Oat Milk Vs Almond Milk: Which One’s Right For You? 

 Last Update February 11, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

Home / Guides / Oat Milk Vs Almond Milk: Which One’s Right For You?

In a world where dietary choices have evolved, and health-conscious consumers seek alternatives to traditional cow's milk, the shelves of grocery stores have transformed into a fascinating battlefield. Oat milk and almond milk, two of the most popular contenders in this creamy showdown, have captured many hearts and taste buds.

Both oat milk and almond milk offer a dairy-free, lactose-free, and often eco-friendly choice for those seeking plant-based milk options. However, what distinguishes them from each other, and which one deserves a spot in your fridge?

This blog post will explore almond and oat milk's distinct characteristics, flavors, and nutritional value. Whether you're lactose-intolerant, vegan, or simply curious about dairy alternatives, discover the delicious taste of almond and oat milk, helping you choose the perfect addition to your morning coffee, cereal bowl, or smoothie.

What Is Oat Milk

Oat milk is a plant-based, dairy-free alternative crafted from whole oat grains. The process involves soaking oats, blending them with water, and subsequently straining to extract the liquid. This resulting liquid is naturally creamy in texture, making it a popular choice for those seeking a milk substitute that closely resembles cow's milk in consistency.

Oat milk is appreciated for its mild, slightly sweet flavor profile, which makes it versatile for various culinary applications, from coffee and cereal to baking and cooking. It's also known for its nutritional benefits, such as being naturally low in saturated fat and a source of dietary fiber. Oat milk is frequently fortified with vitamins and minerals such as calcium and vitamin D to boost its nutritional content.

What Is Almond Milk

Almond milk is another plant-based milk alternative made from almonds and water. The process involves blending almonds with water and then straining to separate the liquid from the almond solids. The result is a nutty-flavored, slightly sweet milk that has gained immense popularity among those seeking a dairy-free option.

Neither oat milk nor oat milk taste like cow's milk. Almond milk has a delicate and nutty taste, making it a delightful addition to beverages like coffee and smoothies. It is naturally low in calories and can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin E and calcium. Like oat milk, almond milk is fortified with additional nutrients to improve its nutritional profile.

Oat milk

Oat milk

Oat milk vs almond milk

Ingredients

Almond milk, as the name suggests, is primarily crafted from almonds and water. This gives it a naturally nutty flavor with a subtle sweetness. In contrast, oat milk is made from whole oats and water, yielding a more neutral taste profile with a mild sweetness.

Store-bought almond milk and oat milk may contain added vitamins and minerals for fortification and sometimes sweeteners. They can also contain additives like emulsifiers and stabilizers to improve texture.

Texture and Consistency

When comparing oat milk vs almond milk in terms of texture and consistency, oat milk stands out for its luxurious and creamy profile. Oat milk boasts a thick and velvety texture akin to traditional dairy milk. Conversely, almond milk presents a lighter and thinner texture than skim milk.

Flavor Profile

Almond milk is celebrated for its nutty undertones, which can vary slightly depending on the brand but generally offer a mild, nutty sweetness. On the other hand, oat milk boasts a milder and slightly sweeter flavor, with a neutral taste that doesn't overpower other flavors.

Nutritional Content

When comparing almond milk nutrition to oat milk nutrition, one primary distinction is its nutritional composition. Both almond milk and oat milk have unique nutritional characteristics, allowing consumers to select the best plant-based milks that align with their dietary preferences and health goals. However, many oat milk and almond milk brands fortify their plant milk to enhance their nutritional values.

Almond milk calories are relatively lower, making it an attractive option for individuals looking to manage their calorie intake. The average unsweetened almond milk typically contains around 30 to 40 calories per 8-ounce (240-milliliter) serving. Furthermore, almond milk naturally contains low levels of saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy choice. Additionally, it can serve as a source of vitamin E, known for its antioxidant properties.

Conversely, oat milk calories tend to be higher due to the carbohydrates derived from oats. The average oat milk typically contains around 120 to 130 calories per 8-ounce (240-milliliter) serving. This naturally higher calorie content can make oat milk a more substantial choice, making it particularly attractive to those seeking a milk alternative that offers a more satisfying and filling experience.

Protein Content

When it comes to protein, almond milk tends to lag behind oat milk. Almond milk is comparatively low in protein, providing only about 1 gram of protein per serving. This aspect makes it a less optimal choice for individuals seeking to boost their protein intake. In contrast, oat milk boasts a higher protein content, typically providing around 3-4 grams of protein per serving. For individuals looking to increase their protein intake, oat milk might be preferable.

Sugar Content

The sugar content in these milk alternatives can vary based on the brand and type chosen. Unsweetened almond milk is readily available and contains no added sugars, making it a desirable option for minimizing sugar intake. Nevertheless, sweetened varieties of almond milk may contain added sugars, emphasizing the importance of reviewing the product label. Oat milk, on the other hand, often contains some natural sugars derived from the oats themselves. To avoid added sugars, it's advisable to opt for unsweetened versions of oat milk.

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is a crucial element of a healthy diet, and there is a noticeable difference in the amount present in these milk alternatives. Almond milk is typically low in dietary fiber, offering minimal fiber content. Conversely, oat milk is naturally higher in dietary fiber due to the oats used in its production. This can contribute to a sense of fullness and may be favored by individuals seeking to increase their fiber intake.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Almond milk is generally suitable for individuals without nut allergies, but it may not suit those with nut allergies or sensitivities. In contrast, oat milk is a nut-free and soy-free alternative, making it an excellent choice for individuals with nut allergies or soy sensitivities.

Usage

When it comes to oat milk vs almond milk usage, it all depends on the desired flavor and texture in your culinary creations. Oat milk's creaminess and neutrality make it an excellent all-around choice, while almond milk's unique nutty notes can elevate recipes with a subtle richness.

