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Oat Milk Health Benefits

Updated on March 13, 2012
Rolled oats cook fairly quickly and are delicious in a variety of meals.
Rolled oats cook fairly quickly and are delicious in a variety of meals. | Source

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, which means I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal from my handy canister of rolled oats. Oats are an extremely versatile, multi-purpose grain and their numerous health benefits mean that it’s probably a good idea to keep a canister on hand in the pantry at all times- and not just for oatmeal. Oat milk is a great low-fat, low-cholesterol, high fiber substitute for normal milk in your diet that can be easily made from oats, water and a few other ingredients if desired.

Types of Oats:

Oats come in a couple of different varieties: rolled oats, oat groats and steel-cut oats. Rolled oats are my personal favorite because they cook quickly, but while they still have many health benefits, they also have the most processing out of the various types. They’ve had the hard outer shell of the oat kernel stripped off, and the kernel has been flattened and lightly toasted. Oat groats are more commonly used for animal feed, but can be found in various health stores. They are oats with the kernel shell still intact, and steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been chopped into smaller pieces by steel. Any of the types of oats can be used to make oat milk, although oat groats are the most common since they take longer to absorb water in the soaking or cooking process.

Oat Type
Processing
Cook Time
Rolled Oats
Removal of Hull, Flattened, Toasted
1-3 Minutes
Steel-Cut Oats
Chopping
35 Minutes
Oat Groats
None
30-45 Minutes

Health Benefits of Oats and Oat Milk:

Oats are packed with phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are not nutrients, but are naturally found plant chemicals with disease fighting and disease protection abilities. Oats score about 2308 on the ORAC scale, which measures a food’s ability to absorb free radicals (or possible disease causing agents). Free radicals are believed to help contribute to age-related disease and illnesses, and eating foods that score high on the ORAC scale will help to eliminate them and may even help you age better overall. Oat milk is a great way to get phytochemicals into recipes that call for milk just by substituting oat milk for dairy milk.

Beyond the powerful phytochemicals, Oats- and by association- Oat milk contains many essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, B-Vitamins, Iron and Protein are the most concentrated, but Oat milk also contains plenty of insoluble and soluble fibers that help in digestion. Both types of fibers are important for a healthy digestive system, and oat milk contains an equal amount of both. The protein in oats and oat milk is nearly equal to that of soy, and research from the World Health Organization says that the protein in soy is equal to meat, milk and eggs. Oat milk is a great way for those with soy or dairy allergies or those with vegetarian or vegan diets to get their necessary proteins and nutrients.

Oat milk’s impressive array of health benefits doesn’t stop there- Oat milk is believed to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, and also reduce the risk of heart disease. In summary, oat milk can fight disease, aid in aging, provide necessary vitamins and minerals, keep your digestive system running smoothly, lower bad cholesterol, and keep your heart healthy!

A delicious cherry malt made from oat milk.
A delicious cherry malt made from oat milk. | Source

Oat Milk Recipes:

Oat milk is very easy to make, but can also be readily bought at health food stores and some major grocery chains. My favorite oat milk recipe can be found here. If you prefer the nuttier taste of oat milk without any additional spices, you can simmer 1 cup of oats per 5 cups of hot water covered for an hour before straining and then storing in the refrigerator. Oat milk keeps for about a week in the fridge and can be used in cereals, smoothies and many other recipes that call for normal milk. To make oat milk taste more like soy milk, you can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract or other flavors as per your tastes.

It is important to note that oat milk prepared at home is not gluten-free, but that there are brands of store-bought oat milk that are gluten-free.

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    • Cynthianne profile image

      Cynthianne Neighbors 3 years ago

      I make mine from raw oats. Pour some oats in a glass (I use quick or old fashioned), add water until it rises just above the oats, give it a good stir. Sometimes I wait a minute or two before straining out the oats, sometimes not. It turns out good either way. :-)

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Fast hub. Uh have been looking fur something like thus. Thank you! Up++

    • profile image

      Yiyi 5 years ago

      I make raw oat milk with gluten-free oats (purchased at the store, such as the Bob's Red Mill brand) and water: just add water to the oats, blend, and strain, and if desired add a bit of sweetener or whatever other ingredient you wish. I like mine plain and prefer it raw because I feel I get better nutrients that way, but each one has their preference :-) NOTE: oats are naturally gluten-free, but become contaminated during processing. That is why you need to purchase them from a source that specifies "gluten-free" if you are gluten intolerant.

    • FitnessMarkLorie profile image

      FitnessMarkLorie 6 years ago from Longs, SC

      Oats are a key element to a healthy diet. I eat oatmeal every morning, typically made with rolled oats. Sometimes I purchase steel cut oats, but I generally don't like the price.

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Oat milk! This actually sounds like a great way of making emergency milk (oh no, I ran out and now it's a blizzard). Also, the health benefits are really tops. Up and useful. Thanks, Shanna! :-)

    • CreateHubpages profile image

      CreateHubpages 6 years ago

      Eating oats in your diet provides a wide range of important health benefits.

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