There are very few brands of oat milk, in fact the market is dominated by a handful of manufacturers and the competition is fierce. There is everything from flavored oat milk to barista blends capable of heating, foaming and frothing.
Instead of paying a premium, use rolled oats to make oat milk for a much more affordable price. 4 ingredients and 5 minutes later you can have a fresh tasting oat milk without any additive ingredients.
If making your own oat milk is out of the question, then we buy the best we can get our hands on. With so many options to choose from, how does one determine the best oat milk brands?
Oat Milk: Good or Bad?
The benefits of oat milk are numerous, stemming from the nutritional value of eating whole grain oats which provide a vital source of healthy fats, dietary fiber and plant based protein.
Oats provide essential minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium, which are important for bone growth and neurological development.
Can babies drink oat milk? Babies can start to drink oat milk around six months of age. At this time it is common to slowly introduce solid foods, and oats and oat milk go hand in hand.
The most common concern in an allergic reaction to wheat. Oats are naturally gluten free, however it’s still recommended to purchase gluten free oat milk to minimize the risk of cross contamination with wheat harvesting and processing equipment.
What is the best brand of oat milk?
Although it can be challenging to critique a product with this much similarity, we used 10 brands of oat milk to find a universally appealing beverage that does it all. We gave it our best attempt in order to provide an in-depth comparability.
In determining the best oat milk to buy, we arrived at a few key factors to consider. Apart from the name brand, here are some of the features that determine the best oat milk:
- Texture: There is soothing to be said about mouthfeel. Is the beverage too heavy, dense or thick? Is there a high starch content that gives a sliminess, or is there just enough to thicken the beverage naturally. Ultimately, the smoothness and thickness of the liquid will provide the velvety mouthfeel that many find appealing.
- Ingredients: If the ingredients list is long and unnecessary, then you lose this part of the battle. There are few industry standards across the board, but a good quality oat milk should contain minimal additives, preservatives, flavoring or refined sugar.
- Refined sugars and phosphates: It’s best to steer clear of sweetened varieties with added sugars and phosphates. Although phosphates are on the generally recognized as safe list assembled by the Food and Drug Administration, they are naturally found in many foods. People have been consuming much larger quantities of industrially processed foods with high levels of phosphates, which is a cause for safety concerns.
- Organic and non-GMO: Depending on which side of the fence you stand, both of these can be an important part of the decision process. Organic oats are less likely to be contaminated with glyphosate residue, a probable carcinogen now labeled by the World Health Organization.
- Barista edition or not: The predominant ingredient in every barista blend is the addition of oil. Whether it be sunflower, safflower, canola or rapeseed, processed oils add the rich, creamy and frothy consistency to the oat milk. Are the inflammatory oils really necessary? You be the judge, but I prefer to stick with basic ingredients like water, oats and salt.
- Taste: Freshness is key! Oat milk should smell naturally sweet, semi nutty and have a hearty whole grain aroma. If the smell is lackluster, or just doesn’t peak your interest when the cartoon is first opened, then its a hard pass. Oat milk has a neutral taste to begin with, so you want a product to be excited about, not a bland beverage with subpar appeal.
- Price: Of the above factors, price is not something to disregard! The cost is not always the primary factor to base decisions, however it can influence the final determination.
Our winner, Oatsome Organic Oat Drink, was the crowd favorite! However, there are a few more brands that we recommend. For the reason behind the selection and a complete list of oat milks that we tasted, scroll through the list we put together for you.
Can you use rolled oats to make oat milk from scratch?
Either way, making oat milk is an option that will quickly quench your craving. For those that lack the ambition, oat milk brands will have to suffice.
Can you use oat milk for overnight oats?
Overnight oats are made by combining 1 part oats, preferably rolled, with 2 parts liquid. Overnight oats with oat milk is a wholesome, hearty and fulfilling meal prep that is packed with essential nutrients.
The oat flakes soak up the oat milk, while leaving a slight chewiness that is pleasurable. Oat milk is gluten free, dairy free, soy free and nut free, making it an allergen free beverage that is perfect for soaking oats overnight.
The Bottom Line
Whole grain oats are considered as a nutritious addition to a regular diet routine. When taking into account the benefits of oats and all of the potential uses, there is no doubt that oat milk is a valuable staple to keep in your fridge or pantry shelves!
The most important factors to consider when purchasing oat milk are the texture, ingredients, taste and price. The freshness, mouthfeel, price point and amount of additives are fairly important because you want an oat milk that tastes fresh without unnecessary preservatives or paying an for an overpriced drink.
Oat milk should be thick, creamy and full of flavor. Therefore, additives or even inflammatory oils may not truly be necessary to your experience.
Purchasing oat milk in bulk is quite easy, but single use containers are also available, the decision is up to you. However, do consider the fact that packaged oat milk is shelf stable and bulk purchases are more affordable in the long run.