Did you just walk into a coffee shop to find out oat milk is an option for your next beverage? Welcome the trendiest, newest addition on the block that is an alternative for all you vegans out there. But hang on! Do you know what oat milk tastes like?
Oat milk has a mild and nutty taste that has been making an addition to many recipes. So, if you enjoy the flavors of rolled oats in your breakfast, you are surely going to like this ingredient.
Wondering what oat milk actually is? Simply put, oat milk is a liquid base left behind after blending rolled oats and water together. As compared to other forms of milk, oat milk is a vegan-friendly and a lactose-free alternative to cow’s milk.
It’s not only a delicious alternative for your beverages, but it also makes for a nutritious option, one that is rich in protein and contains a number of nutrients. The oat milk market was valued at 372.5 million dollars in 2019, and according to its increased market demand, it’s expected to reach 698.8 million by 2027.
If you have landed on this article, chances are this ingredient is new to you. So, let’s wait no more and figure out what oat milk tastes like, its uses, nutrition benefits, and flavors.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat milk is plant milk derived from whole oat grains by blending with water. It is a mild oatmeal-like flavor having a creamy texture and is manufactured in various flavors.
Oat milk is a great option for people with dietary restrictions and food sensitivities as it is free of lactose, dairy, soy, and nuts. The creamy texture of oat milk has made it a favorite ingredient in the latte-making businesses. In addition, its nutritional profile has been winning points by all.
What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?
While this wholesome dairy-free product is already tempting you with the information above, this section will help you know more about its taste. And of course, we will further explore the options for its uses.
Oat milk has a unique sweet, nutty taste. Although it is quite similar to cow milk in consistency, it’s natural to expect a slight oat flavor in the taste. You can also taste a bit of earthiness when heating it.
In terms of texture, oat milk is smoother and richer than cow’s milk and thus is loved by coffee connoisseurs.
However, both the flavor and texture of oat milk vary from brand to brand. It comes in both sugar-free and low-fat varieties and other flavors. Oat milk is one of the best alternatives for people who are vegan and lactose intolerant.
Different Flavors Of Oat Milk
Just like different types of milk come in different flavors, oat milk also comes with a few flavors. This section will tell you more about the types of oat milk available in the market and their textures.
Currently, three different flavors of oat milk are available in the market, original, vanilla, creamy, sugar-free, and low fat.
1. Original Oat Milk
With a sweet and nutty taste, the original oat milk makes for a delicious choice in coffee houses. Original oat milk is a great alternative for those who do not enjoy soy, almonds, or other nut milks.
You can either make oat milk at home or buy commercial milk packs. Apart from its taste profile, oat milk is naturally low in fat and contains a high level of protein. This makes oat milk a perfect choice for people with high levels of activity.
With its more soluble fiber, oat milk makes for a great option for controlling blood sugar levels.
If you are on a gluten-free diet or planning to begin a gluten-free diet, then oat milk can be a perfect option for you. Coffee connoisseurs call oat milk one of the best creamers for coffee as it offers the same creamy consistency as cow’s milk without the sugar and carbs found in other milk varieties.
2. Vanilla Oat milk
If you are a fan of vanilla ice cream, then vanilla oat milk is sure to impress you. As the name suggests, vanilla oat milk comes with the sweetness and nuttiness of oat milk and the subtleness of vanilla. It lifts any drink with its luscious and smooth texture flavor with vanilla and is a perfect addition to coffee.
You can use vanilla oat milk in a large variety of recipes such as smoothies, lattes, oat milk pancakes, puddings, cakes, sauces, desserts, and much more.
3. Chocolate Oat Milk
The amount of chocolate milk I drank as a kid and still love, might be alarming. But just like me, if you are a chocolate lover, then this variety of oat milk is specially made for you. You can use store-bought chocolate oat milk or homemade chocolate oat milk to satiate the chocolate lover in you.
Rich in cocoa, this variety of oat milk can be used to make anything chocolatey. You can drink it straight out of the milk can or make delicious smoothies, chocolate drinks, and baked desserts out of it.
4. Sugar-Free Oat Milk
In addition to the above flavors, many brands now also offer sugar-free oat milk varieties, which are rich in nutrients but unsweetened. While there will be no added sugar, the taste of this variety will still be mildly sweet due to its natural flavor.
5. Low-Fat Oat Milk
Some people just prefer less fat, no matter how good the fat in question happens to be. And so, without compromising on its naturally sweet and nutty taste, many brands offer you a low-fat oat milk variety that is packed with the goodness of oats but cut on fats.
How To Store Oat Milk?
Store-bought oat milk usually has a shelf life of 6-9 months. While unopened shelf-stable oat milk can sit in your pantry or a countertop for a few months, once opened, it should be refrigerated and consumed in 4-5 days. It’s always best to consult the label.
