Why Oat Milk is the Milk Alternative You May Need to Try Today
Oat milk? You read that right, oat milk is a dairy-free and vegan friendly cow's milk alternative that is rising in popularity and widespread use.
With the growth of the alternative milk industry, oat milk is making waves and proving to be a beneficial alternative. Oat milk can offer the vegan dieters soy, nut, lactose, and dairy free replacement from other vegan milk options. We are all aware of the fiber content in oats. The same benefits of eating a bowl of oatmeal are found in oat milk as well. Anyone needing to add extra fiber in their diet, which is most Americans, should consider using oat milk.
Since oat milk is not an animal product, the fat of oat milk is not saturated fat, this makes it beneficial for heart health. With healthy fats and fibers, oat milk is an excellent milk alternative for those needing a heart healthy diet. Oats have a compound known as beta-glucans, which may be incredible cholesterol lowering nutrients.*
Oat milk benefits
A major benefit of oat milk is its ability to replace other milk options for those with food allergies. Whether gluten, soy, nut, or cow’s milk protein allergies it seems most milk and milk alternatives contain some form of common allergens.
Oats are naturally gluten-free and free of common allergens. If making your own oat milk and you have a gluten allergy, it is important to make sure you use certified gluten free oats. While oats are gluten-free they are sometimes processed on machinery where gluten containing products are processed.
Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that many vegan dieters may be lacking in their diets. Oat milk can help to fight this issue by providing consumers with 50% DV of B12.* Manufacturers fortify oat milk with calcium at 27% DV making it an excellent alternative to cow’s milk. This allows it to be just as beneficial for bone health as cow’s milk is advertised to be.
Comparing oat milk to other vegan milk alternatives it is somewhat comparable, but oat milk stands apart in some important ways. With 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber for one cup, oat milk has more of these nutrients than other cow’s milk alternatives.
The sugar found in oat milk is all natural sugar, which means there aren’t any added sugars. There are more carbohydrates found in oat milk than other milk alternatives making it a heart healthy milk alternative that will also help keep you feeling full.
Oat milk naturally has a creamy texture and an oatmeal-like-flavor.
Oat Milk Nutrition
Some nutrients are removed from the oats during the process of making oat milk. In commercially processed oat milk, these nutrients are replaced through enrichment and others are added for fortification.
Vitamin D, A, B12, and calcium are all added to commercially made oat milk to make it more comparable to cow’s milk without lactose, cow’s milk protein, and hormones that are found in cow’s milk.
In just one cup of oat milk, you will get 120 calories that are nutrient dense with 18% daily value (DV) of vitamins A and D.* Iron, potassium, fiber, and healthy fats are all loaded into one cup of oat milk.*
How To Make Oat Milk
You can make your own oat milk with a few simple ingredients, equipment, and steps. Making oat milk yourself allows you to avoid additives like thickeners which are added to commercially made oat milk. To prepare your own follow these steps:
-Blend one cup of steel-cut oats with three cups of water.
-Pour water and oat mixture over a cheesecloth into a bowl or pitcher.
-Store refrigerated ad enjoy for up to 5 days.
Homemade oat milk can be sweetened naturally by adding honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, or vanilla. You can also flavor it with your favorite flavor extracts.
While oat milk can be made at home which allows you to know exactly what is going into your milk, you miss out on the fortification of some important nutrients. However, if you are getting these in through food or supplements, then homemade oat milk may be for you.
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Bottom Line on Oat Milk
When it comes to oat milk and determining if you should try it out the answer is; why not? There really are no serious risks associated with trying oat milk and plenty of benefits to gain. If you’re still uncertain try making your own to use in specific foods rather than replacing your current milk completely. You may reap the high fiber and cholesterol lowering capabilities of oat milk while keeping the benefits of your usual milk as well.