Find out if oat milk is safe for a gluten-free diet, get a list of gluten-free oat milk brands, as well as some brands you’ll want to avoid.
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Oat milk is a somewhat new and trending dairy-free milk alternative that’s been coming in hot in the last couple of years. It’s made with oats and can be used in place of cream or milk in many recipes. If you’re looking for a milk replacement, oat milk might be just the right thing for you!
But if you’re following a gluten-free diet, you may have some questions about this dairy-free beverage. I hope to clear some of those questions up in this blog post, so you can confidently decide if oat milk is right for you and your diet.
In this post, find out what oat milk is used for, made of, and how it’s made. You’ll also find out if oats and oat milk are gluten-free, how to find a gluten-free oat milk, as well as some gluten-free oat milk brands to look for at the grocery store.
What is oat milk used for?
Oat milk is used as a dairy-free replacement for milk in a variety of different recipes. Oat milk can be used as a one-for-one replacement for dairy milk just like any other dairy-free beverage would.
Oat milk can be used in coffee, baking recipes, and even homemade dairy-free sauces.
What is oat milk made of?
The most basic version of oat milk is made from oats and water. Some brands of oatmeal that you can find at a grocery store will contain oats, water, other preservatives, as well as some flavoring.
Some store-bought oat milks contain extra ingredients that help with the texture and consistency of the milk, so that it has a texture that mimics dairy milk.
How is oat milk made?
Oat milk is made in a similar fashion to any other type of nut milk or dairy-free milk.
Combine whole rolled oats with water and blend on high in a high speed blender. After blending, strain the remaining solids from the liquid. The liquid that is left is the oat milk that you can use in any of your favorite recipes or on cereal.
You can also flavor homemade oat milk with vanilla, salt, maple syrup, or any other flavorings that you wish. You can make homemade chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla milk if you wish.
Read on: Are rolled oats gluten-free?
Are oats gluten-free?
Oats are naturally gluten-free on their own, and when they are processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility, they are safe for a gluten-free diet.
The main reason oats aren’t always considered gluten-free is because they can become contaminated with gluten in a shared facility with gluten-containing grains. Processing wheat, barley, or rye on the same equipment can result in cross contamination of gluten in oats.
Some people who follow a gluten-free diet that can not tolerate oats at all, whether they are labeled with a gluten-free label or not. If you’re one of these people, you’ll want to avoid all oat products including oat milk.
Read on: Are oats gluten-free?
Read on: Are Quaker Oats gluten-free?
Read on: Is oatmeal gluten-free?
Read on: Is oat flour gluten-free?
Is oat milk gluten-free?
Not all oat milk is gluten-free. That’s because not all oats are considered gluten-free. In order to have gluten-free oat milk, you’ll need to look for a gluten-free label on the packaging of the oat milk.
Without a gluten-free label or certified gluten-free label, you’re likely to run into the possibility of cross-contamination with gluten containing ingredients in your oat milk.
How to find gluten-free oat milk
To be sure that the oat milk that you’re buying at a grocery store is gluten-free, look for a gluten-free label or certified gluten-free label.
You can also read ingredient lists of oat milk products to find out what type of oats are used. If the ingredients say “oats,” I’d steer clear of this on a gluten-free diet. However, if the ingredients say “gluten-free oats” or “certified gluten-free oats,” then this product is safe for your gluten-free diet.
If you follow a gluten-free diet and trace amounts of gluten don’t affect you and your digestion or your body, then you may feel okay drinking oat milk that doesn’t have a gluten-free label. This is the same with gluten-free oats.
If your level of sensitivity isn’t high, then you may be okay eating plain oats, and not having to look for “gluten-free oats.”
If you already know you can’t tolerate trace amounts of gluten, including from oats, do your due diligence and read ingredient lists and look for gluten-free labels on the packaging.
Do what feels right for you and what you know about your body and how it tolerates gluten. Make the choice based on what your level of sensitivity is, not what you read about somewhere.
Does oat milk have dairy? Is oat milk dairy-free?
Since oat milk is made using oats and no animal milk, this drink doesn’t contain any dairy and is safe for a dairy-free diet. Oat milk is considered dairy-free.
Read on: Is oat milk dairy-free?
Is oat milk lactose-free?
Oat milk contains no dairy and lactose is a protein found in cow’s milk. Oat milk is made with oats and water, so this product is naturally lactose-free and safe for people who avoid lactose in their diets.
Gluten-free oat milk brands
If you’re looking for a gluten-free oat milk brand, you can search for some of these options at the grocery store. All of these brands have gluten-free labels, so you don’t need to worry about doing extra research.
Califia Farms have a few different oat milk options, all of which are gluten-free.
- Original Protein Oat
- Vanilla Protein Oat
- Original Oatmilk
- Vanilla Oatmilk
- Oat Barista Blend
- Mushroom Oat Barista Blend
Elmhurst offers “milked oats” oat milk in a few different flavors. Each of these have a gluten-free label, so you can be sure there is less than 20ppm of gluten.
Happy Planet offers a few different oat milk options, including those you’ll find in the cold case and shelf stable varieties. Their products are all gluten-free.
