Do you want to lead a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start? Oat milk is the perfect plant-based alternative to dairy.
Learn which products work best as substitutes, so you can find the one that fits your dietary needs.
It’s time to discover the ‘cream’ of the crop – it’s oat milk.
What’s Oat Milk?
Oat milk is an increasingly popular dairy alternative made from oats, water and sometimes oil.
It has a consistency similar to cow’s milk but can be creamier when served cold.
Its flavor is mild and slightly sweet, making it a great addition to your morning cup of coffee or cereal.
Oat milk can also be used in smoothies, baking recipes, sauces, soups and more.
When using oat milk as a substitute for dairy in a recipe, note that it behaves differently than cow’s milk.
For instance, oat milk won’t curdle when heated under normal circumstances and needs more thickeners such as guar gum or Xanthan gum to achieve the same texture as that of the dairy replacement.
Lastly, because oat milk contains no lactose or cholesterol its nutritional benefits are clear – fewer calories and saturated fat per serving than cow’s milk.
All things considered, oat milk easily stands out as one of the best alternatives for those looking for a delicious dairy-free option.
5 Best Oat Milk Substitutes to Consider
If you’re looking for an oat milk substitute, there are several options out there.
Oat milk is made by blending oats with water; it is a popular plant-based milk alternative that is much thicker and creamier than other alternatives, like almond milk or soy milk.
Whether you’re looking to cut down on your dairy consumption, or want to try something new, here are five of the best oat milk substitutes to consider:
1 – Flax Milk
Flax milk is a popular dairy-free milk alternative made from milled flaxseeds.
It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, making it a healthier choice for those who want to avoid dairy or lactose.
Flax milk also contains calcium and iron, as well as a few other vitamins and minerals.
However, its natural nutty flavor may not be appealing to some people, so it’s best used in recipes such as smoothies that can mask the flavor.
Additionally, flax milk isn’t ideal for baking since it doesn’t contain gluten.
2 – Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is not just for drenching your shaved ice in; it is also a great alternative to oat milk.
While it does not have the same creamy texture, coconut milk works well as a dairy-free substitute in everything from smoothies to sauces.
It is even a good option for vegan ice cream.
When selecting coconut milk, look out for products made with fewer processed ingredients to avoid excess sodium and sugar.
For culinary purposes, opt for full-fat canned coconut milk or boxed skim coconut milk over tetra-paks of dairy alternatives (which often come with additives).
For making coffee or cappuccinos, consider buying canned light coconut milk or a powdered version made with organic coconut cream powder, which will be free of gums and thickeners.
Coconut milk has many health benefits such as being high in calcium and magnesium, both important minerals that can help promote strong bones and teeth.
3 – Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is a great alternative for those looking for a slightly thicker, creamier consistency than is found in regular oat milk.
It has a distinct nutty taste – particularly sweet and creamy – and can be used in tea, smoothies, coffee and baking.
Cashew milk also contains plenty of Vitamin E and good fats, plus minerals such as zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
The downside is that there are not enough nutrients needed to make it an ideal substitute for oat milk on its own; that’s why it’s usually blended with other types of plant-based milks.
Most brands offer cashew milks with added tocopherols (vitamin E) to mimic the nutritional content of oat milks or those high in vitamins A and D.
However, because this type of milk does not contain any lactose or dairy products – it’s completely dairy free – so you don’t have to worry about dairy allergies if you choose this option as your go-to non-dairy replacement for oatmilk.
4 – Almond Milk
Almond milk is a popular non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk, plant-based milks, and oat milk.
It is made from grinding blanched almonds with water, resulting in a creamy white liquid that has the same consistency as cows’ milk.
Almond milk has a lovely subtle nutty flavor and is a delicious addition to breakfast cereals, smoothies, desserts and savory dishes.
Almond milk is rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, magnesium and selenium, which are essential for energy production.
It also contains heart-healthy polyphenols and monounsaturated fats – two nutrients important for cardiovascular health.
As compared to regular skimmed or full fat cow’s milk, almond milk has lower levels of calories, saturated fat and sodium while still providing calcium.
Due to its creamy consistency and flavor profile – as well as its fortification with essential minerals – almond milk can be easily substituted in recipes that call for oat or any other type of plant-based milks.
When using it as a coffee creamer alternative try warming it first then add just enough stevia or your favorite sweetener to sweeten your cup of joe without adding too many unnecessary calories.
5 – Hemp Milk
Hemp milk, made from finely ground hemp seeds, is one of the best oat milk substitutes due to its creamy texture and nutty taste.
It is also high in protein, with 3g per cup (240 ml) and a good source of calcium with 30% of the daily recommendation.
Additionally, it contains healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids and ALA.
However, some people may react to hemp if they’re sensitive to cannabis due to its origin from the same plant species (Cannabis sativa).
Hemp milk may also have a distinctive aroma which may not be preferred by everyone.
As with other plant-based milks it is low in carbohydrates (contains 2 grams per cup) but does not provide any vitamins or minerals beyond those from fortification.
When looking for alternatives to dairy milk, oat milk is a popular choice.
It’s an excellent plant-based milk and is lactose-free which makes it a great option for those who are lactose-intolerant.
Oat milk has a creamy, slightly sweet taste and can easily be found in the dairy aisle of most grocery stores.
However, if you cannot find oat milk near you or if you just want to try something different, there are several other plant-based milks that make fantastic alternative substitutes.
In conclusion, oat milk is a great lactose-free choice if you are looking to replace dairy in your diet.
It’s made from oats and provides a naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture.
For those who don’t have access to oat milk or would like more options, there are several other non-dairy milks such as almond, soy, rice and coconut that can provide comparable nutrient profiles with unique flavors of their own.
No matter what your preference may be, there is sure to be an alternative dairy replacement that suits your tastes and dietary needs.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!