Oat milk's appeal in the culinary world lies in its creamy, rich consistency, velvety texture, and mild, neutral flavor. Its versatility makes it a go-to option for a variety of applications. When it comes to beverages, oat milk has gained popularity as a barista's favorite for creating rich and frothy lattes, cappuccinos, and creamy hot chocolate. Its natural sweetness enhances the flavor of coffee and tea without overpowering the brew.

In baking, oat milk seamlessly integrates into recipes for muffins, pancakes, and cookies, imparting a moist and tender texture while contributing a subtle sweetness. It's also a dreamy addition to creamy soups and savory sauces, providing a luxurious consistency that's perfect for dishes like creamy mushroom risotto or Alfredo pasta.

Oat milk's ability to mimic the mouthfeel of dairy milk makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a plant-based alternative that can seamlessly replace dairy in both sweet and savory culinary endeavors.

Almond milks, on the other hand, boast a unique nutty flavor profile that adds a subtle richness to dishes. Its delicate nuttiness makes it a delightful addition to breakfast cereals, granola, and oatmeal, enhancing these morning staples with a hint of natural sweetness.

In desserts and baked goods, almond milk complements recipes like almond-flavored cakes, muffins, and almond milk ice cream, allowing the nutty undertones to shine through. Its light and nutty character renders it a versatile ingredient in sweet and savory dishes. For example, it can be used as a dairy replacement in creamy pasta sauces, mashed potatoes, and vegetable gratins, contributing to a velvety texture and a hint of nutty richness.

Price

Oat milk and almond milk are two popular dairy alternatives that offer distinct pricing dynamics. Oat milk, with its rising popularity, has become competitively priced among plant-based milk options. The cost of oat milk may vary depending on factors like flavor variations and specialty blends. Generally, it falls within a mid-range price point, making it an affordable and appealing choice for many consumers.

On the other hand, almond milk, being one of the earlier plant-based milk alternatives, often offers budget-friendly options, particularly with traditional unsweetened almond milk varieties. However, flavored or specialized almond milk products can be priced slightly higher. Pricing ultimately depends on brand, type, and location, so it's advisable to compare options for the best value.

Sustainability

When considering sustainability, oat milk and almond milk present distinct ecological considerations. Oat milk stands out for its more environmentally friendly profile, primarily due to its lower water usage. Oats are notably water-efficient crops, requiring significantly less water compared to almond trees. This attribute contributes to reduced water resource strain and makes oat milk a more sustainable choice in regions where water scarcity is a concern.

Furthermore, oat milk cultivation typically involves a smaller land footprint, resulting in less habitat disruption and more efficient land use. It also tends to generate fewer greenhouse gas emissions during production, bolstering its sustainability credentials.

On the other hand, almond milk production has faced criticism for its substantial water requirements, which can deplete local water resources in areas with water scarcity problems. Nevertheless, some almond milk producers proactively address these concerns by adopting sustainable farming practices. These practices include efficient irrigation techniques and the cultivation of drought-resistant almond varieties. By adopting responsible sourcing and water management practices, almond milk can also contribute to sustainability.

Nut milk

Nut milk

Oat Milk Vs Almond Milk Health Benefits And Risks

Oat Milk Benefits

Oat milk boasts a nutrient-rich profile, naturally containing fiber, vitamins (such as B vitamins), and essential minerals like calcium and iron. Certain brands enrich oat milk with supplementary vitamins and minerals, augmenting its nutritional value.

Oats, a key component in oat milk, contain beta-glucans, a soluble fiber recognized for its role in reducing cholesterol levels and supporting heart health. This heart-friendly attribute extends to oat milk, making it a favorable choice for cardiovascular wellness. Moreover, the fiber content in oat milk contributes to digestive health by supporting regularity and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. Importantly, oat milk is a nut-free alternative, making it suitable for individuals with dairy and nut allergies.

Oat Milk Risks

One potential drawback of oat milk is its calorie content, which can be higher than almond milk. Those monitoring their calorie intake should be attentive to portion sizes. Additionally, although oats are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination is possible during processing. Opting for certified gluten-free oat milk brands is recommended for individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Glyphosate is an extensively utilized herbicide in agriculture, renowned for its effectiveness in eliminating weeds. It's commonly used in conventional farming practices on various crops, including oats. Concerns have been raised about the potential presence of glyphosate residues in oats and oat-based products, such as oatmeal and oat milk. Glyphosate residues in oats have become a topic of discussion due to its potential health and environmental implications. Some oats, particularly conventionally grown oats, may contain trace amounts of glyphosate due to its use as a weed killer.

Almond Milk Benefits

Unsweetened almond milk is recognized for its low-calorie content, making it an attractive option for individuals looking to manage their calorie intake. Almond milk is naturally low in saturated fat, contributing to heart health. Certain almond milk brands enhance their products with added calcium and vitamin D, promoting bone health. In addition, many manufacturers add additives and thickeners like carrageenan. Carrageenan can cause bloating, digestive distress, and gut inflammation when consumed in large amounts.

Almond Milk Risks

Almond milk may have a lower nutrient content compared to oat milk, particularly in terms of fiber and certain vitamins. Additionally, almond milk is not suitable for individuals with nut allergies, and cross-contact with other tree nuts during processing is possible. Environmental concerns have also been raised about almond cultivation, particularly regarding water usage in some regions.

Like oats, there is also glyphosate concern when it comes to almonds. Glyphosate residues in almonds can occur when the herbicide is used on almond orchards and may enter the food supply through soil, water, and air. Due to its extensive use, concerns have arisen about the potential presence of glyphosate residues in almonds and almond-based products.


Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.