- Original Shelf Stable
- Vanilla Shelf Stable
- Barista Oatmilk
- Original Oat Creamer
H-E-B brand makes their own oat milk that is considered a non-dairy, vegan, and gluten-free option. It works well in coffee, smoothies, or can be enjoyed in a glass on its own.
Mooala makes a coconut oat milk that’s made from gluten-free oats and no added sugar. This is a great dairy-free milk alternative if you’re avoiding both gluten and dairy.
This brand makes oat milk that’s plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan friendly. It comes in two flavors:
- Oat Delicious
- Oat Delicious Vanilla
Oatly makes their oat milk with gluten-free oats. They have a few different flavors to try, and all are great for a dairy-free diet.
- Barista Edition
- Barista Edition Chilled
- Full fat Chilled
- Chocolate Chilled
- Low-fat Chilled
- Original Chilled
Read on: Is Oatly gluten-free?
Oatsome is vegan, gluten-free, and organic. This brand uses gluten-free oats and they have no gums, thickeners, or stabilizers in their recipe. It’s my top choice for oat milk, and I use it in my homemade lattes and in baking too. Try one of their delicious flavors!
- Coffee Creamer
- Creamer Lite
Planet Oat has a few varieties of their oat milk, all of which are gluten-free. Try one of these flavors:
- Unsweetened Original
- Unsweetened Vanilla
- Extra Creamy
- Dark Chocolate
This brand makes oat milk that’s both gluten-free and dairy-free, and considered a good option for a vegan diet too. It comes in three flavors:
Silk has a line of oat milks that are all gluten-free and dairy-free. Look for one of these flavors at the store next time you’re shopping.
Oat milk brands with gluten to avoid
This list of brands are those that contain gluten or do not have a gluten-free label. If you are trying to stick with a gluten-free diet, even free of trace amounts, you’ll want to avoid these brands of oat milk from the store.
Chobani makes oat milk in a few different flavors. Their website says they use gluten-free oats, but the packaging says “no gluten,” NOT “gluten-free.”
The ingredients list does not indicate they use gluten-free rolled oats in their recipe, so I’d steer clear of this option if you need to avoid even trace amounts of gluten in your diet.
Pacific Foods makes an oat milk, but it is not gluten-free. They specifically state on their website that there is cross contamination with wheat in their products. You’ll want to avoid this brand on a gluten-free diet.
Thrive Market’s oat milk is “free” from many other allergens, but gluten isn’t one of them. Avoid this brand on a gluten-free diet as there is likely cross contamination with gluten containing grains during manufacturing.
Are my favorite brands of oat milk gluten-free?
If you already have a favorite brand of oat milk and you’re wondering if it’s safe to continue enjoying on your gluten-free diet, look no further. I’ve rounded up some answers about some of the most popular brands of oat milk.
Is Califia Farms oat milk gluten-free?
According to the Califia Farms website, their oat milks are gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.
Is Costco oat milk gluten-free?
Although there are no specific gluten-containing ingredients in this oat milk, it is not considered a gluten-free product. This brand of oat milk has vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free labels on it, but no gluten-free.
This means the company likely doesn’t make their oat milk in a dedicated facility OR they don’t use certified gluten-free oats in their products. Steer clear of Costco/Kirkland Signature oat milk for your gluten-free diet.
Is Happy Planet oat milk gluten-free?
Happy Planet oat milk is considered gluten-free by the brand. Their product lineup has three flavors: original, chocolate, and vanilla. They offer their oat milk in the cold case, shelf-stable, single servings, as well as barista editions and coffee creamer.
Is Silk oat milk gluten-free?
The Silk website shows that three of their four flavors of their oat milk are gluten-free. Avoid the zero sugar oat milk, unless you find one with a package with a gluten-free label.
Is Starbucks oat milk gluten-free?
Though it’s not always easy to find out what products are gluten-free and those that contain gluten from Starbucks, I was able to find this older allergen information spreadsheet from 2019. This indicates that none of the drinks with oat milk are safe for a gluten-free diet.
Avoid oat milk from Starbucks if you follow a gluten-free diet.
Is Oatly oat milk gluten-free?
Oatly is very transparent about their ingredients and they confirm on their website that they use gluten-free oats for all their oat milks. You can feel good about drinking any of their oat milk flavors on your gluten-free diet.
This is their statement on their website FAQ related to nuts, dairy, gluten and/or eggs:
“Our US products are certified gluten-free and made without tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, and egg. Based on the US FALCPA (Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act) and the FASTER Act (Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research Act), they are safe for people with allergies to the top nine allergens (milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, gluten and soy and sesame).
In full transparency, some of our partner production facilities also process other products containing top 8 allergens. However, they follow all guidelines laid out by the US FALCPA and FASTER Act and are committed to careful cleaning and testing protocols to prevent cross-contamination. As an added precaution, we also test our finished products to ensure they meet our allergen requirements and are suitable for people with top 8 allergies.”
I hope if you’ve been wondering how oat milk can fit into your gluten-free diet that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision about this ingredient.
Many brands of oat milk are gluten-free, and some are not. It’s always a good idea to read ingredient lists and look for a gluten-free label on the packaging before buying.
If you’re still worried about gluten winding up in your oat milk, buy the best certified gluten-free oats you can get your hands on and make your own in a blender at home!