Not too long ago, it was rare to see a wide range of non-dairy alternatives across supermarkets, bars or restaurants in Ireland & UK, with cow’s milk pretty much being the only option for consumers. With more awareness towards food intolerances and the effect of industrial dairy production on the health of cows and environment, many café, hotel & restaurant owners are seeing the rise of plant-based eating and the demand for dairy-free options. There is now a variety of non-dairy milk alternatives available on the market today such as almond, soya, coconut and rice milk and with these products being ideal for someone with an intolerance but may not prove the best product available for one’s health.
It’s said that there’s a wide range of problems with some dairy alternatives, with some being made with GMO ingredients or industrial monocultures such as soya milk. When trying to think sustainable, the likes of almond or rice milk can prove to require a vast & unsustainable quantity of water, generating tons of waste to produce these two products. The likes of coconut milk are often shipped from fragile, tropical eco-systems thousands of miles away which can be harmful. Some of these alternatives are also tasteless, lacking in nutrition (high in sugar or unhealthy additives) and unable to be used for cooking. A perfect alternative to these would be oat milk – dairy free milk that uses 6 times less water than almond milk, tasting amazing and also improving the livelihood & incomes of small to mid-size farmers.
What is Oat Milk?
Oat Milk is a now popular, dairy-free milk alternative that has come into prominence in the last year. It’s been famed for its cheap production costs and nutritional benefits; it contains 10 minerals and 15 vitamins, as well as a good amount of calcium & iron. It’s also unique in how it’s free from allergen, being renowned for its gluten-free (in most cases depending on oats used), dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free and vegan qualities, which fits in to nearly all allergen or dietary restrictions one may have. With the demand for oat milk on the rise, it’s now more readily available in most super-market but also very easy and cheap to make. It’s made by soaking and blending steel-cut or rolled oats with water and then straining them through cheesecloth to separate the milk from the oats. It’s also important to soak & use the milk the day before you use them to remove phytic acid they contain, so it doesn’t prevent the minerals it provides, from being absorbed to the body.
If you’re interesting in creating your own oat milk, check out our quick & easy recipe:
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