We’re back it again to give you the best oat milk brands of 2021. We researched, shopped, and tested 12 different brands to bring you the widest variety of oat milk we could find… at least in central Florida.
I can’t wait to share the results with you. Oat milk is something I’m reaching for more and more these days, due to its creamy texture and mild taste. Let’s see how it stacks up in this growing world of plant-based milks.
Oat Milk Nutrition Facts
Like many plant milks (and even dairy milks), oat milk is commonly fortified with vitamins, as well as minerals. Brands do this to compete in the ‘milk’ category. Oats are a healthy grain in their own right, though, as you’ll see below:
- Lowers cholesterol: According to a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine, regular consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks showed lower cholesterol levels.
- Loaded with fiber: 1 cup of oat milk contains 3.3 grams of fiber, 13.2% of the recommended daily intake. If you use this as a base for a green smoothie, then your gut will be thanking you for helping to keep it regular.
- Heart healthy: The soluble fiber in oat milk is also excellent (and necessary) to keep hearts healthy.
- Reduced greenhouse gas emissions: not only does oat milk promote human health, it also promotes environmental health. It takes up hundreds fewer square miles to produce than dairy milk, and uses 1/8th of the water consumption used in the production of almond milk.
- Fortified with B vitamins: Most commercially available oat milk is fortified (as are other dairy and non-dairy milk products). This plant milk specifically, is loaded with B vitamins, which helps the body stay energized, and also promotes heart health.
Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?
I love that oat milk isn’t only a healthy choice for our bodies, but also an environmentally friendly choice for our planet. If you’re sensitive to gluten, then make sure to read the labels and ingredient list closely. Some brands will specify gluten-free oats were used…. yet most don’t. If you’re looking for a gluten-free brand, these are ones that say “gluten free” on them:
- Planet Oats
- Simply Oat
- Chobani (both kinds)
- Forager: states they use “gluten-free oats”
Best Oat Milk Brand
Before I reveal our results, I wanted to break down a little research into oat milk brands. Unlike almond milk, which is categorized as sweetened or unsweetened, and then comes in a variety of flavors, oat milk categories are NOT straightforward. Let’s break down the lingo a little first.
What ‘original’ really means
The goal was to test all of the ‘original’ oat milks we could find. The problem is, brands are not consistent with their labeling, so we had to get a bit creative. Here are all the ways we found ‘original’:
- Less Sweet
- Full Fat
- Less Fat
- Extra Creamy
- Blended with coconut and cashews
How’s that for clarity?! While you can be fairly certain that any almond milk brand has an unsweetened original version, this wasn’t the case with oat milk. We did find the zero sugar plain version Chobani this year (yay!). Yet we couldn’t find a fully unsweetened version of Good and Gather. Then we had to pick between the original and barista version of Oatly! which threw us for a loop. I still think we came up with a pretty comprehensive list of what is on the market right now at the national level. So let’s get on to the results!
Best oat milk brands of 2021
To make the table easy to decode, I used a leaf scoring system (because green is best!):
While Califia was the stand out winner in all categories, most of the milks we tested were pretty middle-of-the-road. Only 3 brands, Califia, Elmhurst, and Forager, boasted a simple ingredient list. Simply Oat has a simpler ingredient list as well, yet included the ever elusive ‘natural flavors,’ which dethroned its seat from our cleanest list.
Since most of the milks had several additives and gums, they were disqualified from ‘dark green status.’ I def recommend checking the calorie + sugar content of any oat beverage you purchase. The sugar content alone ranges from 1g to 10g between brands, so we felt them worth mentioning:
- Natural by Nature: 120 calories, 10g added sugar
- Trader Joe’s: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
- Good + Gather: 90 calories, 9g added sugar
- Chobani Extra Creamy Original: 120 calories, 8g added sugar
- Oatly: 120 calories, 7g added sugar
- Califia: 130 calories, 4g added sugar
- Planet Oat: 90 calories, 4g added sugar
- Silk: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
- Simply Oat Original: 80 calories, 4g added sugar
- Forager: 45 calories, 2g sugar (no added sugar)
- Elmhurst: 80 calories, 1g sugar (no added sugar)
- Chobani Zero Sugar Plain: 80 calories, 0g sugar
I’m still a firm believer that the best plant milks are homemade, so check out my homemade milk recipe and let me know how it compares to your fav store-bought brand.
Where to Buy Oat Milk
All the oat milk in this review was purchased around the Tampa Bay area. Obviously, there are regional grocery stores and brands not available here, and that’s okay. Comment below with your fav oat milk brand + store so we can try to include it next year! My friend Erin shopped at the following stores to get as many oat milk brands as possible:
Oat milk brands are steadily gaining momentum here in the Southeastern United States. For this year’s update, we were able to find 2 additional brands to try: Chobani Zero Sugar Plain and Simply Oat Original.
5 Recipes with Oats
While there were some super great grocery oat milk brands, I still think nothing beats homemade. This oat milk recipe is simple, quick, and delicious. Try it and see how it stacks up against the store-bought competition.
Why wait in a drive-thru when you can make this coffee shop quality treat at home. Sweet, creamy, and oh so delicious, this plant based latte hits all the comfort factors needed to start the day.
This heart-healthy smoothie is loaded with fiber and just the right amount of sweetness. This is the perfect post workout snack, or even a quick breakfast on the go.
These granola bars will keep the family happy all day long. They pack nicely in a daypack or cooler as well. A burst of energy to keep the adventures going.
Jen’s Coconut Granola
Use this incredibly balanced granola as a breakfast with your fav oat milk brand, or a nutritious snack on the go. It can be paired with fresh berries, yogurt, as well as munched on on its own. It’s seriously good, and can be found in the Fresh Start Autumn 21-day cleanse.
One of the many great things about green smoothies is that they are so customizable. Next time you make one, try swapping the liquid base for oat milk to produce a creamier, thicker smoothie. Oat milk can be a great added protein, as well as a thickener for that delicious smoothie bowl.