Is it just us or is the world finally coming round to the joys of plant milk? More and more people are embracing the vegan lifestyle, and even those of us who aren't total converts are making small changes. Recent research into dairy-free alternatives has shown that while almond, soy, coconut and rice milk have some environmental side effects, oat milk is a hero.
Sustainable, nutritious, and often organic, oat milk is a great addition to your morning cereal and coffee, frothing into a barista style latte, or in dessert recipes like smoothies, pancakes, and ice cream. We've picked our ten favourites from loved brands like Alpro and Oatly across UK supermarkets, and ranked the best tasting buys with top health benefits. We'll also hear advice from nutritionist Jenna Hope on the benefits oat milk in your diet.
Jenna Hope has an undergraduate and a masters degree in nutrition. She is registered with the Association for Nutrition and is hugely passionate about ensuring that products which claim to be healthy really are as they say. Jenna works with individuals, brands, corporate clients and the media to help people with the smart ways nutrition can change their life.
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Jenna Hope has an undergraduate and a master's degree in nutrition. She is registered with the Association for Nutrition and is hugely passionate about ensuring that products which claim to be healthy really are as they say. Jenna works with individuals, brands, corporate clients, and the media to help people with the smart ways nutrition can change their life.
Keep up-to-date with Jenna through her website and Instagram page where she shares her advice on not only nutrition, but also mental wellness and some absolutely delicious, yet healthy recipe ideas for you to try at home!
Some oat milks are now available in a 'barista edition' or 'foamable' variety, meaning they're specifically aimed at replicating a frothy cappuccino or luxurious latte. Whereas regular oat milks are suitable for most recipes including things like pancakes, cereal and baking.
While there isn't often a huge variation, many barista blends have a higher fat content which means they're much creamier in texture and taste. Some also add an 'acidity regulator', which helps to, well, regulate the acidity levels in your drink, as it's coffee's high acidity that causes curdling and splitting when mixed with lower-pH plant milks. So, pick this variety for high-quality drinks that rival your favourite coffee shop.
If you are making vegan pancakes or you're doing a spot of baking, check out our favourite vegan cookbooks here.
Barista oat milks are far more desirable from a taste perspective and they really provide a creamy and delicious taste.
Traditionally we drank cow's milk as a source of calcium which famously strengthens our bones and teeth, and is also vital to healthy heart function and muscle regeneration. The NHS recommends adults get approximately 700 grams of calcium daily.
Children generally need a little less (the required intake starts at 350 g and rises to 550 g between one and ten years old), but if you are feeding oat milk to youngsters between 11 and 18 then 800 grams is the target intake. Lots of oat milks on the market today are fortified with extra calcium, so keep an eye on the label.
Oat milks should be fortified with calcium as swapping dairy milk for oat milk can increase the risk of calcium deficiency. Calcium plays a key role in supporting bone and teeth health, heart health and muscle function. In order for oat milk to be classified as a source of calcium, it must contain at least 15% of the recommended daily intake for calcium.
Naysayers often accuse plant milks in general of lacking the vitamins that cow's milk contains, but in fact almost all oat milks you can buy online in the UK have been enriched with vitamins (on top of those naturally occurring in oats!) Check out our spec tables to see what vitamins have been added to your oats.
Oat milks should be fortified with Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Calcium at a bare minimum. Some brands are now fortifying with iodine too. Iodine is an incredibly important micronutrient which plays a role in regulating the thyroid function. Iodine is challenging to get from a vegan diet and therefore fortified oat milk is hugely beneficial.
Oats are a great source of fibre and vitamins but do have a higher fat content than some other grains used to produce plant milk. They're largely the healthy kind – polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – which actually aid healthy brain function and promotes glowing skin.
The fat you need to look out for is the saturated stuff, which among other things can lead to excessive weight gain and poor heart health. According to the NHS we should limit our intake of saturated fat to 20 g a day (women) and 30g a day (men), and less than this for children.
