Best Oat Milk Brands

The 8 Best Oat Milk Brands in 2019

Oat milk is becoming the go-to dairy alternative, not just for its creamy and mild taste, but for being dairy, soy and nut free. It is also low, if not free from gluten and like oats, oat drinks are also rich in beta glucans that help promote heart health.

Choosing an oat milk may seem daunting at first as there are sweetened, unsweetened and even flavored oat milks. There are also two distinctive types, regular oat, or barista style oat milks, which can be steamed for use in coffee drinks. As well as reviewing a number of oat drinks, this article considers why oat milk is becoming popular, its nutritional profile and some of the safety concerns that you may want to consider when looking at the best oat milk brand available.

​Best Pick

Pacific Natural Foods Oat Milk Barista Series

For a perfectly frothed latte, the vegan and kosher pack of 12 Natural Foods Barista Series oat milk (32 fl. oz) is our best pick.

​Budget Pick

Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte – Nitro Cold Brew Latte

For a nitrogen-boosted oat milk latte on the go, 12 Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte – Nitro Cold Brew Coffee (12.7 fl. oz cans) is our award-winning budget pick.


1. ​Pacific Natural Foods Oat Milk Barista Series  

Highlighted Features

  • 12 pack of 32 fl. oz cartons of dairy and soy free oat drink
  • A barista style which is suitable for using in coffees
  • 180 calories per serving with 23 grams of carbs
  • Certified kosher

A vegan, dairy and soy free oat milk, the pack of 12 Natural Foods Barista Series oat milk (32 fl. oz) is also kosher. As a barista oat milk, this is ideal for steaming and using in coffees and was developed with assistant from coffee professionals and expert baristas.

This oat milk does contain added sugars and each serving contains 8 grams of total fat and 23 grams of carbs. It has not been fortified with any extra vitamin D and does contain carrageenan as an additive. Some drinkers consider this a thinner oat milk.

​Pros

  • check
    Barista oat drink
  • check
    Dairy and soy free
  • check
    Suitable for steaming
  • check
    12 carton pack
  • check
    Kosher

​Cons

  • check
    Thinner than comparable oat milks
  • check
    Does contain added sugars
  • check
    Also contains carrageenan

2. Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte – Nitro Cold Brew Latte 

Highlighted Features

  • 12 pack of 12.7 fl. oz cans of oat milk latte which is nitrogen infused to give a rich and creamy head
  • Non-GMO, certified organic and free from dairy and gluten
  • Ready to drink and does not need refrigerating first
  • Comes with a satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer

Certified organic and GMO and dairy free, the award-winning pack of 12 Rise Brewing Co. Oat Milk Latte – Nitro Cold Brew Coffee (12.7 fl. oz cans) is also free from any artificial sweeteners and gluten. It has been infused with nitrogen to give it a ‘whoosh’ when the can opens as well as a rich and creamy head when poured out.

This oat milk coffee is a ready to drink item so although ideal for use in smoothies or cocktails, it cannot be used in the same ways as regular oat milk can be. Some drinkers consider this drink to be a little too sweet. This oat milk latte comes with a satisfaction guarantee and does not need refrigerating before drinking.

​Pros

  • check
    Oak milk latte
  • check
    Ready to drink
  • check
    GMO-free
  • check
    Organic
  • check
    Gluten-free

​Cons

  • check
    Not as versatile as regular oat milk
  • check
    You may find it a little sweet

3. Pacific Foods Organic Oat Vanilla Plant-Based Beverage

Highlighted Features

  • Pack of 12 32 fl. oz USDA organic fortified oat drink with vanilla
  • Suitable for using as it is, in drinks, cooking and baking
  • Is vegan, free from cholesterol and does not contain any added sugars
  • Free from preservatives and GMOs and the cartons are BPA-free

Certified USDA organic, the pack of 12 Pacific Foods oat plant-based beverage vanilla (32 fl. oz) is vegan, soy, lactose and cholesterol free. It also contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin D. This oat milk is also suitable to use in cooking.

It does not contain any added sugars, preservatives or GMOs and it and comes in BPA-free cartons. Some regular drinkers have commented that this now contains less calcium than it used to, but this has arisen due to a recent change in FDA regulations around calcium and vitamin D recommended daily values. This oat drink also contains carrageenan, yet the consistency may still a be a little thin for some.

