Oat milk vs almond milk
The number of non-dairy milk options at the supermarket seems to multiply daily. But staring down the cartons on the shelf can be confusing. How do you weigh oat milk vs almond milk vs soy milk vs flax milk … or any combination of two or more? If you leave the plant-based milk aisle feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone.
We asked experts on plant-based foods and nutrition to help us get the food facts straight and determine which non-dairy milk is best. You’ll learn that and more below, including whether oat milk or almond milk is a more sustainable food; which will taste better in your cold brew coffee, chai tea or bubble tea; which is healthiest; and whether there are any downsides of almond milk.
What is oat milk?
Oat milk started popping up in cafes and coffee shops in 2017, says Christina Dorr Drake, founder of Willa’s Oat Milk. “It then quickly became the milk of choice in urban markets by 2018 because of its neutral taste profile, lack of allergens and the fact that oats are more sustainable than nut milks,” she adds. By 2021, oat milk had risen to the No. 2 spot among nondairy milks, behind almond milk.
If you want to make oat milk at home, simply blend together oats and water, then strain out the pulp. Commercially produced oat milk, which is essentially made the same way but on a much larger scale, might contain added vitamins, minerals, flavourings, oils or sugars, depending on the type you buy.
What are the benefits of oat milk?
“Oat milk is all around pretty close to dairy milk in terms of texture and creaminess, but it is definitely sweeter,” says chef and nutritionist Emily Peck. “Oat milk is higher in calories and carbohydrates, but it in turn has more fibre and protein than almond milk. It’s a great choice for those with nut allergies. I like to use it for coffee and baking.”
Indeed, oat milk is the most popular plant-based milk for coffee drinks like lattes and macchiatos. And its mild flavour and creamy texture make it ideal for milk and cookies.
Like most non-dairy milks sold in airtight packaging, shelf-stable oat milk will keep in your pantry until you open it. Oat milk that’s shelved in the refrigerator section of the grocery store should be kept in the fridge – as should shelf-stable oat milk after you open it. And both should be finished within 10 days of opening.
Oat milk nutrition
A cup of unsweetened oat milk contains the following:
Fat: 6.5 grams
Carbs: 12 grams
Protein: 1.9 grams
Calcium: 347.8 milligrams