For awhile in my life I was a vegetarian and even at some points I was vegan. If my body was okay with me being a vegetarian or vegan I would still be one to this day. Unfortunately, my body does not function well on either of the two eating lifestyles. During these periods of my life I found some amazing food items I would have never thought about. One of the items that I still make and use to this day is oat Milk. I am huge fan of oats. They are an excellent fiber source that keeps you full for a long time.
At the grocery store (mainly healthy grocery stores like Chamberlains or Whole Foods), you will find a couple varieties of oat milks. Many, if not all, of the oat milks are located in dry goods section of the grocery store. Oat milk can be found among the powdered milks and other non-refrigerated boxed milks.
I had two problems with the oat milk you would find at the grocery store. The first problem is that the milk contains added ingredients. These ingredients are mainly thickeners. If you see any ingredients with the name “gum” in them they are used to thicken the milk. Gum ingredients are generally okay (though some are artificially made) and I understand why they use them. However, my body sometimes doesn’t agree with these thickeners and so I like to keep my use of them to a minimum.
The second problem I have with the grocery store oat milk is the cost. After knowing how to make oat milk and doing the math, I cannot justify paying almost $4 a box for it. If you make the oat milk at home (depending on what oat brand/type you use) the cost will be around $0.25 for the same amount. Furthermore, the homemade milk has more flavor, with no added salt or sugars.
For those wondering about the comparison of oat milk to regular cow’s milk the breakdowns are interesting. Most people use milk as an additive to cereal, coffee, shakes, etc. Some use milk for the calcium content. Homemade oat milk has around 79 milligrams of calcium per batch. Cow’s milk does have a high calcium content at around 290 milligrams for the same amount. If you need milk in your diet for calcium you could always add powdered calcium to the oat milk to give it that extra calcium boost. I personally like to get my daily dose of calcium from dark leafy greens (spinach), Greek yogurt and soybeans.
For the other nutritional content of homemade oat milk, an entire batch has only 300 calories, only 5 grams of fat (good fat), a generous 8 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. Homemade oat milk also has a good amount of healthy iron. For those watching their cholesterol and sodium intake, homemade oat milk has no cholesterol and no sodium. Cow’s milk does have both cholesterol and sodium. Depending on the brand and type, cow’s milk can contain 14mg of cholesterol and 49mg of sodium per 1 cup serving.
Homemade Oat Milk
1 cup rolled oats (steel cut or old fashioned will work just fine)
5 cups of water
A dash of pure stevia extract (optional)
Using a blender, blend dry oats until they become a flour (about a minute). Add 3 cups of water. Blend water and oat flour until combined (about another minute). Using a double layer cheesecloth or coffee filter strain the mixture into a bowl. Add remaining water and pure stevia (optional). Milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Shake well before each use.