Oat milk is often higher in energy than many other dairy-free alternative milks. If you're looking for those with lower calories then limit those with added oils. Although, generally monounsaturated oils play a key role in supporting wellbeing, brain function, hormone production and joint health.
Many oat milks contain either rapeseed oil or sunflower oil, both of which have a neutral taste, bring the milk's fat content up to the desired level and also help create the thick, creamy texture many of us love. But be careful because it means some milks are higher in fat than others.
For a subtler taste, or for anyone following a calorie controlled diet, there are some smashing oat milks made without added oil. Take a glance at our handy spec tables to see both fat contents, and which are oil-free, too.
Many plant-based milks are available for people with lactose intolerance, as some people can't consume soy or any nut-based milks due to allergies, intolerances or health concerns. Therefore, oat milks with added pea protein are a good way of getting some plant-based goodness into them with no downsides.
Oats in themselves are gluten-free, but mass-produced oat products often risk contamination if the oats are prepared or packed alongside gluten-rich grains such as rye, barley and, of course, wheat.
Double-check that your oat milk is free from gluten if you live with coeliac disease or suffer adverse reactions to gluten-heavy foods, because even a trace of gluten can disrupt a gluten free diet.
Oats are technically gluten-free although in order for oat milks to be classified as gluten-free they must not be contaminated with any gluten-containing ingredient; some oat milks may contain gluten-containing ingredients. As a result, opt for a labelled gluten-free milk to ensure you're not at risk of contamination.
Have a look at the origin of your oat milk and consider supporting UK-based businesses while you shop. Locally sourced food always has a lower carbon footprint compared with those imported and that's always best for the planet.
There are some wonderful – and seriously moreish – oat milks produced across Europe and the world, but if you're interested in keeping smaller business afloat closer to home, your weekly or monthly stock of oat milk could be the way to do that!
Oat milk is of course dairy free, and for the best Dairy-Free Cheeses check out our guide.
Shopping locally is beneficial for supporting the environment and the local economy. Where possible opt for products which have not travelled half-way across the world to help reduce carbon emissions.
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Oat M*lk Barista
Hipster-Approved, Barista-Style Milk From London
Oat Drink Barista Edition
Wonderfully Creamy and Suitable for All Kinds of Recipes
Pure Oaty Gluten-Free Oat Drink
A Gluten-Free and Organic Barista Blend
Oat Drink Barista Edition
UK-Made Oat Milk That's Suitable for Both Coffee and Cooking
Barista Oat Milk
Protein-Rich and Perfect for Lattes
Organic Longlife Oat Drink
Organic Oats, Water, Sea Salt and Not a Thing More!
A Calcium-Rich Oat Milk With Added Vitamins
Organic Oat Drink
Organic Gluten-Free Oat Milk Packed With Flavour
Chocolate Oat Drink
An After School Treat, the Vegan Way
Dairy Free Unsweetened Oat Milk
An Opulent 5-Ingredient Milk
This delectable oat milk is produced and packaged in the UK, East London to be exact, and besides its trendy cartoon-adorned packaging, it also boasts a great flavour and coffee-compatibility.
High in good fats but low in saturates, this oat milk is creamy in all the right ways and has been created by baristas, for baristas, so you know it'll make the perfect flat white. Choose this multi-pack so you're stocked up for months, or order individually.
You really cannot beat Oatly's barista edition oat milk for a hot cup of veritable nectar. Maybe you're a tea addict and find other plant milks too watery, or you're aiming to recreate that coffee shop latte at home. Either way, make this milk your go-to for drinks, cereal, baking, or anything else you can think of.
It has added calcium (some 120 mg per glass) and also vitamins D2, B12 and riboflavin. Fatty in a good way, the ultra-creamy consistency would convince even the most doubtful. It also boasts the benefit of fatty acids, while the saturates content is nice and low. More tea? Us too.
We love this creamy milk alternative from Glebe Farm in southern England. As well as being available in bulk, this professional level, barista-friendly milk is blended especially to help you create a posh latte in the comfort of your kitchen. And we're not complaining.
