With so many milk alternatives, it is important to consider what might be the most sustainable option. Everything we eat or drink has an “eco-footprint,” meaning how much water, energy and production waste goes into harvesting, processing and delivering the food or drink you consume.
Choosing a sustainable milk alternative is particularly crucial when it comes to coffee beverages. For many of us, lattes and cappuccinos are the reason we even consider drinking milk alternatives. At various coffee shops, consumers are given three choices: soy milk, coconut milk or almond milk.
Soy milk and coconut milk radically change the flavor of a drink. Almond milk is the least environmentally friendly. It takes upwards of 1.1 gallons of water to grow just a single almond. Almond milk is only made of 2 percent almonds, the rest being water. Making matters close to home, the majority of almonds are grown in California. California is going through one of the worst droughts in state history. Luckily there is an alternative…
Introducing oak milk, a milk alternative derived from oats. It takes six times less water to grow oats than almonds. Oat milk is quickly becoming a barista favorite. It is available at many grocery stores. Locally, the coffee shop Capitan and Stoker, located in Monterey, is offering oat milk in their drinks. It is even easy to make on your own!
Recipe for oat milk
- Use any form of oats (rolled, instant or steel cut)
- Combine one part oats, two parts water and soak overnight
- Blend and strain with a fine mesh
- The leftover oats can be used as porridge for breakfast.