It’s the plant milk era! Apart from soy and almond milk, one of the most often used alternatives for dairy is oat milk.
Oat milk is already a mainstay in chain coffee shops and is sold in your everyday supermarkets. Office pantries even stock up on oat milk for their busy bees to enjoy with their brew. Even children pack a little box of oat milk for school instead of regular, cow-based milk. So, we’re sure you’ve heard of it!
The plain and simple answer is that it’s milk made out of oats. It really is just that. The two are your core ingredients. Although some brands might add a little sweetener or pinch of salt here and there to make it taste extra good. Some add more unique ingredients to allow it to be steamed or frothed just like regular milk.
Because it’s made with basically 2 core ingredients, we’d like to add this little fun fact here. Oat milk is shelf stable! For storing unopened cartons of oat milk, they won’t spoil when kept at room temp for about 6 months. What is oat milk’s shelf life once opened, though? When you’ve opened a carton, it’s good for a week to a max of ten days in the fridge. That’s right - you need to store opened containers of oat milk inside the fridge or else they’ll quickly turn bad.
This depends on who you ask, really. Let’s get to the heavy topic first. In terms of their environmental footprint, Oat milk production is far better for the planet than cow’s milk. In fact, cow’s milk uses more land and freshwater to make - by a staggering margin, too. They also produce more greenhouse gas emissions! If you want your food, rather your diet, to have less impact on the planet, plant-based substitutes are the way to go.
The next good thing is that there are tons of nutritional benefits of oat milk! There is no one unified answer as to what is the healthiest oat milk. It varies! But, when you drink oat milk, you’re getting protein, fiber, carbs, and fats (the good, unsaturated kind). Contrary to popular belief, oat milk does have a bit of calcium as well. While it doesn’t compare to cow’s milk, you could potentially get 25% of your DV (more or less) when you drink a cup of oat milk. This is also depending on which specific brand you get.
Next, oat milk just tastes great. It’s no wonder that even non-vegan or non-lactose intolerants enjoy having a glass of oat milk as it is or adding it to their coffees. Earthy, creamy, and just downright good, oat milk easily replaces cow’s milk. The flavor they have often goes well with what dairy milk is used for - even when baking!
And since it’s worth mentioning again, oat milk is good for those that don’t or can’t have dairy. It’s one of the easiest substitutes you can make as oat milk’s texture matches that of regular milk. It doesn’t overpower (like soy milk usually does) and even has an enjoyable, light nutty taste.
So, what is oat milk good for? Now you’ve got 4 incredible reasons!
At this point, we may have practically sold you why oat milk is fantastic. Maybe you’re itching to get some right now! Don’t fret as we’re taking this time to show you what our faves are. And we’re starting with the OG…
When it comes to oat milk, no other brand is as synonymous with it as Oatly. It’s one of the best oat milk brands around and is probably the reason why this plant milk is so popular. Oatly may have literally put oat milk on the map! The Original Oatly Oat Milk can be enjoyed straight, with cereal, with your favorite drinks, or for baking.
For something that’s organic, unsweetened, and has a short list of ingredients, Minor Figures’ Oat Milk is a great pick. This particular one is a barista standard oat milk that’s great for those brewing up a storm at home (pun intended).
If you want to stick to the basics, then Malk’s Original Organic Oat Milk is the one for you. Made with just filtered water, organic gluten-free oats, and a pinch of Himalayan salt, it’s creamy and delicious oat milk made the right way. Use it for all kinds of drinks or even use it for baking.
Capping off our list with something unique, Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Oat Milk is a sweet substitute for traditional ones. This way, you can make your own version of Singapore’s Nanyang coffee at home or maybe even a Vietnamese iced coffee on a particularly hot day!
There you go! Now you know all about oat milk and have even familiarized yourself with some of the best oat milk brands in the market right now.
For all your oaty needs, check out Vegan Essentials. We’ve got oat milk, oat treats, and a whole world of vegan foods waiting for you!