This milk is gluten-free, so it's a great shout for vegans or lactose avoiders who are also gluten intolerant, and it is very low in saturated fat which is another bonus. Support a local business, save pennies and enjoy a lush cuppa!
This lesser-known brand hasn't made it to many supermarket shelves just yet, but we're sure it will soon. It's tasty, affordable and made by independent oat-aficionado Tom Mercer right here in the UK.
Packed with calcium as well as key vitamins D, B2 and B12, this oat milk guarantees a creamy cuppa, the perfect cappuccino, and an unsweetened yet very rich milk substitute for any recipe sweet or savoury. Plus, it only contains 0.6 grams of saturated fat – cheers to that!
This barista edition of Alpro's popular oat milk is enriched with pea protein and works beautifully in teas, frothy coffees and iced milk drinks alike. It's fortified with vitamins D, B2 and B12 too, meaning you get the health benefits of cow's milk with none of the pain.
It gets its creaminess from just a little sunflower oil and the aforementioned peas, and gets its sweetness only from naturally-occurring sugars. With just 0.1 grams of saturated fat, it's as tasty as it is light.
Now we move on to Oatly's classic organic option, which obviously has the benefits of being crafted from GMO-free oats, but is also made completely without oil, giving it a texture many oat milk lovers prefer.
Notably, this milk contains beta glucan, a fibre which is said to have impressive benefits for your heart health, including the capacity to lower cholesterol. It's very low in saturated fats and subtle-tasting yet rich and delicious, too.
Alpro's unsweetened oat milk contains chicory root fibre and sunflower oil to give it its particularly light and drinkable texture. It stirs well into tea and blends beautifully into cakes and puddings, and it's naturally sweet without any added sugar.
The biggest selling point of Alpro's formula is the fact its packed with healthful goodies such as 120 mg of calcium and vitamins B2, B12 and D2, which together have great benefits for your brain function, mood and skin.
With just three natural Ingredients - oats, water and sea Salt. - this is a naturally Gluten-Free, Vegan oat milk with a great taste, that works very well in tea or over cereal.
Plenish is very strict about using only organic, sustainably-sourced oats of the highest quality, and don't use any additives like gums, oils, lecithin or carrageenan.
What could be more nostalgic (and delectable) than a sweetly refreshing glass of chocolate milk at the end of a busy day? While it isn't low in sugar, it does have the added advantages of calcium, riboflavin and vitamins B12 and D2.
Plus, this thick, creamy oat milk contains just 0.2 g of saturated fat per 100 ml so you can sip it pretty guilt-free. Drinking it with an episode of Neighbours is optional. Use a reusable straw for maximum planet points!
This milk is a little on the costly side and comes in a slightly smaller volume than others on our list, so it's not the most budget-friendly pick. It is, however, pretty lip-smacking and only uses 5 ingredients!
Creamy and sweet without being sickly, this oat milk blends spring water, oats and a sprinkle of sea salt for a light, refreshing taste. Ten per cent of the profits from this yummy milk go to charities aiming to alleviate world hunger, too.
"Oat milk can be used in a variety of recipes from stews, curries, baked goods, porridge, custard and more! Get creative with your oat milk, as it's sweeter than dairy milk and some of the other milk alternatives it can be a great way to increase sweetness in baked goods without increasing the sugar content."
Waiting impatiently for your delivery and need a quick fix for your cereal? Here's Minimalist Baker's easy recipe, which only uses a couple of ingredients and has lots of helpful tips. Plus, you can sweeten or flavour it however you prefer!
Here are the ingredients:
Written and researched by Annie Hopkins
No. 1：Minor Figures｜Oat M*lk Barista ｜Pack of 6
No. 2：Oatly｜Oat Drink Barista Edition
No. 3：Glebe Farm｜Pure Oaty Gluten-Free Oat Drink ｜Pack of 10
No. 4：Moma｜Oat Drink Barista Edition
No. 5：Alpro｜Barista Oat Milk
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