I must admit, I didn’t realise that Oat milk was a new-ish thing, but then that’s probably because I don’t think twice about stocking up my fridge with regular cows milk. It’s just what I’ve done since way back when!
Mr S however, is partial to plant milk – his current squeeze is almond milk but we’ve had soy milk and rice milk on occasion! Coconut milk – well coconut products in general are found in abundance in Casa Spice! Due to my Sri Lankan heritage I use coconut butter, oil, milk, cream and even just regular coconut in many dishes!
So back to the oats. Why are they suddenly seeing a surge in popularity? (apart from in coffee shops where I know they are a barista’s best friend!) Well, when I was a kid I knew having porridge for breakfast (rather than coco pops) would put me in my parents’ good books, so I naturally associated porridge with healthy. I didn’t overly like it as much as chocolate cereal, but it was fine enough!
Fast forward to today and porridge still has a place in our cereal cupboard (and there are no coco pops 😜 ), but what’s with the milk?
How do you make it?
Well unsurprisingly you make oat milk from…..oats! You soak steel cut oats in water, blitz until smooth and then strain through a muslin cloth – et voila, oat milk! And although a lot of the pulp that’s left behind does contain the bulk of the nutrients, the milk still contains a fair proportion. You can make it at home if you fancy it – definitely can’t do that with cows milk! 😉
There are the obvious benefits – ie dairy free, low in saturated fats, cholesterol free. But then there are other benefits that you might not know – magnesium , potassium and zinc are components which help bone growth and it apparently regulates blood sugar levels too.
So from my research, it’s starting to sound quite appealing, right? If you want to know more, check out this article from Holland & Barrett!
Yes, I might put a carton in my next shopping trolley to check the taste, but what about using it in recipes that call for regular milk?
Oat Milk in Cooking and Baking
Oat milk in drinks is fantastic – want a fruit smoothie? Pour in your berries and whatever else you want, top up with oat milk, blitz and you’re god to go!
In a coffee? Even better – it’s a barista’s best friend – oat milk foams so much better than other plant based milks so your latte or cappuccino looks great as well as tasting it.
Oat Milk in Food
Want to cook with oat milk? Well it depends what you’re about to make as to whether oat milk is the best choice. Breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs and pancakes are fine if you swap out cows milk for oat milk. Brilliant!
Baking Sweet Dishes
Baking sweet treats? Oat milk will be your friend! As long as you shake the carton before use, the density of oat milk is pretty much the same as cows milk, and its sweetness can only help in these types of foods.
For savoury dishes, there are unsweetened versions of oat milk – and again as it’s the same creaminess as regular milk, you’ll be fine to swap it in.
Now I haven’t yet found an oat cream and so for any recipes that call for double cream, it’s not something that can be used instead. However, you can use coconut cream in this instance so that’s another way to get around it.
You also wouldn’t want to use it in cooking Asian curries, but again, I always use coconut variants for my curries, so no issues there either regarding plant based milks. By the way check out this recipe for my delicious Sri Lankan coconut milk chicken curry pictured below.
So there you go, it all sounds pretty good for oat milk. The benefits seem to speak for themselves and as long as the taste is ok, I might just jump on this bandwagon and see how it goes!