The 7 Best Oat Milks of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Nutritious, fiber-rich milk

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Oat milk is a non-dairy milk alternative made from—you guessed it!—oats. In its simplest form, the ingredients in oat milk are just oats and water. But in order for deliciously flavored oat milk to land on supermarket shelves, other ingredients are added to help stabilize the product and keep it tasting great.

Nutritionally speaking, each brand of oat milk will have a different nutrient profile based on whether it’s sweetened, unsweetened, fortified, or flavored. Typically, oat milk has less protein than other milk such as dairy milk and soy milk. It also contains more carbohydrates than other plant-based milk varieties, and sweetened versions will have more carbohydrates than dairy milk.

Oat milk does retain some of the fiber from the oats, so you’re getting about 2 grams of fiber per serving of oat milk you drink. And while good taste is certainly a personal preference, oat milk is known to taste great and has a creamier texture than many other milk alternatives. This makes it appealing to those who desire a richer milk alternative than something like almond milk.

Here are the best oat milks on the market, according to a dietitian.

Best Overall: Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Oat Milk

Elmhurst 1925 Unsweetened Oat Milk

Elmhurst makes an Unsweetened Oat Milk that is as close to homemade as you can buy. Their unsweetened version of oat milk has only three ingredients—filtered water, whole grain oats, and salt. 

A one-cup serving of Elmhurst Unsweetened Oat Milk provides 80 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. This oat milk also doesn’t have any gums or emulsifiers and it's gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan.

Elmhurst Oat Milk is shelf-stable until opened, so you can stock up on a few cartons to keep in your pantry. The brand also makes Chocolate Oat Milk and Sweetened Oat Milk, which has 4 grams of added sugar per serving.

Stock Your Pantry

Note: The Amazon listing is for a six pack of 32-ounce cartons.

Best Budget: Silk Oat Yeah Plain Oatmilk

Silk Oat Yeah! Plain Oat Milk

Milk alternatives like oat milk can cost significantly more money than regular dairy milk. Non-dairy brand Silk makes an affordable and delicious oat milk option that proves cost-effective thanks to its larger-than-average, 64-ounce size.

Silk’s Plain Oat Milk has 90 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein per one-cup serving. One of the ingredients is sunflower oil, which provides 2.5 grams of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat.

Silk's oat milk is fortified, so it’s also a good source of several micronutrients including calcium, riboflavin, and Vitamins A, D, and B12. If you'd like to try their other options, Silk also makes Extra Creamy, Zero Added Sugar, and Vanilla oat milk.

Best Tasting: OATLY! Oat Drink Organic

OATLY! Original OatMilk

One of the first brands to call attention to oat milk, Oatly makes really delicious-tasting oat milk. Their original version is creamy and goes great with cereal and cookies, and in baking.

One cup of Oatly Oat Milk provides 120 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber (1 gram of which is soluble fiber), and 3 grams of protein. It does have a small amount of saturated fat (0.5 grams) because rapeseed oil is included in the recipe. However, it's also fortified with vitamins and minerals, like calcium and vitamin D.

You can purchase Oatly Oat Milk as a shelf-stable version or refrigerated carton. In addition to the original oat milk, if you can't get enough, Oatly also makes Chocolate Oat Milk, Barista Edition Oat Milk, low-fat oat milk, and oat milk ice cream and yogurt.

Best for Coffee: Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy

Chobani Oat Plain Extra Creamy

You probably recognize Chobani for their popular Greek yogurt, but they also recently started selling oat milk, and it does not disappoint. If you love to add thick and creamy half and half or creamer to your coffee, you will love Chobani’s Extra Creamy Plain Oat Milk.

One cup contains 120 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of added sugars, and 2 grams of protein. And since it’s fortified, this oat milk is an excellent source of calcium and Vitamins A and D.

Chobani makes their oat milk with organic, non-GMO oats. It is a gluten-free product with no preservatives or artificial flavors. For something even creamier, Chobani also offers Oat Milk Coffee Creamer.

Best for Lattes: Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend Milk

Califia Farms Oat Barista Blend Milk

If you enjoy adding oat milk lattes to your morning, you'll need oat milk that heats and froths well like regular dairy milk. Many alternative milk brands make “barista blends” just for this purpose, and Califia Farms has an excellent oat version.

Made specifically for making your favorite lattes, this oat milk whips up frothy and adds full-bodied flavor to your morning beverages. One cup has 130 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of added sugars, and 1 gram of protein. This oat milk is slightly higher in fat than others (7 grams per serving), but the fat helps the milk froth and adds flavor. 

This oat milk has no stabilizers or gums, is gluten- and carrageenan-free, and is non-GMO. The 32-ounce carton is shelf-stable until opened, so you can always have a few cartons stocked in your pantry for when the latte mood strikes.

