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Why Is My Oat Milk Sweet?

Why Is My Oat Milk Sweet?
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If you ever find yourself looking for milk alternatives, you will find that there are a plethora of them out there. Some people may not be able to drink cow’s milk, such as those with intolerances and allergies, and other people may be more interested in finding healthier alternatives to cow’s milk.

No matter why you might be in the market for a milk alternative, you can feel confident knowing that there are many, many different kinds out there.

Naturally, different types of milks are going to have different properties. Some types of milk are going to have an aftertaste that resembles the plants they came from, such as soy milk.

Other milks will have varying taste between manufacturers depending on how the milk was made. A very good example of the latter is oat milk. Oat milk can absolutely taste sweeter than you could expect, but it all comes down to the way that it is processed.

Different brands of (unsweetened) oat milk, as you will notice, have different amounts of sugar in them. Some unsweetened oat milks will have about seven grams of sugar in them, while others may boast a full zero grams of sugar.

It all comes down to the way that the oats are processed for their milk, as some processing methods encourage the production of natural sugars, allowing it to become sweeter while still falling under the title of “unsweetened” oat milk.

This is a main factor in why your oat milk is coming out sweet, however, you can also take into account oat milks that do not boast an unsweetened label on them. These milks will often be sweetened with sugar, honey, syrups, and artificial sweeteners.

Some may include flavoring agents as well to help mask the more artificial sweetening processes, but in these cases, the reason why the oat milk is sweet is obvious. What is less obvious is when the oat milk is sweetened naturally through the production process.

The Making of Oat Milk

From a broad perspective, oat milk is made by creating a slurry of the oats and water and then putting that slurry through a very fine filter to allow only the liquid through. The liquid is then packaged and sold as milk.

Depending on where the milk is being processed though, there may be a few key differences, such as how the slurry of oats and water is made, how long it sits out, and so on.

Some companies may treat the water with specific enzymes that break down the starches of the oats into simple sugars, meaning that there is more sweetness added to the milk through natural means, making for a sweeter oat milk that still falls under some of the guidelines of not physically adding more sugar to the mixture.

Other places may use a concentrated form of oat bran as the oat base, creating a stronger oat taste and now allowing for as many simple sugars to form in the slurry, creating a better unsweetened oat milk.

Other times, companies may cook the oats for longer periods of time, allowing those starches and fibers to break down into simple sugars, adding to that sweetness of the oats.

A company could also opt for a method that is quite similar to making oat milk at home, allowing for some of the natural and simple sugars to come through as the slurry is filtered, but not necessarily encouraging the production of those sugars.

To put it simply, oat milk ends up being sweet depending on how the oats are handled as the milk is being made. There are certainly ways to increase and encourage the creation, production, and strength of those simple sugars that are found naturally within the oats themselves, which would lead to a naturally sweetened oat milk.

There are also ways of making the oat milk that do not allow or offer the chance for those simple sugars to be produced, leaving you with a milk that is closer to the original oat taste, rather than an overly sweetened oat milk.

With all of that being said, you might find that you are in the mood for oat milk, but you may not appreciate the taste of the oat milk that you have. There are a few ways that you can change the taste of your commercial oat milk, fine-tuning it to your preferences for a healthier and tastier dairy alternative.

Flavoring Your Oat Milk

Oat milk is a versatile drink and there are many ways that you can work with it. One such way that you can work with your oat milk is to flavor it so that it has a taste that you are more fond of.

There are a few different types of “flavoring” that you can work with. You can sweeten the oat milk by making use of natural and artificial sweeteners out there.

You can add another flavor to the milk as a whole, such as fruits or chocolate. You can work with the milk to help it taste more natural, especially if you are first getting used to plant-based alternative milks.

Flavoring the milk with sugars is very straightforward. All you will need is a sweetener of your preference and your finished oat milk, whether it is homemade or store-bought.

Sweeteners can be sugar, honey, maple syrup, nectars, and artificial sweeteners. The exact sweetener that you choose is up to you on a personal level and dependent on your health and what you want from your oat milk.

It is also much easier to add a whole separate flavor profile to the milk by simply adding that ingredient into it. You can blend fruits into the milk for a fruitier taste, you can add cocoa powder (and some sugar) to the milk to create a replica of chocolate milk, and so on.

This allows you the versatility of having just about any flavor you want, while still letting you have your healthier oat milk alternative.

Finally, there is the sense of creating an oat milk that tastes more natural, especially if you are just making the switch to plant-based milks. The most common way to do this is to turn it into a vanilla flavored milk, as this is most reminiscent of your standard milk recipe.

All you will need for this is some vanilla extract, or if you want, you can use the equivalent amount of vanilla in its other forms.