Oat milk coffee drinks, oat milk ice cream and oat milk yogurt are hitting menus and store shelves this season! Why oat milk?

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Pros:

- Oat milk is an easy choice for those with food sensitivities. It is naturally free of dairy, soy, nuts, and gluten, although anyone with Celiac disease should still look for certified gluten free due to the possibility of cross-contamination during processing.

- Oat milk is naturally smooth, creamy and sweet without emulsifiers, thickeners or added sugars.

- Lower in fat and higher in fiber than dairy or nut milks, oat milk can reduce total blood cholesterol when consumed regularly as part of a heart-healthy diet. This is due to beta-glucans, a soluble fiber that binds to cholesterol and prevents its absorption into the blood stream.

- For do-it-yourselfers, oats are much more affordable than nuts.

Cons:

- Oat milk is naturally higher in carbohydrates and calories than almond, soy or cow’s milk. This may make it unsuitable for those on very low-carb diets like keto.

- Oat milk contains fewer essential nutrients than breast milk or cow’s milk. Some commercial options are fortified but parents of babies and young children should still consult a pediatrician before substituting with oat milk.

- When heated, plain oat milk by itself becomes gelatinous. Some choose not to cook with it and instead use only for cold recipes or baking.


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Make Your Own Oat Milk

All you need is quick or regular-rolled oats, water, a blender, and a straining device! A fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, nut milk bag, thin dish towel or even a clean old t-shirt will work.

For your first batch start with 3 cups of water per 1 cup of oats. If you find you like it thicker you can add water ½ cup at a time.

Pre-soaking the oats is not required but may prevent the final product from becoming slimy. Add enough water to cover, plus an inch extra. Soak no more than 15 minutes, rinse and strain, then add to your blender.

Add half the water, blend for 20 seconds. Add the other half, blend, then strain into your pitcher or jar. Keeps up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

optional add-ins for flavor: some say a pinch of salt brings out the flavor, or try vanilla, pitted dates, or 1-2 Tb pure maple syrup


Oat Milk Products

At Basics you can find unsweetened, vanilla, or chocolate oat milk, oat milk coffee creamer, oat milk yogurt and oat milk ice cream. Watch for new flavors to hit the shelves soon.