Maybe you’ve heard of oat milk. Baristas love oat milk. Oat milk is vegan. Oat milk may be protected for these with nut or dairy allergy symptoms*. You’ve tried oat milk. You in all probability actually have a favourite oat milk! However what IS oat milk? Is it the milk of an oat? Form of, however not fairly, and likewise far more.
Let’s discover oat milk collectively!
What’s oat milk, really?
Oat milk is a drink made by processing oats in water. Oat milk has develop into a preferred various to cow’s milk in espresso homes for its taste and texture, but additionally for the handy attributes of being vegan, soy-free (which soy milk is… not), and nut-free (almond milk, we’re taking a look at you).
Oat milk can have a texture starting from skinny to lush and viscous, relying on how it’s made. There are particular, barista-targeted variations of oat milk which can be thicker than common oat milk, and these steam properly to make lattes and different scorching drinks.
However… is it JUST product of oats and water?
No. Most corporations who manufacture oat milk add a wide range of components comparable to nutritional vitamins like riboflavin and Vitamin D, buffers and stabilizers like gellan gum and locust bean gum, and generally oils like canola oil. Not all oat milks embody added oils, however most “full fats” or “barista” variations tailor-made for milk steaming do.
What does oat milk style like?
“Oat milk is, for lots of people, the least stunning taste of different milk after they style it for the primary time,” says Nathanael Might, Senior Supervisor of Coaching & Specialty Espresso at Campbell’s, mother or father firm of oat milk maker Pacific Meals.
“If in case you have had oatmeal ever in your life, oat milk tastes quite a bit like oatmeal,” says Might. “It provides that very nostalgic, comforting, traditional breakfast taste,” he explains, noting that totally different oat milk manufacturers lean into that oatmeal-intense taste to various levels. In espresso and tea, oat milk tends to supply a creamy however impartial base for the flavors it accompanies.
How is oat milk made?
Oat milk may be made in a wide range of methods, all of which require mixing oats (both from oat flour or in bigger items) with water. A preferred methodology is enzymatic hydrolysis, a course of which accentuates the discharge of sugars from the oats, making the drink style naturally candy. You too can make oat milk at house by soaking oats in water, mixing, and straining.
“We’re primarily doing the identical factor that you just do once you make oatmeal after we make oat milk, we’re simply guaranteeing that that comes out as a liquid as an alternative of a porridge,” says Might.
When did this oat milk factor occur anyway?
The specialty espresso trade propelled oat milk to stardom within the late 2010s, after Swedish model Oatly made a full courtroom press into cafes worldwide. Baristas embraced it as an alternative choice to present milk options, particularly enamored with its taste and flexibility. Fierce oat competitors rapidly ensued, with corporations from massive to small together with the aforementioned Pacific Meals, Califia Farms, Chobani, Silk, Minor Figures, and Ghost City Oats hoisting their sails on the oat liquid sea. Retail and grocery celebration of oat milk adopted on the heels of espresso retailers, and these days oat milk is out there everywhere in the darn place—its recognition has continued unabated nicely into the 2020s.
Is oat milk gluten-free? Is it natural?
Not all oat milk is ready to be labeled gluten-free as a result of excessive chance of cross-contamination both inside factories and even fields. Whereas many manufacturers do guarantee their oat milk is gluten-free, it’s typically cost-prohibitive to make sure oats are each natural and gluten-free—so many producers choose one or the opposite.
Is oat milk higher for you than milk or milk substitutes?
Oat milk tends to be fortified with the identical useful components different milk options add, like Riboflavin and Calcium (that are naturally occurring in dairy milk.) Oat milk is decrease in protein than cow’s milk and soy milk, however larger than in almond milk—and positively has extra protein than coconut milk, which has nearly none. Oat milk made with added oils might style extra scrumptious to some, however might give others pause. As with all of life’s huge selections, there are all the time going to be sacrifices.
Is oat milk extra environmentally pleasant than milk or milk substitutes?
Oat milk is likely one of the extra sustainable plant-based milks, with oats—a rotationally farmed plant that gives useful crop range—cited as being much less water-intensive and environmentally taxing than different various milk components, like almonds. Manufacturing unit scale typical dairy milk farming makes use of extra assets and produces extra greenhouse emissions than plant-based options, but it surely’s price noting such metrics don’t essentially apply to the work of small, natural dairy farms.
What are some good makes use of of oat milk?
Moreover being nicely suited to espresso and tea, oat milk makes an ideal base for a bowl of your favourite cereal, an addition to smoothies, as a drink by itself, and even… in oatmeal! (Is that bizarre? You do you.)
Liz Clayton is the affiliate editor at Sprudge Media Community. Learn extra Liz Clayton on Sprudge.
* Not all oat milks are protected for these with allergy symptoms, as some could also be manufactured in amenities in shut proximity to allergens. At all times verify allergy data on oat milk merchandise earlier than consuming!