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18 Interesting Facts About Oat Milk

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Oat milk has become an increasingly popular plant-based milk alternative. This creamy, nutritious beverage is made from soaked and blended oats. Here are 18 fascinating facts about oat milk.

1. Oat milk likely originated in Sweden

The company Oatly, founded in Sweden in the 1990s, is credited with developing the first commercial oat milk product. Oatly helped popularize oat milk worldwide in the early 2010s when it began exporting its products.

2. Commercial oat milk combines oats and water

To make oat milk commercially, oats are combined with water and milled into a fine consistency. Enzymes are added to break down the oat starch, then the bran solids are removed, leaving behind the nutritious oat milk liquid.

3. Oil is added for texture and mouthfeel

Oil, usually sunflower or canola, is mixed into commercial oat milk products. This helps improve the texture and mouthfeel, making the milk creamier and richer.

4. It contains some natural sweetness

The oat milk liquid has a slightly sweet flavor, even without added sugars. This natural sweetness comes from the breakdown of oat starches into sugars like maltose during processing.

5. Homemade versions use cheesecloth or nut milk bags

cup of latte beside oat barista box

While commercial production is large-scale, you can make oat milk at home. Soaking and blending the oats creates a milk-like liquid, which you then strain through cheesecloth, nut milk bags or other filters.

6. Most brands add vitamins and minerals

Many commercial oat milk companies fortify their products with vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12. This helps improve the nutritional content.

7. It’s naturally higher in fiber than other milks

Since it’s made from whole oats, oat milk contains more dietary fiber than other dairy and plant-based milks. Fiber helps improve digestive health and makes you feel full.

8. Oat milk is lower in protein than cow’s milk

Cow’s milk naturally has a higher protein content, with about 8 grams of protein per cup versus around 3 grams in oat milk. However, oat milk contains more protein than almond or rice milk.

9. It has numerous sustainability benefits

Research shows that oat milk production uses less land, energy, and water than dairy milk. It also generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions, making it a more eco-friendly choice.

10. Most brands contain added calcium and vitamin D

Store-bought oat milk brands usually contain added calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients found naturally in dairy milk. This makes oat milk more nutritionally comparable to cow’s milk.

11. Oat milk has a creamy, neutral flavor

The taste of unsweetened oat milk is subtly sweet and very mild. It also has a rich, creamy mouthfeel. The neutral flavor makes it adaptable for cooking and adding to coffee or cereal.

12. It froths well for specialty coffee drinks

Barista editions of oat milk contain extra fat and ingredients to make them steam and froth well for lattes, cappuccinos, and other coffeehouse-style beverages. The milk creates smooth, creamy foam.

13. Baking with oat milk yields good results

You can substitute oat milk for cow’s milk in baked goods recipes. Oat milk adds moisture without strongly affecting the flavor. The results are often lighter and softer than traditional dairy versions.

14. It’s free of common allergens like nuts or soy

For those with nut or soy allergies, oat milk is a safe, dairy-free alternative. It’s also naturally gluten-free, though some sensitive individuals should use certified gluten-free oat milk.

15. Certain compounds may help lower blood cholesterol

Beta-glucans, compounds found in oats and oat milk, have been shown to mildly lower LDL and total blood cholesterol levels in some people. This could reduce heart disease risk.

16. Oat milk sales are rapidly rising

As plant-based diets and milk alternatives grow increasingly popular, so does oat milk. According to Nielsen data, oat milk sales at grocery stores were up over 300% in 2020 compared to 2019.

17. It contains antioxidants called avenanthramides

In addition to vitamins and minerals, oat milk contains high levels of avenanthramides. These are unique antioxidants found in oats that help fight inflammation and protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.

18. Some brands use certified gluten-free oats

While oats are naturally gluten-free, some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity react to avenin proteins in oats. Choosing oat milk made from certified gluten-free oats can reduce this risk.

So if you’re looking for a nutritious, sustainable milk alternative, oat milk is an excellent option. With its smooth, creamy texture and neutral taste, oat milk can enhance coffee, cereal, smoothies, and more.

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