Oat milk is delicious, nutritious, and a healthier alternative to dairy milk or other varieties of milk available in the market. Lactose intolerant people can easily buy or make oat milk at home as a replacement for cow’s milk. Vegans love oat milk as it is plant-based and a great change of taste from the usual non-dairy variants like soy, rice, or almond milk. In this guide, we will be talking about oat milk, its nutrition content, and ways to make it at home with or without a blender.
What is oat milk? What are its health benefits?
Oat milk is made from rolled oats, steel-cut oats, or oat groats. Over the years, a number of studies have found that oats have myriad health benefits. The American Institute for Cancer Research has shown that diets rich in whole grains like oats could lower the risk of colorectal cancer. Because oats contain so much fiber, the digested matter is quickly moved out thereby preventing constipation and other stomach-related issues. A 2008 article in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine also showed that consumption of oats and oat-based products significantly lowered total cholesterol.
Benefits of oat milk
In Sweden, a study was conducted in the year 2000, to highlight oat milk nutrition. Participants were divided into two groups. One group drank oat milk for one month and then soy milk for another month. The second group drank oat milk for a month and then cow’s milk for a month. In this short period of time, the group that drank oat milk was found to reduce cholesterol by 4% and harmful LDL cholesterol by nearly 9%. Oats also contain tryptophan, the precursor for serotonin. They also contain calcium, magnesium, B-vitamins, and potassium all of which are needed for healthy nerves.
Oat milk calorie content
Oat milk is a great alternative to dairy for people who are bored or tired of soymilk, get an allergic reaction to dairy (lactose intolerant), or are vegans. It has a sweet, creamy, and nutty taste that works well in puddings, coffee, porridge, hot/cold cereal, and hot chocolate. Oat milk contains about 150 calories per one cup of serving. This makes it ideal for weight watchers too.
Are there any risks in drinking oat milk?
Oat milk is delicious, healthy, and tasty. It is a fantastic and safe alternative to dairy milk and nut milk. Soymilk often has a peculiar taste which prevents it from being used in certain recipes. Oat milk is rich, creamy, and nutrient-rich. It is fantastic over cereal, in desserts, smoothies, shakes, and can be had at any time of the day. Oatly® oat milk comes in many flavors like vanilla, plain, and chocolate. You can also easily make oat milk at home. We will be discussing several ways to make oat milk with and without a blender.
Oat milk is generally safe and has no contraindications. Pregnant women, elderly patients, and children can safely drink oat milk every day. However, according to an article in Women’s Health Letter, oat milk could contain tricalcium phosphate which could trigger kidney stones and other calcifications. So, always read labels in case you plan to use commercial Oat milk for daily consumption.
Other oat milk dangers
Oat milk, particularly homemade oat milk, does not contain calcium and vitamin D which commercial dairy and nondairy milk are fortified with. This could, over time, lead to an increased risk of weak or fragile bones. In elderly people, and in women in their perimenopausal years, this could lead to osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures.
Heating oat milk
Many people new to oat milk wonder whether it can be warmed up or heated like other milk varieties. The answer is that oat milk can be easily heated and warmed up. In fact; when you make yogurt from oat milk, the first step is warming it up to kill bacteria that can interfere with the fermentation process. So go ahead and heat up that oat milk. A precaution to use is to not boil it. Always gently heat the oat milk over low or medium heat only. Also, whisk the milk to prevent gel formation at the bottom of the pan.
How long does oat milk last?
In the refrigerator, oat milk lasts for up to 2-3 days, provided you keep it in an airtight container. It separates fairly quickly though so you may have to again blend it to make it smooth and milky.
Let us now discuss ways to make oat milk like Oatly®.
1. Oat milk in a high-speed blender
Here is a recipe you can use to make oat milk if you have a blender at home.
- 1 cup of rolled oats, steel-cut oats, or oat groats
- Water for soaking
- If you are using rolled oats, soak them for about 10 minutes. In the case of steel-cut oats, soak them for about 30 minutes. Oat groats take some more planning; you need to soak them overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
- Blend the oats in a high-speed blender for a long time. The longer you blend, the more milk you can extract and lesser will be the pulp left behind.
- Use up the pulp to make cookies (for humans or your pets!). You will have about ½ to 1 cup of pulp left.
Once you have mastered plain, unsweetened oat milk, you can create interesting flavors using fruits or sweeteners. You can also move on to making oat milk creamers. They are made the same way but with higher oat to water ratio.
2. Oat milk without a blender
The following recipe makes about 4 cups of oat milk.
- 3 ½ cups of filtered water
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Soak the oats for a few hours or overnight.
- Drain the water used for soaking, if any, and set aside.
- Add the oats in a mortar and pestle or you could use a food processor. Crush the oats with the pestle.
- Slowly incorporate the water into the oats and continue crushing them. Mash and mix the oats and water.
- Strain the oats in a large bowl.
- Crush the oats left in the strainer using a fork or a spoon as you strain. This will extract more milk from the oats.
- Add agave nectar/maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Store the milk in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Oat milk is packed with the good stuff. So drink it every day!