Hey pals, welcome to the next edition of my ‘Product Reviews’ series! I’m looking forward to trying out new vegan-friendly products (you guys, it feels like there are new fun things for us to eat being bought to market all the time right now!) and spilling the tea, but to start I wanted to share with you my A-Team. The products that I really enjoy. These are the products that whenever friends talk to me about going vegan and aren’t sure what’s good I always talk about first.
I’m not paid by any of these companies and I’ll only ever tell you the truth about them.
With that disclaimer out of the way, this week I’m talking about all things Oatly. And I need to let you know I love – and I mean LOVE – Oatly. From their beautiful packaging, to their glorious tasting drinks to their ethos of striving to be a “good company” and goal of always delivering “products that have maximum nutritional value and minimal environmental impact” I think Oatly are brill.
What is it?
Oatly is a “nutritious liquid product for people who don’t like cow’s milk or are unwilling to use it for personal reasons”. In the UK Oatly sell Oat drinks (including a barista edition specifically designed for hot drinks), a chocolate oat drink, an orange mango oat drink, vanilla custard, creamy Oat Fraiche and Oat creams too. They have some organic options too.
Who makes it?
Oatly are a Swedish product proudly using Swedish oats. They say “today, the concept of producing a drink directly from oats instead of first feeding oats to a cow and letting the cow process them into milk is an option but back when we started in the 1990s most people thought we were totally crazy.” Their sole purpose as a company is “to make it easy for people to turn what they eat and drink into personal moments of healthy joy without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources in the process.”
How much is it?
Oat Drink – 1 ltr cartons range from around £1.40 to £1.80 when not on special offer.
Vanilla Custard – 250ml cartons come in at about £1.20 each.
Creamy Oat Fraiche – 200ml will set you back around £1.55.
Oat Cream – 89p for 250ml.
Where can I buy it?
All over the place! The Mango and Orange drink I’ve only ever found in Ikea. The Oat Fraiche, Custard and Oat Cream I always buy from Tesco (not sure if other shops currently stock it!?) but the oat drinks are stocked in every supermarket I’ve been into and more and more cafes are trying out Oat milk: as this Oatfinder demonstrates!
What can I make using it?
Where do I start? Obviously you can use the Oat Drinks as you would dairy milk: with cereals, in porridge, in smoothies and hot drinks. You can use it like you would dairy milk for making a béchamel – for Mac’N’Cheese, Lasagne and cauliflower cheese too.
The chocolate oat drink is great on its own or alongside cookies. Although pretty much everything’s great alongside cookies. It’s also great in cocktails.
The custard is thick and creamy when cold – although it does get a little thin when heated – but really smooth, sweet and creamy and great with crumbles, cakes, pies, brownies, bananas and anything else you like to eat with custard.
The Oat Fraiche makes a great sour cream replacer- so it’s good with nachos, chilli, curries or as within a home-made tzatziki. The Oat Fraiche would also be good with flans and tarts as well as for thickening soups and stews.
The Oat Cream helps makes a mean White Russian, is also lovely with desserts, in soups, curries and in creamy pasta dishes.
When I went vegan I tried a lot of milks to see which worked best with hot drinks – as some non-dairy milks can split and curdle when the hot water meets the tea bag/coffee which is never a good look I assure you! – and the Oatly Barista Edition is now my go-to. It never bails on me, it makes lovely foamy lattes and tastes lovely.
Oatly’s website reminds us that the global population is growing and it is estimated that there will be nine billion people on earth by 2050, whilst our food system is destroying the very environment upon which future food production is dependent. Yikes. If you’re reading this blog then chances are you’ll be well aware that our current food system is responsible for – amongst other things – major deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Greenhouse gas emissions from oat drinks are just one third of those generated in the production of cows’ milk. So it tastes good and does good. Thanks Oatly.