Lately, there is a milky revolution going on and, no, I am not referring to Milk the drag queen. Oat milk has aggressively been pushing its way into many a menu and, to be honest, I have had very conflicting feelings. Oat milk, from the outside, feels trendy, pretentious, and a little basic. The types of people I have seen ordering oat milk are the same that go to SoulCycle, are on on-again-off-again vegetarians and avoid carbs like the plague. But we cannot judge people based on stereotypes and this milk shouldn’t be judged in ignorance. There is actually nothing wrong with oat milk or anyone that does those things. I just feel like I missed the memo and don’t know why people are making the switch. Also, it is just so easy for food fads to come and go, so I try not to get wrapped up in the excitement. I still remember when I first spotted seeing hazelnut and cashew milk at some supermarkets. Somehow, though, almond and soy have so dominated the alternative milk market that I almost forgot they existed. Oat milk, however, is steadily gaining steam, so it is time to look into this more thoroughly.
First, let’s break down what we are actually talking about here. If you brush aside any sort of fortification, oat milk is simply oats that have been soaked in water, blended, and then strained. Because oats absorb more water than nuts, more of the oats break down and transfer into the oat milk. The result is a thicker, creamier texture that acts more like milk than even your nuttiest milk substitute. In addition, there is an added benefit that oat milk is actually a bit sweet to the taste, even before you add sugar. So, the flavor of the oat milk is actually quite enjoyable on the palate.
So, it tastes great. Good. But so does anything once you are used to it. Why are people trying to push this new milk so hard?
One angle is the environmental impact. Little did we know, 80 percent of the entire world’s almond crop is grown in California, which has been suffering from droughts for the past couple years. It takes five liters of water to grow an almond and 100 liters of water to produce 100 milliliters of milk. That is a lot of water. By switching to an oat milk, you can save water and lower your carbon footprint.
The other angle, in a world full of allergies, is that oat milk tends to fit most people’s dietary restrictions. It’s nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free (as long as the process plant is certified gluten-free), and vegan.
Okay, but is it actually good for you?
As far as vitamins and minerals go, hell yes. Oat milk contains 10 minerals and 15 vitamins as well as a strong dose of calcium and iron. Iif you want to avoid dairy, you will still be getting some great nutrition from oat milk. Oat milk is also low in fat and contains zero grams of saturated fat. Hello, summer body! Finally, it is a great source of fiber, so your digestive system will be very happy.
Now, where can you get it? If you cannot find it at your supermarket, you can also order it online. Oatly is a Swedish company leading the oat milk charge. You can order from them or if you are just dying to try out an oat milk latte, use their Oatfinder to find a coffee shop near you. If that doesn’t work, just make some yourself. My favorite recipe is currently on The Green Creator. It is simple, easy, and has a cute video included so you don’t get confused.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.