The latest scoop on oat milk is ice cream.
Dairy-free milk company So Delicious has churned out a new line of oat milk frozen desserts on sale at select grocery stores and for a nationwide rollout in the coming months, and although oat milk is a trendy alternative for people who want to avoid dairy, sometimes because they think it’s healthier, nutritionists say the pints are more indulgent than healthy.
Oat milk has never been trendier. Newly elected Democratic congresswoman from New York City, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, wrote on social media that the vegan milk is her go-to sip. “I’m very into oat milk right now which, in my opinion, is the best of all the milks after cashew milk,” she recently posted on her Instagram
account last month.
Pints of So Delicious Oat Milk Ice Cream retail for $5.49, and come in three flavors: peanut butter and raspberry, oatmeal cookie and caramel apple crumble.
But how healthy is it? A serving size of two-thirds of a cup contains between 230 to 250 calories (up to 760 for a pint), 8 to 10 grams of saturated fat and up to 25 grams of sugar.
‘This is like having Haagen-Dazs.’
“This is like having Haagen-Dazs,” Lisa Young, a nutritionist and author of “Finally Full, Finally Slim” told MarketWatch, advising consumers against polishing off a whole pint in one sitting. To compare, two-thirds of a cup of chocolate Haagen-Dazs ice cream contains 260 calories, 20 grams of sugar and 10 grams of saturated fat.
Be mindful of healthy-sounding ingredients on the So Delicious Oat Milk labels like palm oil and organic cane sugar, she said. “Cane sugar is sugar, even if it’s organic,” Young added. “Palm oil and coconut oil are saturated fats. Proceed with portion control.”
So Delicious was not immediately available for comment.
Oat milk on its own without added sugar is considered to be healthy. It’s typically made by soaking oats in water for 30 minutes or up to 12 hours, and adding natural flavors such as sea salt, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg or sweeteners like dates.
One cup of oat milk contains on average 4 grams of protein, 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar per cup. It does not contain cholesterol or saturated fats, which regular dairy milk does contain.
One cup of oat milk contains 130 calories on average.
Sales of non-dairy milk in the U.S. have grown by 61% over the last five years, according to research by Mintel, with almond, soy and coconut milks continuing to dominate the sector with a combined market share of 89%.
Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers Ice Cream, Magnum
and Halo Top have all released non-dairy frozen desserts in recent years with ingredients like almond, coconut and soy milk.
But oat milk has poured in as of late. Last year, Swedish brand Oatly — which launched a plain oat milk before expanding to fruit flavored oat milks, lattes and yogurt — put out its own line of ice creams in flavors like salty caramel hazelnut, double chocolate fudge and vanilla.
Also read: Cult favorite Halo Top is going vegan
With dairy sales souring, the market for alternative milk products is expected to reach $41 billion by 2025, up from $11.90 billion in 2017, according to a January report from Grand View Research, Inc., a market research firm.
Big beverage companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Diary company Hood put out its own oat milk line called Planet Oat in December with varieties like low-fat, extra creamy, vanilla and dark chocolate on shelves at Kroger grocery stores and Amazon Fresh
for $3.39 for a 52-ounce carton.
Quaker Oats debuted its new Oat Beverages in January with 48-ounce bottles suitable for cereal, smoothies or coffee sold for approximately $4.29 each.
And after alternative milk brand Oatly announced on its website that it sold out of its Barista Edition Oatmilk in December, people started hawking six-packs of the 32-ounce cartons that typically retail for $25 online for as much as $226 for a 12-pack on Amazon.