What Is Oat Milk?

Buying, Cooking, and Recipes

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Oat milk is one in a long line of popular dairy-free milk alternatives available on the market today. Pour it in your coffee, mix into a smoothie, or even pour a big glass of oat milk to go with your cookies. It may not taste like milk, but unlike rice or soy milk, this plant beverage has a naturally thick texture more like whole milk or cream (and less like lactose-free varieties).

What is Oat Milk?

Oat milk is made by soaking oats (one part oats to four parts water), blending for about a minute, then straining the nutrient-rich liquid through cheese cloth into a bottle or jar and refrigerating. You can use steel-cut oats or rolled oats for this application, but avoid instant oats.

Some oat milk manufacturers add other ingredients and nutrients to products, like flavorings and calcium.

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What to Do With Oat Milk

Use oat milk the same way you'd use its dairy counterpart, in coffee or tea, whipped into a lactose-free milkshake with oat ice cream, foamed up for a latte, in a bowl of granola, or blended into a smoothie. You can also use oat milk in baking, if the recipe is compatible with a milk substitution.

What Does Oat Milk Taste Like?

Though not nearly as strong in flavor as almond or cashew milk, oat milk does impart a subtle oaty essence. The texture is thinner but more robust than rice milk. Its viscosity is closest to soy milk, though with a much more mild flavor. Oat milk has become a popular substitution in coffee, owing to its naturally nutty flavor.

Oat Milk Recipes

Try making your own oat milk at home, and use it in place of almond milk in vegan baking recipes.

Where to Buy Oat Milk

Many regular grocery stores and most health food shops stock oat milk. You can buy oat milk by the carton, in a multi-pack at big box stores, or order it in bulk from online retailers.


Oat milk should be refrigerated once open, and some need to be kept cold even before opening. Homemade oat milk has a shelf life of about four days, and boxed will keep for up to 10 days. All oat milk separates a bit, so shake well before using.


Some companies make lower-fat oat milk with calcium and salt added to the mix; others have flavorings like chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Other brands are made thicker, more like cream. When making oat milk at home, adjust the ratios and method you use until you find an oat milk that's perfect for you.