By Hayley Simpson / Last Modified On March 19, 2023
Since it hit the plant-based milk market, oat milk has taken the world by storm. With its neutral taste, lower carbon footprint, and familiar texture, it’s become a popular substitute for whole milk.
While it’s a great vegan option, is oat milk gluten-free? While oats are naturally gluten-free, the biggest issue lies in cross-contamination. This is why there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
So you can make the best decisions for your lifestyle, we’re diving into whether oat milk has gluten, sharing our favorite gluten-free oat milk brands, and providing an easy homemade recipe.
Is Oat Milk Gluten-Free?
Does oat milk have gluten? It’s true that oats are naturally gluten-free, but – as we discussed in this gluten-free oatmeal post – they’re frequently cross-contaminated.
Some companies grow oats near glutinous grains like wheat, rye, and barley. They may not follow purity protocol which means that oats and gluten-containing grains are processed in the same facility (and even on the same equipment).
The National Library of Medicine conducted a study on Canada’s commercial oat supply. They confirmed that 88% of the oat samples were contaminated with gluten. Obviously, this is a serious problem for people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease!
If you’re looking for gluten-free oat milk, don’t take any chances: Only buy certified gluten-free oat milk. Fortunately, many manufacturers have jumped on this train and use third-party laboratories to confirm and earn certification stamps on their packaging.
How Is Oat Milk Made?
To make oat milk, you start by soaking the oats in water, then blending/pulverizing them together before straining. Once you separate the liquid oat milk from the leftover pulp, you have oat milk.
Of course, some brands will add sneaky little extras like preservatives, flavorings, thickeners, sweeteners, as well as extra vitamins and minerals (like calcium).
10 Gluten-Free Oat Milk Brands
Which oat milk is gluten-free? The key thing here is to read the packaging. Ensure that it says gluten-free or certified gluten-free. Here are our top picks:
As one of the most popular oat milk brands on the market, Oatly’s US products are certified gluten-free. Plenty of cafes across the country stock Oatly products – and their range is extensive:
- Barista Edition Oat Milk
- Original Oat Milk
- Chocolate Oat Milk
- Low-Fat Oat Milk
- Oat milk-based ice creams
Before, Chobani was on the list of “brands to avoid”, but times are a-changing! On the Chobani website, the company states that they source their organic, gluten-free, non-GMO oats from the prairies of Saskatchewan. They also have certification from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. Some of their gluten-free oat milk options include:
- Extra Creamy
- Zero Sugar
- Original Barista Edition
Silk’s Original Oat Milk is free from “dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, carrageenan, cholesterol, and artificial colors and flavors.” You can also buy extra creamy, vanilla, and unsweetened oat milk.
Mooala is a Texas-owned and operated company offering Coconut Oat Milk. Gluten-free oats blended with coconut cream sounds deliciously creamy to me! It’s also dairy-free, vegan, and has no added sugar.
It would also be rude of me not to share that Mooala is most well-known for its Original Bananamilk, which is known for its aroma of banana bread (yet still gluten-free).
5. Natural by Nature
Natural By Nature offers Organic Oat Delicious in original and vanilla flavors. They’re made with 100% organic gluten-free oats.
6. Califia Farms
Califia Farms’ Barista Oat Blend is dairy-free, gluten-free, unsweetened, and made with gluten-free rolled oats. Some of their other gluten-free oat milk options include:
- Extra Creamy Oat Milk
- Zero Sugar Oat Milk
- Chocolate Oat Milk
- Vanilla Oat Milk
- Original Protein Oat Milk
Oatsome Oat Milk uses organic gluten-free oats to produce a plant-based milk that’s vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, and contains no added sugars or artificial flavorings.
8. Planet Oat
Planet Oat is another company offering gluten-free oat milk in all the flavors of the rainbow:
- Original (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Vanilla (sweetened or unsweetened)
- Extra Creamy
- Dark Chocolate
9. Elmhurst 1925
Elmhurst 1925’s Unsweetened Milked Oats product is made using just five ingredients. This includes filtered water, whole grain oats, cane sugar, salt, and natural flavors. It’s vegan, dairy-free, non-GMO, and kosher with no artificial flavors. You can also stock up on sweetened and chocolate oat milk from Elmhurst.
