It has been a long time since I have had a glass of cow’s milk. I will admit that sometimes cream sneaks its way into my coffee when I stretch my vegan tendencies to vegan-ish.
When I was a kid, milk was something that I was forced to drink each night with dinner. Our parents insisted that it was the only way to grow and be healthy.
I often forewent the milk and I grew just as tall as my milk-swigging sister.
Marion Nestle is a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. She says, “I’m not aware of any evidence for significant nutrient deficiencies in the American diet,” she says. “Milk is not essential after infancy, and people who choose not to drink it can get those nutrients from other sources quite easily.” (1)
Europeans used almond milk in almost every medieval cookbook. So, although it may not feel like it, nut milks are anything but novel.
We have not invented the wheel, but we can’t deny that plant milks are on the rise in North America. Dairy milk sales have been falling and will continue to fall through at least 2020, while nondairy milks grew 61% between 2012 and 2017.
Oat milk hit the market in a big way (so big that Forbes magazine asked: Is 2019 The Year Of the Oat?). (2) Perhaps this is because oat milk most closely resembles dairy milk, so people can have a taste of their childhood while moving away from overconsuming dairy. It is thick and creamy and satisfying. It also has a much smaller carbon footprint than dairy milk or almond milk.
Planet Oat milk has become so popular, Amazon cannot keep it on the shelves. (3) It also seems to be, at the minimum, $4 a cartoon.
This can add up if you have a toddler or a teenage in your house.
The main ingredients in oat milk are oats and water. On their own, they couldn’t be more economical. If you wanted to make a simple, creamy oat milk on your own, the Internet is swarming with DIY recipes. On the Minimalist Baker (4) blog, it is a matter of throwing everything into a high-speed blender. 4 cups of water. 1 cup of oats. A date or two for sweetness (pitted). Maybe even some vanilla extract, if you want to get fancy. Strain through a T-shirt or a thin towel. Shake before using.
Sounds well and good, but the oat milks in the cartons have been fortified in such a way that they can stand neck-and-neck with their mooing counterparts.
Turns out, you can do this at home too.
To any recipe you have decided to hack off the Internet, you can add some liquid supplements. Like any supplements, the trick is not to go nuts. Moderation in all things, especially supplements.
You can certainly fortify with what you feel may be lacking in your diet (for example, if you are vegan, vitamin B12). You can also add calcium and magnesium, whether in the form of a liquid vitamin or in whole food that gets whizzed in the blender. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds is 129 mg of calcium, while there is 125mg of calcium in 100 grams of cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk is not the only option anymore. Moooove over.
1. Kemper, Benjamin. Nut Milks Are Milk, Says Almost Every Culture Across The Globe. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/nut-milks-are-milk-says-almost-every-culture-across-globe-180970008/ Retrieved 15 July 2019.
2. Kasierman, Beth. Is 2019 The Year Of The Oat? Forbes Magazine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bethkaiserman/2019/01/29/2019-year-of-oat-milk/#da483672e8d8 Retrieved 15 July 2019.
3. Nanos, Janelle. Why Is Oat Milk Suddenly So Popular, And What’s It Actually Like? Boston Globe. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/05/19/with-dairy-wane-oat-milk-becomes-sensation/LVLWI8b4aBzNKbIIPVhwUL/story.html Retrieved 15 July 2019
4. How To Make Oat Milk. Minimalist Baker. https://minimalistbaker.com/make-oat-milk/ Retrieved 15 July 2019.
5. Homemade Fortified Almond Milk Loaded With Nutrients. Vegan Momma. https://www.vegan-momma.com/homemade-fortified-almond-milk.html Retrieved 15 July 2019.