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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Good Hemp Oat + Hemp Milk review: A winning mix for vegan cooking

Anay Mridul
Anay is the managing editor of The Vegan Review. A journalism graduate from City, University of London, he was a barista for three years, and never shuts up about coffee. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford Comma. Originally from India, he went vegan in 2020, after attempting (and failing) Veganuary. He believes being environmentally conscious is a basic responsibility, and veganism is the best thing you can do to battle climate change. He gets lost at Whole Foods sometimes.

We reviewed Good Hemp’s new Oat + Hemp milk in six different ways to find out how it fares and where it works best. Here’s what we thought.

British brand Good Hemp released its new Oat + Hemp milk last month. It’s the company’s first plant-based milk that uses a major ingredient other than hemp.

Made from pressed hemp seeds to obtain oil that is then blended with oats, it’s a climate-forward milk, with hemp and oat making up some of the most eco-friendly dairy alternatives out there.

We taste-tested Good Hemp’s Oat + Hemp milk and reviewed it to see how it performs in different recipes. Here’s how it fared.

What’s it like to drink Good Hemp’s Oat + Hemp Milk plain?

good hempIt tastes pleasantly sweet. The oat and hemp are surprisingly a great combination of flavours; but there is a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. It looks as white as dairy and has the consistency of something between semi-skimmed and whole milk. But that bitterness is unpleasant and overpowers the taste of the whole oat and hemp milk.

3/5

Béchamel

good hemp reviewAnd now the savoury bit of the Oat + Hemp milk review. We set out to test how Good Hemp’s new alt-milk holds up in a classic béchamel, based off of a flour- and vegan butter-based roux, and performs texturally and flavour-wise.

The colour is super attractive, and the sauce is super creamy. The béchamel smells very sweet when cooking, but is wonderful when tasting. The milk lends itself to the pasta really well and acts as a great carrier. It’s just a tad watery, but makes for a great base for pasta.

4.5/5

Cappuccino

hemp coffeeAn essential test for any plant-based milk is how it froths. If you can’t already tell from the photographs, the Good Hemp Oat + Hemp Milk is not for the frothers. It’s not that you can’t make a cappuccino from it — you can’t make a latte or a flat white either. It just does not foam up.

But if you’re okay with the flatness of the milk, the flavour’s good. The cane sugar provides it with the right amount of sweetness, and the flavours of the coffee and milk get better as you drink. It actually has a slight reminiscence to cow’s milk. But the non-frothiness is a big downside.

2/5

Cold Brew

hemp milkWeirdly, this tastes very nutty. The Good Hemp oat and hemp milk undercuts any bitter notes present in the coffee. It’s a little water, but tastes fairly pleasant. But it does take away from the flavour of the coffee quite a bit.

3.5/5

Oatmeal

oat milkThis is amazing. The alt-milk works so well with the porridge. It’s an excellent binder and clings to the oats very well. The sweetness balances out the whole porridge, and it has very heavy notes of freshly made soy milk. And that’s incredible. You can’t stop eating this if you tried.

5/5

Pancakes

oat and hemp milkIn this taste-test, we wanted to see if the hemp and oat milk curdled to mimic buttermilk and make fluffy pancakes. While it didn’t split with the addition of apple cider vinegar (and thus isn’t ideal for a buttermilk substitute), the pancakes did rise and fluff up.

While they are slightly chewy and tough in texture, the flavour is absolutely wonderful. It’s perfectly balanced; the sweetness and airiness shining through the whole pancake. The stiff consistency doesn’t matter when the stuff tastes so good.

4/5

Verdict

Currently, the oat and hemp milk is only available in Waitrose, with the brand planning on expanding to other supermarkets in January. At £2 for a 1l bottle, it’s a standard-priced product in the alt-milk lineup.

This sustainable milk isn’t made for your morning cappuccino — you’re better off dunking it in your filter coffee or tea. And that’s baffling when you read the ingredient list. Usually, the flatness of plant-based milks is due to a lack of emulsifying agents and a focus on cleaner compositions. But in the case of Good Hemp’s new milk, the ingredients include 6% oats, 1% hemp oil, sunflower oil, cane sugar, faba bean protein, sea salt, gellan gum (a stabiliser) and sunflower lecithin (an emulsifier). If it’s loaded up with such ingredients, frothing and foaming should be a natural consequence.

But what Good Hemp’s Oat + Hemp lacks in coffee, it makes up in cooking and baking. It’s amongst the best oatmeals you can have with milk alternatives, and apart from flavour, it does a splendid job to give pancakes and pasta sauces the trademark textures we’ve come to know and love.

If you want a new plant-based milk for your frothy espresso-based drinks, this may not be the best option (texturally, at least). If you’re looking for a plant-based milk to cook with, look no further: Oat + Hemp will serve you well.

Read our in-depth review of the best oat milks in the UK.

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