Oat milk is popping up everywhere, unless you’ve been hiding. It’s at supermarkets, Starbucks, and Silicon Valley’s favorite barista, Blue Bottle. Oat milk? How does it taste, nutritionally, and environmentally compare to dairy? We answer questions. This vegan dairy alternative is trending worldwide.
Milk from oats?
Oat milk: what is it?
Dairy-free oat milk is made from oats. It has no dairy or animal derivatives. Extracted from entire oat grains. Oat milk, a creamy plant-based milk alternative, may be created at home by blending oats with water and filtering off the pulp.
Oats are ground or filtered to make commercial oat milk. Oat milk companies may use enzymes to break down oat flour, sea salt, and plant-based oils. Sunflower, canola, and rapeseed oils provide creaminess and emulsify.
Some firms add sugar, sweeteners, or flavorings to make vanilla or chocolate oat milk drinks. Oat milk brands may include calcium, vitamin D, and B12.
Oat milk nutrition
Oat milk has vitamins, minerals, and fiber since it’s manufactured from oats. Manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1, folates, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, and others.
As indicated, many store-bought brands include vitamins A, D, B12, calcium, potassium, and riboflavin to match or exceed the vitamin and mineral content of dairy-based milk products.
One cup of Oatly oat milk (240ml) has 120 calories. Because it’s made from oats, it has 1.5 times more carbs than cow’s milk but half the sugar. It has 2 grams of dietary fiber every 240ml or one cup, compared to none in dairy milk.
Compared to dairy milk, 240ml (one cup) of oat milk has 3 grams of protein. Oat milk has more protein than almond, cashew, coconut, and rice milk, while soy milk has more.
Is oat milk better than dairy?
Nutritionists typically recommend oat milk. Oat milk brands differ in nutritional content. Some firms make oat milk with fortified micronutrients, while others use more vegetable oils or sugars, which affects the drink’s fat, sugar, and calorie content.
Nutritionists advise avoiding products with added sugars and choosing unsweetened options. Moderation is crucial. “In moderation and as long as you make smart choices,” says BrandRated BSc dietician Jessica Overfield.
Oat milk has less trans-fatty acids than cow’s milk. Oat milk and other plant-based milks do not include trans fats, which naturally arise from animal fat (non-animal trans fats are manufactured by hydrogenating vegetable oils).
Trans fats have been associated to inflammation, coronary heart disease, greater LDL cholesterol, and reduced HDL cholesterol. It also increases type 2 diabetes risk.
Western diets include a lot of trans fats from dairy. The NIH reports that dairy products contain 3–7% trans fats.
Dairy and the environment
Dairy milk is the worst environmentally. Raising cows requires more water and land to produce animal feed, and cows emit huge amounts of methane, which has a global warming potential 28-34 times that of CO2, mostly from belching and manure.
Cow’s milk has at least three times the carbon footprint of plant-based milk, according to a 2018 Oxford University study. It consumes 120 litres of water and plenty of land. One glass of dairy milk each day for a year requires 7,000 square feet, or two tennis courts.
While all plant-based milks have a smaller carbon footprint, oat milk is particularly eco-friendly. According to the Oxford report, oat milk consumes 48 gallons of water per litre, less than soy and almond.
A 200-ml glass of oat milk releases 0.18 kilos of CO2 equivalent, significantly less than dairy. Oat milk’s land footprint is larger than almond, soy, and rice alternatives, but still 10-times lower than cow’s milk.
When considering packaging, shipping, and oat type (organic or not), the carbon footprint of various oat milk brands will vary. Oatly’s EU goods have a lower carbon footprint than its Asian and US ones.
Oat milk will always outperform dairy in environmental effect since most food emissions occur during manufacturing.
According to Our World In Data’s analysis on food emissions throughout the production chain, “Plant-based foods emit fewer greenhouse gases than meat and dairy, regardless of how they are produced.”
Read: Quit almond milk? Vegan vs. dairy milk effects explained.
