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Oat Milk

If ordering Starbucks for my friends wasn’t difficult enough with all the coffee, flavor, brewing methods, now I’ve got a menu of milks! Who would have thought udders and teats are found on Almonds, Coconuts, Cashews, and now…Oats?!? Just joking, no teats on those nuts 😉 But apparently you can get a version of milk from plant sources and one of the more popular ones we’ll “dip” into here..

Let’s Milk Oats For All It’s Got….

Q: What is oat milk?

It’s not really “milk” in the traditional sense, it’s more like very fine, ground up, oats that have been soaked in water (hence the creamy texture). Think of it as very runny, oat porridge. When they make it, it’s very thick and creamy, but it still needs to be thinner, so companies add a lot of water to the finished product (along with a few other things, discussed below) 

Q: How is this different than nut-based milks?

As far as processing, not much, you’re still grounding up the nuts and then straining them to produce the “milky” like water. Where you begin to see differences is in the Calories and Macro-Nutrients Protein-Carb-Fat) area. Nut based will have less calories, less protein and carbs, and more fat. There is more fiber in Oat milk, but it’s a small difference. 

Q: Why have I been seeing it more and more?

Primarily reason is that individuals want to have the same dairy milk experience, taste, texture, flavor, but feel it’s more healthier or causes less digestive issues. Lactose is a sugar in dairy milk that can be difficult to digest, causing bloating, gas, etc.., Oat (and nut) milks are naturally lactose free. Also many people want to be more plant-based or vegan, so Oat milk fits that preference.

Q: Is oat milk healthy? 

Yes, it’s healthy, but you must be careful. Oats are not generally great tasting when they are ground up into mush and water is added, so brands will add sugars, sweetners, and flavors to create a better taste. The mouth feel (creamy texture) is also an issue, so brands will add oils like sunflower, canola, or rapeseed. 

Q: How does it compare to regular dairy milk?

Same calories, less protein, more nutrients, less sugar. If you’re drinking Oat milk for the protein benefits, it’s not a good choice. If you’re trying to watch your sugar, assuming you’re drinking sweetened, Oat milk is a good choice. Also dairy milk inherently has more nutrients (13) vs. oat milk, which needs to be fortified, usually with 5 or so. 

Q: When is Oat Milk a good choice?

If you’re looking for a plant-based milk that gives you more protein and calories, oat is your best choice. The fiber is kinda nice, but oat milk also has some immune nutrients that the other nut-based ones do not have. It’ll have a creamer texture as well, so great to use for a creamer or when you want to thicken something up in cooking. Has more iron too, so women can benefit from this. 

Q: What are you dipping your cookies in?

Almond milk, because it’s lower in calories. And it still sucks. I’d love to drink dairy milk, but it makes my stomach hurt. I don’t need a lot of any milk, I don’t drink coffee, eat cereal, dip cookies (usually eat them plain), thank goodness because I think these plant-based milks are not a good value. Not enough protein, fortified nutrients, not calorie dense, palatable only with sweetners, and very expensive. Best to drink water (unless you’re a baby – then ONLY dairy milk!)