With cafes dedicated strictly to oatmeal and the popular food trend of overnight oats, the whole grain is clearly having a moment. That being said, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that it’s emerging in the alternative milk market. But what exactly is oat milk? The new almond milk? gluten-free? Organic? Available to us laypeople or reserved for wellness bloggers, joining the ranks of bulletproof coffee and spirulina shots? Here’s the low down on oat milk to keep you in the know when you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed or Whole Foods aisle.
What is it?
Oat milk is the result of soaking steel cut oats or rolled oats in water for as little as 5 minutes, blending the mixture with any add-ins to your liking such as vanilla extract or salt, and then straining it. The result is a nut-free, dairy-free creamy milk-alternative that goes perfectly with coffee and tea, and foams up beautifully in your trendy latté.
Where did it come from?
Turns out oat milk is not a new concept– Nordic countries like Sweden have been on to it for decades, and it is common to see coffee shop menus that feature a “Capoatchino” or “Macchioato”. In fact, OATLY! has been bringing oat milk to the masses since 1990. OATLY! is a Swedish company that prides itself on keeping all the soluble fiber intact during their oat milk manufacturing process, combining high nutritional value with low environmental impact. OATLY! is available all over the world, and most likely what your local coffee shop uses as they have a special “barista” premium edition which is said to foam better than the regular kind.
Is it really a nutritional powerhouse?
Oats are very high in fiber and heart-healthy, thus oat milk retains these qualities as well! With 0% added sugar, 4 grams of protein, and clocking in at 120 calories per cup, the OATLY! oat milk is a great health-conscious choice. While oat milk may be calorically dense in respect to other milk alternatives, calories aren’t everything and the nutrient-rich properties are what deserve notice.
If you’re in the market for a new dairy alternative or just feeling like trying out the newest foodie trend, oat milk should definitely be on your list. If you need somewhere to start, I HIGHLY recommend Intelligentsia’s iced oat milk latté.