Oat milk is a popular plant-based milk alternative made from oats and water. It is a creamy and naturally sweet milk. Its health benefits are many as it is a great source of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, and iron. It is also low in fat and lactose-free, making it a suitable option for those with dietary restrictions.
Milk has always been considered an essential part of our diet, courtesy of its glorious, never-ending nutrient list. It is often regarded as the “balanced diet element” as it has all the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. It’s kind of a healthy elixir of life. But this elixir has some repercussions, especially for people who are allergic to dairy products.
People suffering from certain conditions such as lactose intolerance and those who believe in vegan food are always on the lookout for a better milk alternative. So, the world is quite buzzing with non-dairy milk options like soy milk, almond milk, pea milk, etc. The latest addition to this list is a relatively lesser-known vegan variant of milk called oat milk.
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Most packaged oat milk has added sugar and a greater carbohydrate content than usual cow milk. This has made many people question its utility and feasibility.
There’s more to this plant-based milk than what you see in the packets.
Why Oat Milk?
In India, most of us have access to cow’s milk in one form or the other. So, why is there a need for alternatives and more, why are they becoming increasingly popular?
In recent years, more and more of us are becoming conscious about the type of food we eat, its nutritional value, and environmental sustainability. In the case of vegans, it is more about the source of the food. However, regular cow milk, an important staple in our diet, found itself replaced by plant-based milk products.
Plant-based milk products include soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, hazelnut milk, etc. Do you want to know how oat milk ranks compared to the other varieties? First, find out how to make this sweet vegan milk at home easily in just a few steps.
Make Oat Milk at Home
To prepare oat milk, strain the liquid from three-fourths part oats and one-fourth part water, along with added vitamins, sea salt, and rapeseed oil. This is the purest and safest form of oat milk, from just oats and water.
Making oat milk at home is an easy and cost-effective way to enjoy this delicious plant-based milk alternative. By making your own, you have control over the ingredients, allowing you to avoid any additives or thickeners found in store-bought options. Additionally, those with gluten allergies can make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free oats.
Oat Milk Recipe
Start by blending 1 cup of rolled or steel-cut oats with 3 cups of cold water for 30 seconds. Once blended, strain the mixture through a cheesecloth placed over a wide-mouth jar or bottle to separate the milk from the oats. Gently squeeze any remaining liquid out of the cheesecloth before adding any desired flavourings such as vanilla or cinnamon extract, a pinch of salt, or sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. Store your homemade oat milk in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
How to concoct the perfect oat milk?
To ensure a smooth and non-slimy consistency, it’s important to use cold water, refrain from squeezing the cheesecloth too hard, avoid soaking the oats beforehand, and blend the mixture for no longer than 30 seconds. By following these simple steps, you can enjoy fresh and delicious oat milk right from your kitchen.
A normal cup of 240 ml of fortified oat milk contains a total of 120 calories, made up of 3 g of protein, 5 g of fat, 16 g of carbohydrate, 2 g of dietary fibre, 50% vitamin B12, 46% riboflavin, 27% calcium, 22% phosphorus, 6% potassium, 2% iron, and 18% vitamin A and D, respectively.
But the basic oat milk variety is better than standard dairy milk as it has more proteins and nutrients. It also contains greater fibre content than other milk, making it a healthier milk alternative.
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Health Benefits: It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for those looking to incorporate more plant-based options into their diet. Also, it is low in fat and cholesterol-free, making it a heart-healthy option.
How is oat milk different from other milk varieties?
Before comparing the nutritious values of all the different types of milk, you need to understand these milk varieties are extracted, manufactured and sold in various forms. There are sweetened, unsweetened, fortified, flavoured, non-flavoured and many more types. Not all of them are the same nor are they all good for you.
The only right way is to consider the unsweetened and plain versions. For oat milk, especially, since it can be prepared at home and stored for a shorter period, we’ll see how the natural version of this milk does in comparison to other commonly consumed milk varieties.
