As you may know by now, I am a BIG chai tea latte fan.
I prefer my chai tea latte with almond, walnut or oat “milk” vs. lactose free cow’s milk. I just like the flavor of these nutty milks in my chai tea. I am not anti-cow’s milk. I use lactose free cow’s milk in many of my recipes and cereal. But, somehow these plant-based “milks” just make the chai latte extra yummy!
Since I am constantly sharing my chai tea latte pictures on Instagram….many people have asked what is my favorite brand. Well, it’s Tazo Chai tea (pictured below). I do make chai tea from scratch too with a variety of spices and black tea but that is on the rare occasion when I have extra time on my hands!
One of my colleagues, Marisa Moore, posted a picture of homemade oat “milk” on her Instagram feed last week–and it looked so so easy to make. So, I gave it a whirl. Wow. Yum. And yes, easy. Oh…and inexpensive to make! The simple recipe is below!
I tried the oat milk with my chai tea and it tasted delish!
While plant-based “milks” often provide less of a nutritional punch, I find them to be tasty and a great alternative when I am out at a coffee shop and crave a latte. I have yet to find a coffee shop that serves lactose free cow’s milk, have you?
Here is a good article about the nutritional components of plant-based milks geared for dietitians, but still provides a good review for all, if you are interested in looking at that nutritional comparisons.
Bottom line: Cow’s milk (lactose free, for the low FODMAP diet follower) provides a nice nutritional profile with 8 grams of protein per cup, plus it is rich in calcium, Vitamin D and riboflavin. Soy milk provide the next best source of protein with 7 grams per cup, but in the US most brands contain whole soybean and therefore are high FODMAP. The calories in the various milks vary per brand depending on whether there is added sugar and how the product is made. Many plant-based “milks” add Vitamin D and calcium to enhance the nutrition in the product.
Do note that some commercial brands of plant based “milks” have numerous additives–so check the ingredients for added FODMAPs (chicory root or inulin) or gums that are not FODMAPs but may cause some excess intestinal gas when over-consumed. Carrageenan is added to some alternative milks and while human studies on carrageenan are lacking, the animal studies make me a bit weary of it. This scientific paper explains more about the potential risks of carrageenan here.
But do remember, mice studies do not always translate to humans. More research on food additives and gut health are being done currently.
My favorite commercial brand is Elmhurst at the moment as it is made minimal additives, tastes great and most importantly, froths really well in my Nespresso milk frother, here is the link to a similar one on Amazon. (They don’t make mine anymore). But, truthfully, I am not a plant-based “milk” expert, I only buy it for my chai tea lattes. 🙂
From FODMAP perspective, there are many suitable low FODMAP plant-based “milk” options from quinoa, oat, macadamia, rice, and almond–soy milk made with soy protein NOT the whole soybean should be low FODMAP too —but as I previously mentioned, there are not many US options that are soy protein based.
To make my chai tea latte, I just shake my oat milk vigorously and add a splash to the top of my tea. I found my homemade oat milk doesn’t froth well in my milk frother, unfortunately. As another option, I often use Elmhurst almond milk for my chai tea lattes. Elmhurst almond milk does froths up quite well (very creamy and yum) in my Nespresso frother. I typically top my chai latte with a little a dash of cinnamon sugar because…it adds a visual appeal and tastes extra special this way.
If you want to whip up some oat “milk”–here is the recipe that worked well for me!
P.S. I added some tips on how to make a smooth oat milk, not a gummy textured end product.