Best oat milk brands
Oat milk is no longer specialized. The dairy-free market, including oat milk, is quite competitive. So many brands. We can’t cover them all, but let’s look at some of the companies selling oat milk, from pioneers like Oatly to Nestlé and many startups.
Oatly, the most well-known oat milk brand, must be included. The Swedish food business originally sold its oat beverage in the 1990s and became a major alt-protein player, launching its $10 billion IPO this year. From the Blackstone investment debacle to its current court setback to smaller oat milk competitor Glebe Farm, the firm is still growing and is predicted to achieve a 64% sales increase this year.
The firm manufactures oat-based yogurts, creamers, and ice cream, as well as chocolate, vanilla, sweetened, unsweetened, and barista oat milk. Starbucks and hipster favorite Blue Bottle sell Oatly via retail and catering channels in the US, Europe, and Asia.
Dream, a dairy-free brand renowned for its rice products, also makes oats. Dream Oat has two oat-based drinks: unsweetened and original. The SunOpta subsidiary sells at major US shops and overseas.
Alpro, another dairy-free brand, offers oat milk in original, sugar-free, and chocolate flavors, as well as oat-based yogurts like its new Greek-style dairy-free oat yogurt. It also prepares oat-based smoothies, lattes, and echinacea-infused immunity drinks. Danone-owned Alpro is marketed in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Africa.
Silk, another dairy-free brand, is now oat-based. Silk Oatmilk (formerly Oat Yeah) comes in original, zero sugar, vanilla, and extra creamy. Silk, a Danone subsidiary, is offered worldwide.
Califia Farms also makes oat milk. While it sells basic oat milk, a protein variant, and a creamer, its flagship product is the barista mix. Oat Barista Blend lattes froth wonderfully and taste creamy. Califia Farms sells in the US, UK, Australia, and Asia.
Planet Oat, a brand developed by American dairy operator HP Hood, offers original, original unsweetened, vanilla, vanilla unsweetened, extra creamy, and dark chocolate oat milk in fresh (refrigerated aisle) and shelf-stable containers. US shops sell Planet Oat.
Coca-Cola’s dairy-free Simply brand now includes Simply Oat. Its three flavors—original, vanilla, and creamy—are offered in 46-ounce carafes, making it ideal for big families, workplaces, and foodservice outlets.
PureOaty’s oat milk is popular because of Oatly’s lawsuit. Glebe Farm, a family-owned British enterprise, makes and sells it nationwide. Glebe Farm’s British oats make PureOaty, a barista mix offered in cartons in the ambient aisle.
First-ever Indian oat milk brand MilkinOats. The Mumbai and Delhi-based startup makes dairy-free oat-based drinks in traditional, chocolate, and barista’s choice mix. The firm uses Indian oats and makes vegan oat milk chocolate bars with its own dairy-free mixes as part of the Vocal For Local initiative. The brand sells on its website, Amazon, Flipkart, and Veganmall in India.
Blue Farm, from Berlin, is one of the newest oat milk competitors. Its oat milk is powdered since the firm prioritizes sustainability. Oat Base, which may be blended and agitated with water to make a milky liquid, eliminates additional packing and the carbon emissions from delivering heavy liquid-filled cartons or bottles. Since the powder is shelf-stable, users just make as much oat milk as they need, reducing food waste. German people may buy it online.
Is oat milk or almond milk better for you?
For nut-allergic people, oat milk is dairy-free and nut-free. Oat milk provides more fat and protein than almond milk, which helps satiate.
Is Oatly milk not vegan?
Oatly vegan? You bet! Our Vegan.org-certified goods are plant-based.
Which vegan milk is the healthiest?
The most healthy vegan milk is Ripple’s unsweetened. It contains more protein than soy milk and 50% more calcium than cows’ milk. Ripple includes omega 3s, DHA, and vitamin D.
Can vegans have oat milk?
Oat milk is lactose-free and vegan. Soaked, mixed, and filtered oats make it. The milk may be eaten plain or sweetened with vanilla, dates, or cinnamon.