​Pros

  • check
    Fortified oat drink with vanilla
  • check
    Organic
  • check
    No added sugars
  • check
    Use for cooking and baking
  • check
    BPA-free cartons

​Cons

  • check
    ​Not gluten free
  • check
    ​Now contains less of the recommended daily value of calcium and vitamin D
  • check
    ​Contains carrageenan

4. Elmhurst Milked Oats 

Highlighted Features

  • Six pack of 32 fl. oz milked oats drink which are Whole Grain Councils approved
  • Made through HydroRelease process to separate and draw nutrition from the oats
  • Non-GMO Project Verified, kosher and dairy free
  • Creamy and smooth consistency without any added emulsifiers
  • Sweetened with natural cane sugar

Made with a method called HydroRelease to separate and draw the nutrients from the oats, the pack of 6 Elmhurst milked oats (32 fl. oz) has a smooth and creamy consistency without the addition of any emulsifiers. These milked oats are stamped Whole Grains Council and each serving contains 20 grams of whole grain.

It is also free from dairy, is kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified. This has been sweetened with cane sugar, so you may find it a little too sweet and some have commented that this does have an aftertaste to it. It may also be thinner than comparable oat milks.

​Pros

  • check
    Milked oats
  • check
    Whole Grains Council approved
  • check
    Kosher
  • check
    Non-GMO Project Verified
  • check
    ​Vegan

​Cons

  • check
    Can be thinner than other oat drink brands
  • check
    Some drinkers have found this tastes a little too sweet
  • check
    You may get a slight aftertaste from this brand

5. Oatly Oat Drink Barista Edition 

Highlighted Features

  • One 33.8 fl. oz carton of barista oat drink
  • Suitable for steaming and using in coffees
  • This fortified milk uses rapeseed oil rather than canola oil
  • Is free from any added sugars

Free from gluten and dairy, the Oatly oat drink barista edition (33.8 fl. oz) does not contain any added sugar. As a barista oat drink, this is ideal for foaming and using in coffee. This is a fortified milk that uses rapeseed oil. This product can be much more expensive that other oat milks as there are occasional product shortages and it is also an import. There can also be a risk of this being damaged during shipping.

​Pros

  • check
    Barista oat drink
  • check
    Gluten free
  • check
    Ideal for coffees
  • check
    Fortified
  • check
    No added sugars

​Cons

  • check
    Cost is at a premium to other oat drinks
  • check
    Risk of damage during shipping as an imported product

6. Oatly Organic Creamy Oat  

Highlighted Features

  • An organic oat cream alternative which contains just 13% fat
  • Suitable for using in drinks, cooking or baking – exactly as single cream
  • Vegan and does not contain any soy or lactose

The Oatly organic creamy oat cream alternative (8.45 fl. oz) is a vegan low fat dairy alternative containing just 13% fat and no lactose or soy. Suitable for using in the same way as single cream, this alternative can be used in drinks, for cooking and baking. This does cost more than comparable cream alternatives as there can be occasional product shortages and this is currently an imported product.

​Pros

  • check
    Oat cream alternative
  • check
    Organic
  • check
    For drinks, cooking and baking
  • check
    Low fat
  • check
    Soy free

​Cons

  • check
    Costs significantly more than other cream alternatives
  • check
    Can be product shortages
  • check
    Small 8.45 fl. oz carton

7. Pacific Foods Organic Oat Original Plant-Based Beverage

Highlighted Features

  • USDA organic 12 pack of 32 fl. oz original oat drink
  • Ideal for use in drinks, cooking and baking
  • Dairy, lactose, soy and cholesterol-free
  • The cartons are made without any BPA

The fortified pack of 12 Pacific Foods organic oat plant-based beverage - original (32 fl. oz) is suitable for baking and cooking with as well as drinking. It is low fat and free from cholesterol, lactose, dairy and soy. This drink is USDA certified organic, GMOs are avoided, and its carton is BPA-free.

Some consumers are not fond of the taste of this when compared to other oat drinks and some consider it too sweet, although the current recipe for this does not appear to have any added sugars. There can be a risk of these cartons being damaged during shipping.

​Pros

  • check
    Oat drink
  • check
    Use for drinking and cooking
  • check
    Organic
  • check
    12 pack
  • check
    BPA-free cartons

​Cons

  • check
    Its taste can be different to other oat drinks
  • check
    You could find this a little too sweet
  • check
    Cartons can get damaged during shipping

8. Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend (32 fl. oz) 

Highlighted Features

  • Six pack of 32 fl. oz barista oat drink made from North American gluten free oats
  • This is an unsweetened oat drink for using in drinks and recipes
  • Free from nuts, dairy, soy and allergens
  • Non-GMO Project Verified and kosher

Free from stabilizers, the pack of 6 Califia Farms oat barista blend (32 fl. oz) is kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified. Dairy free and nut free, it is also free from allergens, soy and gluten. Made from North American gluten free whole rolled oats, it has also been produced unsweetened and is suitable for use with coffees as well as in cooking or baking. The odd buyer has found that it may not froth as well as comparable barista oat milks and likewise, it is not quite as thick.

