Finding good dairy alternatives can be a minefield; the saturated market really does make it tricky to navigate. To discover why I’d recommend you try oat milk above others, read on…
For years and years, I have tolerated the taste of dairy milk. I adore cheese, and I’m partial to a bit of Greek or Natural yoghurt here and there, but I have never warmed to dairy milk. So, after 23 years of trying, and failing, to make do, I think I’ve found the solution!
Oat milk never really crossed my radar. When it came to dairy alternatives, most people talked about almond milk and coconut milk. But, after trying these, I discovered they didn’t quite make for the best cup of tea.
So, on discovering the wonderful world of oat milk, what makes this the Queen of the dairy alternatives? Find out, here…
Why is Dairy Milk Bad?
Dairy milk, and the dairy industry in general, has received an awful lot of backlash in recent years. What with the vegan movement, and animal cruelty coming harshly into the media’s view, how could this industry not be called out? After all, some of the atrocities that occur include:
- Unnecessary mass breeding
- The huge amount of cows contributes highly to our greenhouse gas emissions
- Calves are ripped from their mothers at a young age so we can use the milk, who are then sent into the veal industry
- Poor conditions for lactating mothers, who often have their horns removed and end up with udder infections
- Artificial insemination occurs, to keep mothers lactating
- Unsustainable farming can lead to the loss of important natural lands, like prairies and forests
- Use of constant electricity
- Large expanses of land are utilised for this industry
- You need to grow a huge amount of vegetation to feed the cows
I won’t sit here and say that the entirety of the meat and dairy industry is bad; there are the exceptions to the rule, who treat their cows like family. What I should say is that mass farming is the problem.
I also can’t claim to be an angel at eating a vegan diet. I am, by no means, a vegan, and I predominantly eat a vegetarian diet. I am imperfectly vegetarian, and I think a world of people who try, imperfectly, to do their bit, is better than doing nothing at all. If we were to all reduce our meat and dairy intake, we’d have little need for the harsh nature of mass production.
So, why have I chosen oat milk above other dairy alternatives to milk?
What are the Dairy Alternatives?
Okay, so you’ve heard about what makes dairy milk such a controversial diet choice. Now, you may be wondering, “what can I use instead of dairy?” Well, there are a number of alternatives, including:
- Oat milk
- Almond milk
- Soya milk
- Coconut milk
- Macadamia milk
- Cashew milk
- Rice milk
- Quinoa milk
- Hemp milk
- Flax milk
- Walnut milk
- Pea milk
- Peanut milk
It’s pretty clear that almost any nut can be blended up to form some sort of milk substitute. I can’t say I’ve tried every single milk substitute I’ve listed here. But, I think the key for me is whether the milk tastes nice in a good ol’ British cuppa… and oat milk does the job!
Which Milk Substitute is Healthiest?
According to Healthline.com, oat milk nutrition actually makes it the second most healthy dairy free milk out there! Here, I’ve broken down the top three on the healthline list, with some of the stats they provide, to show you which rock the health test:
1. How Healthy is Hemp Milk?
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
2. How Healthy is Oat Milk?
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 3 grams
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Fibre: 2 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
3. How Healthy is Almond Milk?
- Calories: 41
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
Cow’s milk actually comes in at number 5 on the list! So, we’re beating our old self if we start consuming on of these top 3 milks in our daily cups of tea or coffee.
Which Milk Substitute is the Most Sustainable?
Clearly, oat milk stands up to the test when it comes to which dairy milk alternative is the most healthy. That said, one of the oat milk disadvantages is that it isn’t necessarily the best for the environment. Naturally, it requires a fair bit of land cultivation, as well as processing, to get it to the lovely white liquid we love.
That said, it certainly isn’t far off from the most sustainable of the bunch! In fact, on average, I think it seems to be one of the lowest in terms of emissions, land, and water use overall. This infographic breaks it down pretty neatly:
Oat Milk: My Favourite Dairy Alternative
Considering all these bonuses, it’s clear that oat milk is one of the best alternatives to dairy milk. Although the oat milk calories are one of the largest amounts of any of our substitutes, I think the sustainability of this option definitely makes up for it. After all, that’s really what it’s all about!
To top it all off, oat milk is also one of the best dairy alternatives which tastes the most like milk. If I had to describe the taste, the closest thing to it is rice pudding, in my opinion.
This makes it a really great substitute for anyone who isn’t ready to go vegan, but wants to make a small difference in any way they can. It’s also a really great choice if you’re looking for dairy substitutes for lactose intolerance. It has that creamy, milky taste, so, if you’re looking for any dairy free for beginners options, oat milk is your gal!
What’s Your Favourite of the Dairy Alternatives?
Are you looking to make a sustainable change to your diet? Do you want to make a change towards veganism, but think you’ll miss the creamy taste of real dairy milk? Then I think you’ll like oat milk.
Have you tried oat milk yourself, and agree that it’s the best dairy alternative? Or, do you disagree, and think there’s another option that really hits the spot for you? I’d love to hear, in the comments below, what your thoughts are; maybe my mind can be changed…