new to the gluten free journey?


Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?

Is Oat Milk Gluten Free

As alternative milks rise in popularity, an increasing number of products are becoming available. Manufacturers are capitalizing on consumers’ desire to avoid dairy by developing new alternative milk products and marketing them as healthier for you.

One of the more popular options for milk alternatives is oat milk. Is oat milk actually a healthy option? Is oat milk even gluten free?

Are Oats Gluten Free?

While oats are commonly classified as gluten-free, the reality is, they do contain a different type of gluten protein called avenin. Avenin and oats have been researched in celiac disease patients and found to cause inflammation in those with gluten sensitivity.

One study acknowledges that the expression of avenin genes throughout the development stages has shown a pattern similar to that of prolamins of wheat and barley and found that the specific peptides from oats have a high potential for immunotoxicity in celiac disease patients.

Another study aimed to investigate the biological and immunological properties of two oat varieties, Avena genziana and Avena potenza, in relation to their safety for celiac disease patients. It found that both varieties induced markers of inflammatory activity, suggesting a response in those with celiac disease. Avena potenza increased intraepithelial T-cell density, while Avena genziana-induced interferon production.

In addition to the effects of avenin in celiac disease patients, oats are commonly cross contaminated with other gluten-containing grains. In fact, one study looked at the Canadian oat supply and found that approximately 88% of the samples of oats tested were contaminated.

Is Oat Milk Gluten Free?

The simplest answer is no. Oat milk is not truly gluten-free. While it is often sold as such, there is research identifying gluten in oats that can cause harm to those with gluten sensitivities. Additionally, it is very likely for oats to be cross-contaminated. While brands that claim to be certified can verify their oats aren’t cross-contaminated, they are unable account for the gluten protein (avenin) found in oats. Instead of oat milk, we recommend exploring seed and nut milk alternatives, or even exploring making your own milk alternatives at home.

Gluten Free Alternatives to Oat Milk

Many nuts and seeds can be made into an alternative milk. Just about any milk that is made from a plant or nut can be gluten free. However, as with all products, it is important to check the label and trust the company to be certain they are using quality gluten free ingredients and taking care to avoid cross contamination. Some of the most widely available options are listed below:

  • Almond milk
  • Hemp seed milk
  • Flax milk
  • Coconut milk (note: coconut milk is available in its rich and creamy full fat version in a can as well as in a carton and marketed as a beverage. Both are good options.)
  • Cashew Milk
  • Walnut milk
  • Hazelnut milk

What To Look For In Alternative Milks

It is important when purchasing alternative milks that you check the label. Many manufacturers use gums and other fillers in order to help give the milk a consistency closer to cow’s milk, and to prevent the natural separation that occurs in nut and seed based milks. Many of these fillers are difficult to digest and can contribute to problems for those with gluten sensitivity.

Great Brands of Alternative Milks

If you’re putting in the effort to protect your health from gluten, it’s important to find an alternative milk brand that works just as hard. To help you find the brands that take steps to be truly gluten-free, we’ve put together a short list of some alternative milk brands that are verified gluten-free.

  • Three Trees: Three Trees is a brand of milk alternative that has several different varieties to enjoy. Each of their varieties of nut milk is limited in their ingredients, and that’s what makes them great!
  • MALK Organics: MALK Organics is another great milk alternative we highly recommend. As you’ll see with other milk alternatives on this list, the ingredients used in making MALK are limited. No gums, no additives, just simple almond milk.
  • JOI: Another great milk alternative is JOI. JOI is a nut milk base that you can blend yourself. This can help you ease into the world of creating your own milk alternatives. The ingredients in each milk base is simply almonds or cashews, depending on the base you choose. Simply add water and you have a delicious milk alternative.
  • Elmhurst 1925: Another great alternative is Elmhurst 1925. They have a fairly large selection of milk with no additives. This means no gums, and no oils.

Make Your Own Gluten Free Alternative Milk

It is actually quite simple to make your own gluten free alternative milk. A basic recipe template can be found here, but it requires 3 basic steps:

  1. Soak: soak your nuts or seeds overnight
  2. Blend: blend them with water until smooth
  3. Strain: strain out the pulp for a smooth, creamy milk

Know that separation is natural in alternative milks that are made without gums and fillers. Just give it a shake before serving!

The Bottom Line

While food label laws claim that oats are gluten free, they don’t take into consideration the avenin in oats. In addition, there is no guarantee that oats haven’t been cross-contaminated with wheat, barley, or rye.

If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, I recommend avoiding oat milk. Instead, try one of the many alternatives to oat milk that are less likely to be cross-contaminated, and are known to not contain any form of gluten.

If you’re struggling with gut problems, and want to know if gluten may be the cause, as well as the next steps you should be taking, take the sensitivity test!

One Response

  1. Hi, can hemp seeds be gluten mimickers or is it more the risk of cross-contamination that makes me bloated recently even though I’m gluten-free?
    Thanks, Catherine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sing up to our newsletter for 10% off your first order!

Receive the latest strain releases, exclusive offers and 10% OFF welcome discount.