What is Oat milk?

Mar 13, 2019 | What is...

What is oat milk?

Julia Franckh

Soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk, pea milk- the list goes on. There are so many plant-based “milk” alternatives available that it feels like no vegetable, grain or nut is safe from being turned into “milk”. I put the word milk in quotations here as plant-based milk are really more like juice. But despite protests from the dairy industry and the controversy around being able to call plant-based liquids “milk,” the Oxford dictionary includes “the white juice of certain plants” as a definition for the word milk.

There may be a wide variety of non-dairy milk to choose from but everyone seems to be going crazy for oat milk. In fact, demand for oat milk was so high that the UK experienced a national shortage at the end of last year. One of the companies that started the movement is Oatly, a Swedish brand that got their name out there by targeting coffee shops to show baristas that there is a lovely, non-dairy alternative that will froth and provide the similar creamy, rich texture that regular cow’s milk does.

Making oat milk is pretty straight-forward; you take oats and water, blend them together and then pour the mixture through a sieve or strainer to separate the juice from the oats. This results in a smooth, creamy liquid that is naturally quite neutral in taste and makes for an amazing substitute if you like your coffee with milk. Just make sure you check the label because different companies may add additional ingredients and sweeteners.


Should I buy into the hype?

Dairy has gotten a bad rep recently (which is a topic for another day) and plant-based alternatives are in demand more than ever. Oat milk has the highest fiber content when compared to all other milk, has less sodium when compared to soy and almond milk, is lower in fat than cow’s milk and is higher in protein than other plant-based alternatives. Also, oat milk has a smaller carbon footprint than other milk, needing six times less water to make than almond milk (according to the Water Footprint Network).

And the hype seems to be here to stay: the plant-based beverage market is projected to reach 19.67 billion USD by 2023 (according to Markets and Markets)


Why do I (Julia) like it?

I find oat milk to be an amazing alternative for all milk-based drinks for three main reasons:

  1.  It has a nice, creamy, rich texture. 

  2.  It is quite neutral in taste so it can be used for a variety of things. 

  3.  It froths (so I can still be in the Insta-latte-art-game). 

How do I give it a try?

You should be able to find it in any grocery store. A few tasty brands are Oatly, Minor Figures and Rude Health. But oat milk can be expensive so if you just want to try it out you can replace your typical milk of choice with oat the next time you head to a coffee shop. Or you could always make your own, I found this recipe I want to try: Simple Vegan, how to make oat milk.

Major takeaways?

Whether you have dietary restrictions, want to be more ecologically conscious or are just simply adventurous oat milk is worth a taste test.

This post is part of the what is… Wednesday series. A free weekly series explaining various trending topics.


Hale, J. L. (2018, December 17). Making Your Own Oat Milk At Home Is Actually SUPER Easy – And Here’s How To Do It. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.bustle.com/p/how-do-you-make-oat-milk-the-trending-new-milk-alternative-is-super-easy-to-make-at-home-9558550

Home › Press Releases. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/press-release-2.html

Milk | Definition of milk in English by Oxford Dictionaries. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/milk

Miller, M. (2019, February 26). Oat Milk Might Just Be The Queen Of Non-Dairy Milks. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19496524/oat-milk/

Mulshine, M. (2018, July 20). The government wants to ban soy and nut milks from being called ‘milk’ – here’s why. Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://www.thisisinsider.com/fda-wants-ban-on-soy-and-nut-milks-being-called-milk-fda-2018-7

Non-dairy surge leads to oat milk shortage in UK. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://news.sky.com/story/non-dairy-surge-leads-to-oat-milk-shortage-in-uk-11559562

Person. (2018, June 13). Is Oat Milk the New Almond Milk? Retrieved March 10, 2019, from https://greatist.com/eat/what-is-oat-milk


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