Stock Your Pantry

Note: The Amazon listing is for a six pack of 32-ounce cartons.

Best Chocolate: Planet Oat Oatmilk Dark Chocolate

Planet Oat Dark Chocolate Oatmilk

Planet Oat takes chocolate milk to the next level with their Dark Chocolate Oat Milk. The rich, not-too-sweet flavor is perfect for when you’re craving a chocolatey treat.

One cup of this dark chocolate oat milk has 140 calories, 2 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. It’s definitely more of a treat than regular or unsweetened oat milk because it has more added sugars at 11 grams per serving. 

Planet Oat Dark Chocolate Oat Milk is an excellent source of calcium and vitamins A and D. In addition to drinking it straight or adding it to your favorite caffeinated drink, you can also use it as a baking ingredient for chocolatey treats like brownies.

Best Low-Sugar : Chobani Oat Zero Sugar Oat Drink

Chobani Zero Sugar Oat Drink

Chobani makes such good oat milk, we had to include two of their products. If you are looking for a low-sugar oat milk, the Chobani Zero Sugar Oat Milk is top of the list. It has a pleasant, creamy consistency and heats up and froths well for coffees and lattes.

Because there is no added sugar, this Chobani Oat Milk has less calories than the extra creamy variety, at 80 calories per cup. It also only has 9 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein per cup.

If you want to explore even more oat-based Chobani products, try their Chocolate Oat Milk and oat milk yogurts.

Final Verdict

For a minimally processed oat milk that’s close to homemade, we favor Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Oats (view at Amazon). With just three simple ingredients, this versatile oat milk can be added to coffee, baked goods, or cereal. It has slightly more protein than other oat milks on this list and 2 grams of fiber per serving.

What to Look for in an Oat Milk

Gums and Emulsifiers

Many plant-based milk varieties, including oat milk, contain gums and emulsifiers as ingredients. These are added to plant-based milk to make the texture thicker and creamier. 

Examples of gums and emulsifiers you may see on the ingredients list are guar gum, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, and carrageenan. Most gums are naturally derived from complex carbohydrates, like legumes, trees, seaweed, and other plants. Other emulsifiers are synthetically made in laboratories

Some of these additives may provide health benefits, including guar gum and xanthan gum because they are a source of soluble fiber. This type of fiber helps regulate bowel movements and can help lower blood cholesterol and sugar due to its binding effect.

Other additives, including carrageenan and some synthetically made emulsifiers, may not be so great for our health. Some research shows that certain emulsifiers may contribute to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Added Sugar

Oat milk sometimes has a significant amount of added sugar. Too much added sugar in the diet can have negative health side effects, and current recommendations say to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake.

To avoid intaking too much sugar from oat milk, especially if it's used as an everyday drink, aim for unsweetened and unflavored varieties. The sweetened oat milks are best if you’re just using a splash of oat milk in your coffee or enjoying the occasional treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the potential downsides to oat milk?

    While oat milk is certainly delicious, it might not be the best alternative milk replacement, depending on your needs and goals. If you want non-dairy milk that is still a good source of protein, oat milk won’t cut it like soy milk will. Oat milk has 1 to 3 grams of protein per serving, while dairy milk and soy milk both have between 6 and 8 grams of protein per serving.

    Oat milk is also slightly higher in carbohydrates than other non-dairy milk, since it’s made from whole grains. Unsweetened oat milk has about 14 grams of carbohydrates per serving, compared to about 4 grams in unsweetened almond milk.

    While oats are naturally gluten-free, they’re often processed in facilities that also handle gluten-containing grains like wheat. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it’s important to buy oat milk that is certified gluten-free to avoid gluten contamination.

  • How can I make oat milk at home?

    Oat milk is easy to make at home if you have a blender and fine mesh strainer. Just blend one cup of oats with four cups of cold water together until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Then, strain out the remaining oat sediment once or twice to get a creamy consistency.

    If you want to add sweetness to homemade oat milk, try blending it with Medjool dates, maple syrup, or honey. Add extra flavor with vanilla or almond extract or your favorite warming spices—from cinnamon and ginger to cardamom.

What Experts Say

"Oat milk is a good alternative to cow’s milk if you’re looking for a great-tasting, creamy, non-dairy milk. It does have more calories than other non-dairy milks like almond milk. But, it also contains beneficial nutrients like beta-glucan, a soluble fiber associated with heart health. To get the most health benefits from oat milk, buy a version with no added sugars and minimal additives." —Nicole Bodin, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

Alex Aldeborgh is a Registered Dietitian with years of nutrition counseling, recipe development and brand work experience. When recommending products to clients or family and friends, she vets the nutritional information and health claims personally in relation to current research and dietary guidelines. 

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