Oat milk — the trendy non-dairy milk that’s taken over the beverage scene. Whether you’re enjoying it in your coffee, smoothie, or oatmeal, there are endless reasons to love this plant-based milk. It’s nut-free (making it a top allergy-friendly choice), it’s deliciously creamy, and it tastes wildly similar to real-deal dairy. From oat milk chocolate chips to oat milk dairy-free cheese sauce, this decadent beverage is making its way into everything. And if you’ve tasted it, you know why. Naturally, it’s a FitOn favorite! And because we want to spread the love, we’re bringing you the ultimate guide to drinking oat milk. Whether you’re new to oat milk or you’re simply looking for new recipe inspiration, get ready to indulge in all of the dairy-free, nut-free goodness! Ahead, learn how oat milk stacks up against dairy milk, the benefits of this trendy health beverage, our favorite store-bought brands, and some delicious oat milk-infused recipes!
Plus, we’re sharing our number one way to enjoy this creamy, dairy-free delight. Read on to find out!
What is Oat Milk?
The Instagram-famous oat milk is a plant-based milk alternative that is dominating the health market. Just as it sounds, it’s milk made from oats — and it’s loved by vegans and non-vegans alike! With a similar consistency and taste to dairy, Oat milk is thick, creamy, and subtly sweet. Best of all, it’s free from nuts and dairy (and if certified gluten-free, can easily be enjoyed without gluten). To whip up this liquid sensation, simply blend soaked oats with water, then strain it into the silky liquid we know as oat milk! That’s right — just as simple as it is delicious.
Why is Oat Milk Trending?
You’ve probably seen oat milk trending across social media platforms, lining the shelves of grocery stores and making its way into every cafe. There’s no shortage on how to drink oat milk — or where to find it, for that matter! Oat milk is all the buzz, and it’s here to stay.
In 2019 the oat milk market was valued at 372.5 million dollars, and it’s expected to reach 698.8 million by 2027 — it’s safe to say our society is oat-obsessed!
So, why is oat milk on the rise? Simply put, it checks all boxes — see for yourself!
Here’s How We Evaluated Oat Milk
We evaluated Oat Milk based on its flavor, texture, ingredients, and environmental impact while considering common allergies and various diets.
Flavor: Creamy, mild, and subtly sweet with a similar taste and thick consistency to OG dairy milk.
Ingredients: With just two ingredients, oat milk is easy to digest and simple to make!
Environmentally Friendly: Oat Milk is an eco-friendly choice, especially considering the high water footprint of nuts — just one almond averages 3.2 gallons of water! Oats, on the other hand, use the least amount of water of any plant milk and less land, water, and energy than cow’s milk!
Allergy-Friendly and Plant-based: Oat milk is vegan, dairy-free, soy-Free, nut-free, and gluten-free when using certified gluten-free oats! Basically, free of everything you don’t want while containing everything you crave.
Oat Milk VS. Dairy Milk
Oat Milk may be the newest competitor in the field, but it’s looking like a lasting winner. Leave it up to our ultimate guide to drinking oat milk to discuss how oat milk stacks up against dairy milk in both nutrition and taste.
Which is Healthier?
Based on the nutrition facts for one cup of plain oat milk vs. one cup of whole dairy milk, here’s what you need to know.
Calories: Coming in at 149 calories, a cup of whole dairy milk is slightly more caloric than the 120 calories per cup of plain oat milk.
Fat: Oat milk contains roughly 5 grams of fat per cup versus the 8 grams in a cup of Dairy Milk.
Carbs: With 12 grams per cup, dairy milk has 4 fewer grams of carbs than oat milk.
Fiber: A cup of plain oat milk contains 2 grams of fiber per cup vs. dairy milk, which contains 0.
Sugar: Dairy milk nearly doubles the amount of sugar in unsweetened oat milk, with 12 grams per cup, while unsweetened oat milk contains 7.
Protein: Dairy milk is definitely higher in protein than oat milk. Oat milk contains roughly 3 grams of protein, whereas dairy milk contains nearly 8 grams per cup.
Keep in mind, not all brands and varieties are created equal. If you choose an unsweetened, fat-free, reduced-fat, or fortified variety of oat milk or dairy milk, the nutrients will change!
But, Who Won the Taste Test?
With a similar neutral taste and a thick, creamy texture, it’s looking like a tie between oat milk and dairy milk! Oat milk and dairy milk both pass the froth test (creamy, foamy lattes — we’re looking at you), they both complement (and enhance) many flavors and recipes (both sweet and savory), and they both contain minimal ingredients.
In terms of taste, oat milk is the most similar plant-based beverage alternative to the real deal dairy.
That said, not all brands and varieties are created equal. If you choose an unsweetened, fat-free, reduced-fat, or fortified variety of oat milk or dairy milk, the nutrients will change!
The Best Store-Bought Oat Milk Brands
While it’s easy to make your own non-dairy milk, sometimes store-bought options are more convenient. But, if you’ve been to any store, you know there are so many options to choose from. To make it easy for you, we’re sharing the healthiest store-bought oat milk brands! Plus, some sneaky ingredients to be mindful of.
3 Of The Healthiest Oat Milk Brands
MALK Oat Milk: This oil-free oat milk is made with filtered water, organic gluten-free oats, and a dash of Himalayan salt. As it should be! The only downside? It’s on the pricey side (but, the taste is worth the splurge).
Elmhurst 1925 3-Ingredient Oat Milk: Made with just oats, water, and sea salt. Plus, it’s dairy-free, non-GMO, and free from added sugars, gums, and emulsifiers.
