Oats over time
Oats come from Asia. As there are many species and subspecies, and oats are botanically very similar to other grasses, their origin and evolution remain unclear. However, oat is believed to be the species with the greatest economic importance, or A. sativa, or oats common, and A. byzantina or red oats, are both from a region that includes Asia Minor, Transcaucasia, Iran and Turkmenistan trays.
It seems that oats have appeared much later than corn in human food. The first oat uses were strictly medicinal. Oats have not been cultivated before the turn of our era. It is probable that the Celts and Germans cultivated oats since 2,000 years ago. From its domestication center, oat spread into Eastern and Northern Europe settling spontaneously in fields of wheat or barley.
In the early seventeenth century, oat was introduced in North America, where it founnd a land and a climate that suited it particularly. In Canada, it was first cultivated in the East, but almost half of the global harvest is now produced in the western provinces. However, from the 1910s, when many more oats were planted in Canada than any other cereal, until the 1970s, the production continued to decline, following the fate of the horse carriage and stroke, for which oatmeal was the fuel of choice.
Since the 1970s, the trend was reversed, however. The nutritional qualities of this grass have been widely publicized and consumers were becoming more health conscious.
Oat milk is an asset to health
Unlike the British and the American who consume a lot of oats in the form of cereals, cookies, porridge or milk, this cereal has long been relegated to food for farm animals in France. But times change, the labeled “organic” feeds, “vegan” or “gluten free” take up more and more space in the shelves of our supermarkets…
Like it or not, the tips of these lifestyles “healthier” often tend to arouse our curiosity. It is with this in mind that oats, particularly about what do we do with their milk, gradually become a new essential for kitchens and bathrooms.
Oats, a cereal rich in nutrients
Oats are known for their high protein and fiber1 as well as iron, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin A. They are low in sugar, fat and calories. Highly antioxidant, this cereal can help reduce the rate of (bad) cholesterol in the blood2, boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improve skin quality (excellent cure for acne) and hair.
Oat milk: an excellent substitute for cow’s milk
We get this vegetable milk by infusing oatmeal in the water and then filtering the mixture after it has been boiled. There is also oat milk powder to rehydrate. One can find it as a ready to drink beverage in some specialty grocery stores. There are many recipes on the internet to prepare oat milk and to obtain tastes and textures for lactose-free milk, excellent people intolerant for cow’s milk. Caution however since, contrary to popular belief, the oat milk is not “gluten free”. It can be drunk, then soak your cereal or cook with it. It is a very good alternative to cow’s milk or milk from other animals.
A natural hair care with unsuspected resources
Advent of “no poo”, the “low poo”, shampoos and hair conditioners… the concept of hair care, especially shampooing, is changing at a time when the beauty sphere is trying to chase a maximum of harmful compounds from our favorite products. Oat milk is an ingredient of choice for hair care at home. It can be used to rinse the shampoo or integrate it with a conditioner or homemade mask. The testimonies of those who have already tested these methods are clear: the hair is stronger, softer and shinier through restorative properties and detangling thanks to oat milk.
How to make homemade oat milk?
Ingredients for a bottle of 1 litre
- 1 litre of water (or + according to the desired consistency)
- 100 g of oats
- 1 pinch of salt
- Soak the oat flakes a night before (or at least a few hours before) in cold water.
- Once the time is up, drain without rinsing. Transfer to a saucepan, cover with a liter of water and add a pinch of salt. Cook at low temperature uncovered for about 40 minutes.
- Drain in order to recover the cooking water and set aside the cooked oat flakes (okara)* to incorporate them into a dessert.
- Once the cooking water is cooled off, add 400 ml of water, transfer to a blender and mix until you have a milky mixture.
- If the mixture is too thick for your taste, feel free to adjust by adding a little more water.
- Pour into a bottle (preferably glass) and keep it in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.
- Stir before use.
* You can reuse the oats (sometimes called “okara”) after cooking and filtration of the juice as porridge or you can integrate then in desserts.
- Rasane, P., Jha, A., Sabikhi, L., Kumar, A., & Unnikrishnan, V. S. (2015). Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 52(2), 662–675. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-013-1072-1
- Onning G1, Wallmark A, Persson M, Akesson B, Elmståhl S, Oste R. Consumption of oat milk for 5 weeks lowers serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in free-living men with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Ann Nutr Metab. 1999;43(5):301-9.