It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago, oat milk wasn’t even A Thing; Starbucks didn’t start stocking it nationwide until last year. Now, it’s about as basic as regular old cow’s milk. Even as a slew of other alternative milks started popping up on grocery store shelves (Pistachio Milk! Barley milk! Avocado milk!), oat has remained the darling of the dairy-free world. Its taste and consistency are the closest to cow’s milk you can get while still being sourced from a plant.
Is oat milk worth the hype? Watch the video below to see what a registered dietitian has to say:
The versatility and mainstream-ification of it has led to oat milk being used in ways that now extend beyond the milk aisle. Other foods that traditionally called for cow’s milk are now turning to the mighty oat instead. The end results are the stuff dairy-free dreams are made of.
Highlighted here are several of the most noteworthy oat milk-based foods. Get out your grocery list—you’re about to have some new additions.
4 products using oat milk in new ways:
In the last year-and-a-half, Planet Oat has expanded beyond the milk aisle and is now selling oat milk-based creamer and non-dairy frozen yogurt. Chris Ross, senior vice president of marketing and research and development for HP Hood (Planet Oat’s parent company), says perfecting the frozen yogurt was prioritized first. “We began with the launch of frozen desserts because at the time, that’s where we saw the biggest need,” he says. “There weren’t a lot of plant-based frozen dessert options available that delivered on the creamy and delicious qualities you expect from traditional ice cream.”
Besides the cookies and creme flavor shown here, the line also includes mint fudge swirl and chocolate chip cookie dough, among other flavors. Ross says the goal for all the flavors was of course making sure the taste and texture measured up to what someone would expect from frozen yogurt made with traditional dairy. “Just like our oat milk, our frozen desserts are free from dairy, soy, peanuts, and artificial preservatives to ensure we are creating a product that everyone can enjoy,” he says.
There’s regular creamer, and then there’s Goodmylk Co‘s new super oat activated creamer. Besides powdered oat milk, it has functional mushrooms lion’s mane (linked to helping with brain fog and concentration), reishi (linked to boosting mood and supporting immune health), astragalus (an anti-inflammatory), and tocotrienols (part of the vitamin E fam). See why it’s called super creamer?
“The Super Oat Activated Creamer is a product we worked really hard on. It’s the first of its kind: a powdered oat creamer made with only real food, with added adaptogens for functionality that blends and steams in coffee,” founder and CEO Brooke Harris says. Incorporate the blend into coffee, matcha, or smoothies using a hand frother, spoon, or blender. You can mix it in food too, such as in overnight oats.
John Heath, Icelandic Provisions‘ chief of innovation, says using oat milk to make skyr (an Icelandic cultured dairy product) was admittedly harder than they thought it would be. “Not all oats and oat milk are created equal. Different oats and oat milks have different properties from a food science perspective,” Heath says. “It took us a very long time to identify the right oats, the right process, and the right oat milk recipe.”
The effort paid off. The brand’s new oat milk skyr line is just as thick, creamy, and decadent as fans of the traditional dairy product want it to be. There are five flavors to choose from: vanilla bean, mango passionfruit, mixed berries, raspberry, and cold brew coffee. For all of them, Heath says the brand was committed from the start to avoiding starches, gums, or thickeners—another obstacle to getting the sought-after end result. He says it took years of trial and error, but the end result is an ingredients list and taste they’re proud of. And of course the skyr also includes live probiotics, as one of the biggest health perks of the food is the gut-supporting benefits. Each serving has 10 grams of protein, too.
Elmhurst 1925 is also getting in on the oat milk ice cream game with their new soft serve mixes. “An ice cream mix is essentially a liquid base you can use to make ice cream at home—similar to a cake mix or a pancake mix,” explains Heba Mahmoud, the brand’s senior director of brand marketing. “You can just pull it off your shelf or from your fridge to make as much or as little fresh ice cream as you want, and personalize it with whatever flavors and toppings you prefer—from fresh fruit and granola to vegan chocolate chips, the possibilities are endless!”
Mahound says the brand decided to come out with a mix instead of ready-to-scoop oat milk ice cream for a few different reasons. It prevents freezer burn and allows for more creativity when it comes to customizing the end result. The mixes are made by using water to separate each layer of the oats, called a HydroRelease method—the same used for their vegan milk line. “Once this separation happens, micro and macro nutrients like proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals are able to move and function freely, recombining naturally to create a naturally creamy and flavorful milk,” Mahound says. This method means no oils, thickeners, or additives have to be used. That way, all you’re left with are the essential ingredients—no fillers.
As you can see, foods made with oat milk are seriously taking over. Living a dairy-free life just keeps getting easier—and way more delicious.
Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.