10. Rise Brewing Co.
Rise Brewing Co.’s Original Oat Milk is also made using just five ingredients. The company proudly uses certified organic gluten-free oats. They have vanilla and chocolate oat milk too.
Oat Milk Brands to Avoid
If you’re looking for certified gluten-free oat milk, avoid the following:
Due to cross-contamination, Pacific Foods states on their website that while they “do not make a gluten-free claim on our oat beverages.”
Costco’s oat milk brand is Kirkland Signature Organic. The packaging has dairy-free, organic, vegan, and nut-free labels – but it’s missing the all-important gluten-free label.
Thrive Market’s Organic Oat Milk also ticks lots of boxes but isn’t gluten-free. We assume this is because of cross-contamination in the production process.
How to Make Gluten-Free Oat Milk at Home
It’s actually super easy to make homemade gluten-free oat milk. All you need is certified gluten-free oats and water:
- Soak one cup of gluten-free rolled oats in enough water to cover them for 15 minutes.
- Drain them and then place the soaked oats in a blender with up to four cups of water. Use more or less water depending on the consistency you desire. Blend them together at high speed for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Pour your oat milk through a fine-mesh strainer and chill before serving.
Homemade oat milk will last in the fridge for up to five days. If you’d prefer sweetened oat milk, consider adding some (or all) of these flavoring suggestions during the blending process:
- A tablespoon of maple syrup or light brown sugar.
- A pinch of salt.
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Oat Milk-Free and Gluten-Free?
Oat milk is automatically dairy-free but not always gluten-free. If you purchase one of the gluten-free oat milk brands (above) or make homemade oat milk with gluten-free oats, you’ll be grand.
Is Oat Milk Good for You?
Oat milk is good for you and has innumerable health benefits:
- It’s vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, and lactose-free.
- It contains more fiber and protein than other gluten-free milk alternatives (like almond milk).
- Store-bought oat milk is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin B.
- Because oats are high in beta-glucan, this milk could help lower cholesterol.
To ensure a healthier version of oat milk, stick with unsweetened varieties. Sweetened oat milk options can contain more calories and sugar.
Can I Consume Oat Milk on a Regular Basis?
Oat milk can be consumed on a regular basis. While it has numerous health benefits (like being high in fiber and protein), sweetened oat milk contains extra sugar and calories.
Why Has Oat Milk Become So Popular Lately?
Research suggests that the main reason behind oat milk’s popularity boom is the fact it has a similar taste and texture to dairy milk. It’s also creamier than other gluten-free milk alternatives (like almond or soy milk), suits a wider range of people with food allergies, and has a low carbon footprint.
Is Oat Milk Safe for Celiacs?
Only brands with gluten-free labels are safe for people with celiac disease. Homemade oat milk (using gluten-free oats) is also safe for celiacs.
What Might Prevent Some Brands from Being Gluten-Free?
The main factor that prevents brands from being gluten-free is cross-contamination. The company might not have access to gluten-free oats or their shared facility might also process glutinous products.
Is Oat Milk in Coffee Houses Gluten-Free?
This depends on if they’re using a certified gluten-free oat milk brand. Your best choice is to confirm with the barista what oat milk they use. They should have no problem showing you the milk carton. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
How to Use Oat Milk
Oat milk is deliciously thick, creamy, and the perfect everyday plant-based milk. It’s a 1:1 substitute for dairy milk, so don’t be afraid to use it just as you would regular milk. Some of our favorite recipes include:
- Blueberry overnight oats
- Iced coffee (four ways because we’re fancy).
- Hot cocoa
- Vegan chocolate pudding
- Fluffy gluten-free pancakes
- Pineapple spinach smoothie
Plant-Based, Gluten-Free Living
Is oat milk gluten-free? It can be when you choose the right options!
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