​Pros

  • check
    Barista oat drink
  • check
    Unsweetened
  • check
    Kosher
  • check
    GMO-free
  • check
    Gluten free

​Cons

  • check
    Does not froth as well as other barista blends
  • check
    Thinner than comparable oat drinks

Things to Consider Before Buying Oat Milk Drinks

Oat milk is made by soaking and blending oats and then straining it to sperate the milk. Because oat milk does not have the same nutritional value as whole oats, it is often enriched or fortified with iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A and D. One cup of cow’s milk or one cup of a fortified milk would both provide around 20% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A and vitamin D.

Although calorie content can be similar between oat drinks and cow’s milk, oat milk is higher in carbs and fiber than cow’s milk, soy milk or almond milk, although it has less protein than dairy or soy. Oat milk is higher fiber, which as well as helping to maintain heart health, the higher fiber diet is also linked to better weight control and potentially weight loss .

One concern with a number of oat drinks is that they have been sweetened. If you want an unsweetened milk, then look for one labelled as ‘no added sugar’ and also check its nutritional information to make sure there is 0g next to ‘added sugar’. Those which are barista style tend to have more sugar added to give a better consistency to the oat milk as it is being steamed. Flavored oat milks usually contain more sugars as well.

Oat Milk and Diets

As well as being dairy and lactose free, oat milk is also nut and soy free. Although oats are typically gluten free, they are often processed in factories where other grains are processed, which means they can be contaminated with gluten. Some oat milks are available which are certified as being made with gluten free oats and/or in gluten-free processing facilities.

Oat milk is generally safe for babies but as it cannot provide the same nutrition as breast milk or cow’s milk, a baby should only be fed on oat milk with pediatrician guidance.

Oats, Beta Glucans and Heart Health

Like oats, oat milk contains the soluble fiber called beta glucans, although there are still some questions as to whether beta glucans are as ‘potent’ from oat milk as they are from pure oats.

An 8.6 fl. oz glass of oat milk will give one gram of beta glucans. In comparison, a bowl of porridge containing 1.4 oz of oats provides double the amount of beta glucans.

When consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat, oats can contribute to modest reduction in LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and total cholesterol. For every gram of beta glucans (soluble fiber) consumed, total cholesterol can decrease by about 1.43 mg/dL.

A higher intake of beta glucans (more than 10 g/0.35 oz per day) does not seem to increase its effectiveness though. At present, it is recommended that 3 grams of soluble fiber be taken to lower blood cholesterol levels although some studies show at least 3.6 grams of daily fiber is needed to lower cholesterol.

Oats can also contribute to better health, although only products containing whole oats with at least 750 milligrams of soluble fiber per serving can be labelled as possibly reducing the risk of heart disease. Higher fiber foods are also linked with the possibility of reducing risk of stomach cancer and blood sugar levels.

Glyphosates and Oats

A study undertaken found that all oat food samples tested contained residues of glyphosates – an active ingredient in a leading brand of herbicide. Out of 45 products made from conventionally grown oats, 43 of these tested positive for glyphosates and 31 of these had higher levels than what the Environmental Working Group (EWG) report as being protective of child health.

Discussions continue with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) around a limit on glyphosates for oats used in children’s foods.

Carrageenan in Oat Milk

Carrageenan is used to emulsify and thicken drinks and foods and can often be added to oat milks and nut milks. Carrageenan is also common in vegetarian and vegan products - used in place of gelatin. Carrageenan is a natural additive which comes from red seaweed.

Debate around the safety of carrageenan has been ongoing since the 1960s, as some evidence has shown links with digestive system impairment in the form of bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food allergies. Carrageenan has also been linked to inflammation which contributes to a number of disorders such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Carrageenan should be food-grade but carrageenan which has degraded becomes carcinogenic. Degraded carrageenan is not approved to use in food but testing of food-grade carrageenan has found a percentage of the samples to be degraded carrageenan.

Unfortunately, as much of the research into carrageenan has been carried out in the laboratory, with most side effects reported by people to have been self-reported, more research is needed to ascertain how strong the link is between carrageenan and health risk.

Carrageenan is still approved for use in food by the FDA and it has to be shown on an ingredients list, although the National Organic Standards Board removed this ingredient from their approved list in 2016. This means that an oat milk certified USDA Organic no longer contains any carrageenan.

Conclusion

Although oat milk is becoming so popular there can be supply shortages at times, there are still some concerns around levels of glyphosates in oats and the use of additives such as carrageenan in some brands. Like whole grain oats though, oat drinks can offer benefits to cholesterol levels and heart health and oat milk is an ideal alternative for those who suffer with intolerances or allergies or have other dietary needs.

We hope you found our article interesting and have learned more about why oat drinks are becoming more mainstream. If you converted to oat milk some time ago, or are completely new to this creamy alternative, we do hope that you will now be confident in choosing the best oat milk brand for your needs, whether for brewing the perfect latte or for using in your cooking and baking.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Scroll to Top