Three Trees Oat & Seed Oat Milk: In addition to oats, this yummy blend contains a mix of flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds for a nutritious omega-3 boost. Plus, it’s free from added oils, sugar, gluten, and glyphosate!
Ingredients to Avoid:
- Added sugars
- Gums, thickeners, and emulsifiers
- Soy lecithin and glyphosates
- Added (or excess) sodium
What Does Oat Milk Go Well With?
What doesn’t Oat Milk go well with? While it’s delicious alone, the creamy texture and mild taste of oat milk makes it the perfect blank canvas for any flavor or recipe!
Are you curious how to drink oat milk or pair it with other foods? Here’s some inspiration!
Use in Overnight Oats: Ditch the dairy and use it as a base for overnight oats or chia pudding.
Enjoy as a Creamer: Add to savory soups or curries.
Use in Your Healthy Baked Goods: Swap oat milk as a 1:1 replacement for dairy in any baked goods recipe.
Enjoy Over Cereal: Enjoy it just as you would dairy milk in your bowl of breakfast cereal or granola.
Make a Latte: You can’t go wrong with an oat milk latte or an oat milk golden milk latte (yum!)
Use a Dairy-free Thickener: In recipes like your favorite creamy pasta dish or mac-and-cheese.
We Tried These 7 Ways to Drink Oat Milk
#1 Plain, As a Swap For Dairy
How to drink oat milk 101: enjoy it in its classic form as an exact swap for dairy! This plant-based beverage is everything you love about a refreshing cup of dairy milk… but better — in our humble opinion. Sweeter, creamier, and oh so delicious.
With just two ingredients, save your money and make your own! All you need is oats, water, and a high-speed blender! Add in vanilla and dates for sweetness and a spoonful of cacao if your sweet tooth strikes.
Homemade chocolate oat milk, anyone? How could we not rank this a favorite!
#2 Oat Milk Coffee Creamer
Oat milk is arguably the creamiest milk alternative on the block, making it the perfect coffee creamer! Add a splash into your cup of joe — hot or iced — and prepare to be amazed. Trust us, your coffee experience will be forever changed for the better.
#3 Oat Milk Latte
Speaking of coffee, it wouldn’t be a guide to drinking oat milk without featuring the trendy oat milk latte! If a sip of coffee could melt in your mouth, it would be an oat milk latte. It’s safe to say this latte is our newest addiction. Not a coffee lover? This dairy-free swap works for all your favorite warming beverages! Try it as the base for your favorite hot cocoa or turmeric latte.
#4 Oat Milk as a Base for Smoothies and Protein Shakes
Want to give your protein shakes and smoothies a creamy boost? Blend them with oat milk. We tried blending this Morning Energizer Smoothie with a cup of oat milk… and wow — our mouth is still watering. We’re wondering how this protein-packed, dairy-free deliciousness can be so healthy while tasting so sweet!
Here’s how to make it.
1 cup oat milk
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 scoop protein powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup
1 handful ice cubes
cacao nibs, to decorate
pumpkin seeds, chopped, to decorate
hemp seeds, to decorate
Step #1: Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Step #2: Serve in a tall glass and top with a sprinkle of granola, if desired.
#5 Oat Milk Chia Pudding
We added this Overnight Protein Packed Chia Pudding to our meal prep rotation. When you’re short on time, whip together this easy, delicious, and nutrient-dense recipe that tastes like dessert! The thick oat milk consistency adds a whole new level of decadence. It’s a yes from us.
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup oat milk
1 scoop protein powder
½ banana, mashed
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 handful mixed berries
slivered almonds, to serve
Step #1:Place the chia seeds in a bowl and cover with the oat milk. Add the protein powder, banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and pure maple syrup. Stir well.
Step #2:Place in the fridge overnight.
Step #3: Top with fresh berries and slivered almond before enjoying.
#6 Oat Milk Cheese-Less Pasta
If you’re a pasta lover, you know the “cream factor” is the secret to any mouth-watering dish. If you use a splash of milk in your red sauce or heavy cream in your mac and cheese, use oat milk instead!
#7 Oat Milk Overnight Oats
Yes, you can make your overnight (or warm stove-top) oats using none other than oat milk! It gives your recipe a subtle sweetness while elevating the creaminess of any dish. Use it as the base for your favorite overnight oats recipe or heat it up for a fiber-rich warming bowl!
The Winner is …
The coffee lover in us couldn’t resist… the infamous oat milk latte is number one in our books! And as a bonus treat, we’re spilling the beans (coffee beans, that is) on this delicious recipe. After all, this is the ultimate guide to drinking oat milk!
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Creamy Oat Milk Latte Recipe
Try this barista-style oat milk latte that tastes like a liquid hug in a mug.
- ½ – 1 cup of Oat Milk*
- 1 cup of brewed coffee or 1-2 shots of espresso
- 1 medjool date, pitted (or 1 tbsp maple syrup, honey, or sweetener of choice)
- Dash of cinnamon
Step #1: Heat the oat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Step #2: While the oat milk is heating, prepare a shot (or two!) of espresso, or brew one cup of coffee.
Step #3: Add all of the ingredients into a blender. Blend until your latte is creamy and frothy.
Step #4: Pour the latte mixture into a mug and sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired.
Step #5: Enjoy!
* For a stronger coffee flavor, add ½ cup of oat milk; for a sweeter, creamier flavor, add 1 cup of oat milk
Oat Milk Is Here To Stay
Oats have never steered us wrong — serving as the star ingredient in our breakfast bowls, replacing processed flours in our favorite baked goods, and now securing a spot in our fridge as our favorite beverage. This tasty beverage is here to stay. Use our guide to oat milk to inspire new, delicious ways to use oat milk!