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Can You Substitute Oat Milk for Milk?


In a word: Yes. You absolutely can substitute oat milk for milk.

If you’ve been going without your favorite dairy-based dishes because of allergy, intolerance or environmental concerns, it’s time to invite them back into your life. You can substitute oat milk for cow’s milk, and you can do so without sacrificing taste or texture.

All you need to do is learn a few basic tricks. We’re going to make this simple, so bookmark this page and come back to it anytime you’re attempting a recipe that calls for cow’s milk. Let’s quickly go over the basics.

Can You Cook with Oat Milk?

Oat beverages usually come in original and extra creamy. Generally speaking, if you’re substituting oat milk for regular milk, use original. If you’re substituting for cream, use extra creamy oat milk.

If it’s your first time cooking with oat milk, we suggest you purchase a few different kinds. When the time comes to add it, think about which consistency feels right for the moment. You can always adjust the next time you make the recipe. Just be sure to note anything you’d want to remember for the next time around!

Oat Milk Mirrors Cow’s Milk in Many Ways

According to Epicurious Associate Editor Joe Sevier, “Oat milk replicates the viscosity of dairy milk more closely than other alt-milks do.” He tested oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and cashew milk in the same blueberry corn muffin recipe. The only one that was identical to a muffin made with dairy was the one made with oat milk.

Because oat milk has a more neutral taste than many other milk alternatives, it’s not likely to change the flavor of what you’re making. That can be especially important with a savory recipe where tastes such as coconut or almond might overpower other flavors in the dish.

What Can I Make with Oat milk?

Because oat milk comes in so many varieties, anything you can make with cow’s milk can be made with oat milk. Just use the simple tips in this post to minimize mistakes. Cooking is an art and a science, so experimentation is key.

Using Oat Milk for Baking

Remember these three tips for bakers using oat milk instead of cow’s milk:

  1. A 1:1 ratio of cow’s milk to “original” (not extra creamy) is key.
  2. You can manipulate the texture and thickness of oat milk with water or neutral-tasting oils such as grapeseed oil.
  3. Sweetened or flavored oat beverages should be used sparingly because they will affect the flavor.

In baking, you sometimes need a liquid to be thicker or thinner. Because of oat milk’s neutral taste, you can use it for any liquid in a recipe. Just be sure to use oat milk that is similar to the original liquid in texture and thickness.

Can Oat Milk Be Heated?

Oat milk can be heated. But if you’re heating oat milk, you have to be careful not to heat it too quickly or it can become too thick. Microwaving is okay, but it’s not ideal. Heating oat milk slowly on low heat will help you control the results.

We recommend experimenting with different oat beverages. It might actually be fun to discover what happens to different oat beverages when you heat them. You might discover that a very thick hot chocolate made with your favorite oat milk is just the ticket.

Using Oat Milk for Cooking

Here’s a reminder of the three top tips for cooking with oat milk:

  1. Be careful to choose only unsweetened, unflavored oat beverages for savory dishes.
  2. Use original varieties, not extra creamy, unless creaminess is the goal.
  3. Because of its neutral taste, you can substitute oat milk for nearly any liquid in a savory recipe.

If you’ve been cooking with other milk alternatives for a while, you’ll be surprised at how well oat milk works. It is, by far, the best of the milk alternatives for cooking.

Our Favorite Recipes Using Oat Milk

Here are a few recipes using oat milk that we’ve found to be most consistently appreciated among our staff and readers.

Dairy-Free Blueberry Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake

This gem of a dessert is as delicious as it is beautiful. The presentation reminds us of a time when people used to knock on their neighbor’s door and there was always something tasty in the kitchen.

See the full recipe: Dairy-Free Blueberry Lemon Streusel Coffee Cake

Vegan, Gluten-Free Very Berry Mini Muffins

It used to be that anytime you saw the terms “vegan” and “gluten-free,” it meant you’d be sacrificing taste or texture (or both). Well, times have changed. No one will suspect these aren’t traditional, dairy-based muffins.

See the full recipe: Vegan, Gluten-Free Very Berry Mini Muffins

Dairy-Free Berry Cobbler

Ever spent time on a farm? This is some old-time baking right here, but with a dairy-free twist.

See the full recipe: Dairy-Free Berry Cobbler

Oat Milk Is a Fantastic Milk Alternative

If you’ve read this far, you obviously care about the wellbeing of you and your loved ones. You want better options and you’re tired of sacrificing taste and texture.

Here are two challenges we’d like to offer you:

  1. Think of a recipe, sweet or savory, that you’ve given up on because it requires cow’s milk. Go back to that recipe and make it using oat milk, and see if that old favorite isn’t just as wonderful as you remember.
  2. Try one of the recipes in this post and see if it becomes a new favorite. Either choose a special occasion for its unveiling or just make a treat for yourself. Just imagine how sweet it would be to smell your favorite dessert, made with oat milk, cooling at that window.

Substituting Oat Milk for Milk is Easier than You Think

Pacific Foods is proud to offer plant-based beverages you can feel good about, including organic oat beverages. Try delicious and creamy oat milk today by shopping our products.