The world used to be a simple place. There was no complication, no overanalyzing, no exaggeration of the basics, just the core four: Skim, 2%, 1%, and Whole. 

Now the world is plagued by pickiness, fitting the wants and needs of every palette of every person. Even when it comes to milk.

A basic aspect of one's every day life, milk has played a critical role in maintaining the health of humans for hundreds of years. Yet, today's society has found that basic milk is not enough. People have chosen to upgrade to various flavors such as almond, nut, coconut and even developed a lactose-free milk which, can that honestly still be considered 'milk'?

Although many of these milks have integrated their way into the norms of our world, there is still one that has yet to prevail as a constant in your dairy aisle. Oat Milk.

What is Oat Milk?

Obviously the first question that comes to mind here is very simple: can you milk an oat? Unfortunately, the answer is not as exciting as I'm sure you would have hoped.

Oat milk consists of steel-cut oats soaked in water, blended and then strained with a cheese cloth or a special nut milk bag. A seven-step process goes into the creation of the liquid categorized by milling, enzyming, separation, ingredients, heat treatment, sterile tank and lastly, packaging. 

The oats are first mixed with water and milled into a soft mixture. The mixture is then placed into an enzyming tank where natural enzymes are added to break the starch into smaller components such as maltose (or malt sugar) for a natural sweetener. The bran is then removed leaving an oat base of protein, fat and carbohydrates.

After the boring science part of the process is over, the good stuff comes into play that makes each type of oat milk unique. Although each milk contains the same base, some have different ingredients such as coca powder or seat-salt depending on the desired taste. All ingredients used are vegan and gluten-free.

Jessica Ruderman

The products are then properly heated and sterilized before being packaged to ship out across the globe.

What results is the creamy 'milk' that is changing lives one coffee, latte and bowl of cereal at a time. 

How do I get Oat Milk?

The original Oatly, a Swedish company, are the founders of the widely produced Oat Milk that follows this process. Although one can attempt to make their own Oat Milk at home, Oatly does it best. 

Oatly offers Oatmilk products in multiple forms such as the regular Oatmilk, Chocolate Oatmilk and Barista Edition Oatmilk. On the official site, the company also hints at future international products coming soon such as new flavors Orange Mango and Chai as well as Oatgurt!

So, why Oatmilk?

Besides it being a great alternative for all of those who can't enjoy dairy or nut products, it does make a difference interchanging oats for cows. Substituting oat milk in your coffee or espresso latte makes the drink creamier, adding both to the texture and overall flavor. 

Oatmilk has also been suggested as a base for pre or post work-out smoothies since the carbohydrates are a good way to replenish energy. The milk can even be substituted in recipes to make creamy soups or baked goods. Basically anything cow milk can do, oatmilk can do better.

Everyone has their preferred choice of milk to pair perfectly with their breakfast specialty or to match the specifics of a passed down family recipe. Yet, as the times change and our world evolves, so does the number of things we can milk.

Today, oats are the newest form of milk to choose from. Tomorrow it could be something different. It's hard to stray from tradition, but as a loyal 2% drinker myself, I would recommend Oat Milk to a friend. And, yes, that means you.