But if you prefer to make oat milk at home and are wondering about its storage, then the guidelines for storage, shelf-life, and use are very similar to those of store-bought oat milk once they’ve been opened.
Once you blend and strain oats, you are left with its delicious milk, which should be stored in the refrigerator immediately. In comparison to its commercial pack, homemade oat milk should be consumed within five days of production and be kept covered in the refrigerator to ensure its freshness.
However, if you want to know if your oat milk is in the right condition even past its date, here are a few oat milk health checklists.
- Texture – If your oat milk is thick or slimy, and is difficult to pour, then it has surely gone bad.
- Color – If your oat milk isn’t creamy white and, of course, not a flavored one, then a change in color will indicate that it has gone bad.
- Smell – Like any other food item, if your oat milk smells sour or bad, then that’s a clear sign of spoilage.
Is Oat Milk Healthy?
Oat milk has many nutritional benefits that are similar to regular milk. That means a glass a day makes a great drink to build healthy bones for adults and children.
However, you must keep in mind that many of its health benefits come from additives used during the production process by large-scale manufacturers. So, in comparison to store-bought oat milk, homemade oat milk won’t have nearly the same nutritional benefits.
Another great health benefit of oat milk is that it doesn’t contain any cholesterol like regular milk. This factor makes it a good option for those who suffer from heart disease.
Is There A Downside To Oat Milk?
Although there are many health benefits of oat milk, it is not suitable for people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity or with celiac disease. Store-bought oat milk may also contain added sugar and preservatives to improve the taste and shelf life, which might not be suitable for diabetic patients.
Furthermore, as oat milk is not as nutrient-dense as cow’s milk, it may not be a suitable alternative for most babies and children. Another downside of oat milk is that it is an expensive option as compared to cow milk. So, many people cannot afford to buy it regularly.
When compared to commercial oat milk, homemade oat milk is not as nutritionally beneficial as commercial oat milk is fortified with added vitamins and minerals.
How Can You Prepare Oat Milk At Home?
Oat milk is simply made by blending together rolled oats and water and using then using the strained liquid, leaving the pulp behind. To make oat milk, you can add 1 cup rolled oats + 4 cups water to a blender and then, blend on high speed for 45 seconds. Once done, you can strain it through a clean towel. Over-blending can give it a slimy texture.
What Are The Uses Of Oat Milk?
With its sweet and nutty taste, oat milk makes for a great ingredient in several recipes. While it’s delicious alone, oat milk can be used in baked products, puddings, smoothies, beverages, sauces, and as a base for your breakfast cereals. Apart from these options, oat milk can also be swapped for regular milk in savory dishes. You can use oat milk to add a touch of creaminess to soups like cream of mushroom, or you can also mix it into mashed potatoes for a rich side dish.
What Should We Keep In Mind While Purchasing Oat Milk?
While purchasing oat milk, it is always good to look at its nutritional content as it varies from brand to brand. Depending on your usage, you can choose a brand for its thick or thin texture and taste.
One should also take a keen look at its ingredients, as some brands add oil, stabilizers, or gums to ensure its consistency. A purer ingredient list is always the best and the most healthy option to choose. Also, check the label if you are allergic or gluten intolerant.
Nutritional Benefits Of Oat Milk
Oat milk is rich in nutrients, packed full of fiber and plant-based protein. It is generally a great source of calcium, and most brands also fortify their versions with added nutrients such as vitamins A, B, B-12, and D.
This dairy-free milk alternative is the best option for people who are allergic to or intolerant of dairy and who follow a plant-based or vegan diet. It is also a great food for skin, hair, and bone health.
Let’s take a look at its nutritional chart.
|Nutrients||Amount Per Cup (240 ml) of Unsweetened Oat Milk|
|Vitamin B12||50% RDI|
|Vitamin D||18% RDI|
|Vitamin A||18% RDI|
With all that information you have read above, one thing is clear oat milk is the best option for a vegan diet and lactose-intolerant folks. However, with its many health benefits, this drink also makes a great non-dairy option for people in general.
And the most fun part about oat milk is that you also have the ease to make it at home. Not only is its taste, but the texture of this drink is also so smooth that it makes for a great addition to many recipes.
Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)
Is oat milk gluten-free?
Certified gluten-free oats make oat milk gluten-free.
How long does oat milk last?
Oat milk lasts for about five days when it’s well sealed in the refrigerator. You’ll know it’s gone bad when it smells funny, and its texture changes.
Is it cheaper to make your own oat milk?
Yes, homemade oat milk is significantly cheaper.
Is oat milk good for weight loss?
Yes, oat milk is really good for weight loss as it’s a low-fat, low-sugar, and low-calorie beverage.
Can I use oat milk in baking?
Oat milk is a good choice for baking as it replicates the flavor and viscosity of cow’s milk more closely than almond or soy milk.