Whilst I don’t keep a dairy free diet, I’m picky about what dairy I eat and do not under any circumstance drink dairy milk or use it in anything. I do however appreciate what a milk-like beverage can add to a hot drink, smoothie, ice cream or cake. So as dairy free alternatives have hit our shelves, I’ve tried them all. I started with soy back when it was pretty much all you could find. I’ve since removed soy milk from my diet and replaced it with either rice milk, almond milk or coconut milk – the most commonly found dairy free alternatives.
Rice milk with its sweeter slightly vanilla taste is great for baking, ice creams and smoothies.
Coconut milk with it’s thick consistency and unmistakable coconut flavour, is reserved for curries or dishes and beverages that call for a coconut taste. Or for recipes that need a thicker milk for a consistency like a curd.
I’ve seen oat milk pop up, and as per the rule – once is a fluke, twice a coincidence and three times a trend – on the third appearance I knew I was looking at a trend. With few options available to purchase it (I’ve found it here and here and here and here stockists updated January 2020 as it’s become more widely available) I decided to make it myself.
Making your own oat milk is easier and less expensive than nut milk (which I’ve never made) and less work than cracking open a coconut to make coconut milk (a process I’ve done).
In terms of nutrition, opinions are divided as to which dairy free milk wins out. Calorie wise, oat milk is on the higher end, but has a bit more protein than others. It also contains more sugar, as oats is a carbohydrate unlike nuts, which also have good amount of fat and protein.
To be honest, the nutritionals don’t bother me much. I don’t drink it alone or enough of it for it to make a huge dent in my nutritional requirements. I choose the type according to what I’m using it for and avoid buying ones that are sweetened. If you’re allergic to nuts, oat milk is a great choice for a less sweet, thicker and more neutral milk to rice. And if you like oats, you’ll like oat milk with it’s subtle flavor of oats.
It also takes 5 minutes and involves ingredients you most likely have on hand, making it a great choice to blend up when you’re out of milk.
I made an “original” oat milk flavour, but you can flavour it by either adding a medjool date or some maple syrup for added sweetness, vanilla for a hint of flavour, or some cinnamon. I was happy with it’s consistency after one straining, but if you want yours to be silky smooth, strain it twice.
Zissy is the co-founder of Nutreats. She likes to make things, do things and wear things.