Why Give OAT MILK Some Serious Consideration
A lactose-intolerant friend just returned from an overseas trip. She told me that she noticed a strange trend while frolicking between European coffee shops and bakeries. Soy milk was a rarity. Almond and coconut milk weren’t on the stage either. But you know what she saw in every single cafe? Oat milk.
Oat milk is having a moment. Much to the delight of lactose-intolerant people everywhere, the plant-based alternative is just as creamy and luscious as its dairy-milk alternative. Plus, baristas love it because it froths up beautifully. Let’s hope it’s here to stay.
And unlike some dairy alternatives, oat milk is really delicious and has a pleasant texture. But the benefits of drinking oat milk extend well beyond taste and texture. Consider, for instance, this information shared by Jordyn Cormier, food researcher/writer for a favorite site, Care2 (www.care2.com):
IT’S AFFORDABLE. Since store-bought oat milk is less expensive than other non-dairy and dairy alternatives (you can buy a lot of organic oats for only a few bucks), it makes sense that it’s even cheaper to make. And it doesn’t require the pesky soaking that almonds and cashews call for.
Just blend your oats with water (and any sweetener you desire), blend and strain. Super fast, super easy and it lasts for about 3 days when refrigerated. (When using homemade oat milk, be cautious about heating it on the stove or baking with it. It has the unique tendency to gel up.)
IT’S MORE SUSTAINABLE. Oat milk also has a significantly lower environmental impact than its more popular American cousin, almond milk. We all know that nuts are an especially intensive crop and, in these times of Californian drought and the decline of bees, blending them into a milk can seem like a bit of a waste.
Oats, on the other hand, are much less water intensive and much easier to grow. And, of course, oat milk is way easier on the environment than traditional cow milk, which has gotten environmentally out of hand. Switching over to oat milk is a move in a more sustainable direction.
IT’S NUTRITIOUS. Oat milk is a plant-based drink that is rich in soluble fiber, protein and nutrients like manganese, potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin A. It is vegan, dairy-free and can even be raw-friendly if made at home. Plus, oat milk has a creamy, earthy, neutral flavor that easily compliments other flavors, unlike other milks that rather aggressively stand out (hint, hint coconut milk).
Oat milk is becoming increasingly more popular and you’ll be seeing it more and more in your local grocery stores. But you can also make your own. It’s easy to do. And it’s nutritious and delicious. It well may become your new favorite thing.
I’ll close with Jordyn’s easy and delicious recipe for homemade oat milk. She says if you want a thicker, richer oat milk, try using quick oats and omit the straining.
HOMEMADE OAT MILK
2 cups rolled oats
4 cups water
1 pinch salt (optional)
Sweetener, to taste (if desired; pure maple syrup or raw honey work well)
Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Strain through a double layer of cheese cloth or through a nut milk bag into your storage container. Taste, and sweeten, if you like. Chill until ready to serve, and be sure to shake before using.
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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