Lighter in nutrition than cow’s milk
Considering the attention oat milk has been receiving, it is important to understand how it differs from cow’s milk. While considering the overall nutritional profile, it contains less saturated fat than cow’s milk and much less protein content. In the sense of carbohydrates, it has a higher carbohydrate content than cow’s and has some amount of fibre, while cow milk has none.
For a cup of serving, you’ll get 8 g of proteins from cow milk whereas oat milk only offers about 4 g.
If you are replacing cow milk with this, you might want to add more proteins to your diet from other sources like nuts or seeds.
Now, for the most important fact for all the health enthusiasts watching their calories. Cow’s milk gives you 152 calories or more, depending on whether it is whole milk or otherwise. Whereas, the caloric value of oat milk comes to around 120 calories per cup.
Oat milk, Almond milk, Soy milk, Dairy milk – Which is the winner?
We have different plant-based milk products better than oat milk on some fronts and not so better on others. The major points of value are in terms of their nutritional distinctiveness.
- Oat milk has the second highest protein content (3 g per cup) among all standard alternative milk types.
- Almond and coconut milk have zero proteins.
- Soy milk stands first in protein content with 8 g per cup.
Oat milk is the only alternative milk with an appreciable fibre content. It contains 2 g of fibre per serving. Other variants contain 1 g or even less.
Vitamins & Minerals
- Vitamins A and D are common milk vitamins. Apart from these, oat milk also contains vitamins B and E. To be precise, more vitamin B and less vitamin E than almond milk.
- Oat milk fights only soy milk to rank against the vitamin & mineral content of low-fat dairy milk.
- It has 35% more calcium and 30% more riboflavin than normal low-fat dairy milk and almost the same percentage of vitamin A (10%) and D (25%) as the low-fat dairy milk.
- Basic oat milk even beats almond milk in its natural calcium content unless added by the manufacturer.
So, overall, when compared to other milk varieties, oat milk is the most calorific and healthy milk option, with the highest quantity of carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. While some plant-based variants like soy milk might be richer in proteins, oat milk has a better overall nutrient content, making it a more desirable and fulfilling milk alternative.
Which milk tastes better?
Taste is not a very objective component to decide the worthiness of this milk. It does depend on your preference. But there’s no disputing the fact that oat milk is the creamiest of plant-derived milk and it is much easier to use in cooking and baking without much difference in taste.
It is also sweeter than most of the others naturally. It doesn’t require additive sugars to make it palatable which is a definite plus.
Note: Oat milk isn’t suitable for those suffering from gluten intolerance or who have celiac disease. So, be careful if you are one of them, and choose your milk wisely.
We have a winner!
This milk extracted from oats appears to be much more beneficial to overall health than other milk alternatives. Get to know how and why oat milk’s benefits are superior to the other milk varieties.
It is a healthier option for most people because of its better nutrient content which acts as a wholesome meal component and not just a substitute. Also, because of the presence of rich elements like calcium, iron, and vitamins, it is better than other plant-based milk for boosting immunity and preventing health conditions like anaemia.
It contains beta-glucan fibres which protect your heart by lowering the cholesterol level in the blood. This is mostly absent in other plant-based milk and dairy milk. It has none of the main allergens (dairy, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans) and thus is safe for consumption by most of the population.
Research shows that regular consumption has an anti-carcinogenic as well as a positive effect on gastrointestinal problems. In comparison to low-fat cow’s milk, this vegan milk can help lower plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after 4 weeks of consumption in healthy adults.
That’s how this sweet plant-based milk turned into the most effective non-dairy milk alternative for lactose intolerant and vegan people, and considering the current trends, incorporating this in moderate amounts can open us up to some more nutritional benefits, which can add up to even better nourishment in our day-to-day lives.
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Buy Healthy Oat Milk in India
We have very few oat milk brands in India. Here are the Indian plant-based milk brands offering different delicious flavours. Buy them from their websites directly below or e-commerce sites like Amazon.
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