatives pose problems for those with any nut allergy.
Oat milk is a safe alternative for anyone who cannot eat nuts, specifically oats made from grain. It’s also free and clear for anyone allergic to dairy, lactose, or soy.
Oat milk is a little higher in total calories, but it also contains more protein and fiber than other dairy-free milk alternatives, like almond milk.
Oat milk can help promote weight loss, thanks to fiber and protein, which take a longer time to digest than other nutrients, keeping you full for longer on fewer calories each day.
Fortified with Vitamins
Fortified store-bought oat milk contains essential nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and D. The calcium in one cup of oat milk is even higher than the calcium content in cow’s milk.
It also contains a ton of vitamin B12, which is especially crucial for vegans and vegetarians who are more prone to lower levels of this nutrient that helps our nerves to function correctly.
Another mineral that vegans are chronically low in is iron - one cup of oat milk contains 10% iron RDI, helping to up vegan iron intake significantly.
Beta-glucan is a fiber that helps oat milk to froth perfectly. Even more importantly, this fiber contains low-density lipoprotein, reducing your intake of bad cholesterol and balancing cholesterol as a whole.
Many ingredients in other plant-based milk options have massive carbon footprints and guzzle up astronomical amounts of water - almond milk, the most popular choice, is also the biggest culprit. It requires approximately 1.1 gallons of fresh water to grow just one almond and a load of displaced honey bees for pollination.
On the other hand, oats are a low-input crop that doesn’t require much water or land to produce, making them a much better option for the environment.
Oat Milk Disadvantages
Low-Carb and Keto Diets
Is oat milk keto?
Oat milk’s main ingredient is oats, a whole grain. Oat milk carbs are much higher than those in nut milk and other plant-based milk at 16g per cup, so it’s not suitable for a low-carb or keto diet.
The best plant milk for a low-carb or keto diet is nut milk like almond, macadamia, or coconut milk.
Traces of Gluten
Does oat milk have gluten?
While oats are whole grain, they don’t naturally contain any gluten.
Once most oats leave the field in which they were grown, they’re no longer gluten-free. Farmers share harvesting equipment between crops, so oats and wheat often contain traces of each other in their packages.
While the amount of gluten in oats is minimal, oat milk is only suitable for celiacs if certified as gluten-free.
Best Uses for Oat Milk
The taste of oat milk pairs best with roasted coffee and espresso beans, and its creaminess can stand up well in a hot cup of java.
Oat milk is also the best non-dairy milk to steam next to whole cow’s milk, as it has a thick and creamy texture, decent fat content, and beta-glucan fiber that helps make a well foamed flat white, cappuccino, or latte.
Oat milk is the best plant-based choice to use as a baking substitute. Other plant-based milk varieties are thin and watery, while oat milk substitutes perfectly as its viscosity is closer to cow’s milk.
Oat milk can vary the flavor of recipes slightly, but we think it’s for the better - the nutty flavor of oats complements most sweet treats well.
Use oat milk for baking bread, cookies, muffins, and more with perfect results!
Oat Milk Shelf Life
There are two types of oat milk available at the grocery store: shelf-stable and refrigerated oat milk.
Does oat milk go bad? Yes, shelf-stable and refrigerated oat milk both have best-by dates, but they only apply to unsealed, unopened packages.
All oat milk needs to be refrigerated once opened and will last in the fridge for 7-10 days.
Homemade oat milk contains no preservatives and will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
Simple Oat Milk Recipe
Try your hand at making this simple, two-ingredient oat milk recipe at home. Add your ingredients to a high-powered blender, blend well, strain, and enjoy!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups ice-cold water
- Add rolled oats, water, and any additional sweeteners, like a dash of maple syrup, to a high powered blender. Blend on medium power for 20-30 seconds. Do not over-blend.
- Strain the oat milk mixture through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth over a large mixing bowl. Double strain if you prefer a super-smooth texture.
- Serve and enjoy your oat milk. Store up to 5 days in the fridge.
Final Notes: Is Oat Milk Healthy?
Oat milk is an incredibly healthy plant-based milk option that will suit most dietary needs.
It’s high in protein and fiber, as well as fortified with a ton of minerals. Better yet, it’s a superior choice for the environment compared to the high-input crops needed to produce almond milk and soy milk.
Oat milk will suit all of your basic milk needs, from coffee and cereal to cooking and baking. Drink this rich, creamy milk alternative daily to reap all of its many benefits.