Passover marks the Jewish celebration of the Egyptian slaves' escape from tyranny and suffering, the beginning of their exodus to the promised land.
Following suit with many other Jewish holidays, observers must follow strict dietary restrictions.
These customs allow for the consumption of typical cow's milk, but where do alternatives such as oat milk stand?
Because oats qualify as one of five grains prohibited during Passover, kosher observers cannot consume oat milk during the holiday. Fortunately, lactose intolerant persons of Jewish faith may still enjoy several alternatives such as coconut milk, almond milk, and potentially rice or soy milk.
Certain religious sects do impose further restrictions on these alternatives, however.
As such, if you’re looking for a proper milk substitute during Passover, keep reading for more specifics on what you can and cannot consume without breaking kosher restrictions.
Can You Drink Oat Milk For Passover?
The ban on certain grains during Passover did not arise arbitrarily.
During their exodus, fleeing Jews didn’t have enough time to wait for leavened breads to rise. As a result, five forms of leavened grains remain prohibited:
Jewish observers label these grains as chametz, meaning no products containing them or produced in facilities used to process them will qualify as kosher.
Only matzoh, an unleavened bread, may suffice as an all-around grain alternative during the holiday.
This means that Jewish observers cannot drink oat milk at Passover.
Since mixing oats with water to create oat milk begins a fermentation process, the milk is deemed every bit as chametz as the oats that make it up.
Luckily, those in need of alternative dairy products still have their options open—depending upon which sect of Judaism they follow.
And in case you're interested, we made an entire video on how to make oat milk so you can see the entire process!
Kosher Alternatives to Oat Milk
Despite the vast number of alternative dairy products on the market, four in particular stand out when discussing kosher alternatives to oat milk:
Coconut milk and almond milk readily qualify without question.
Nuts are are kosher, which means most nut milks are acceptable for Passover. There are exceptions though—added ingredients
If your almond milk is just made from almonds and water, it’s likely safe.
However, if it contains certain additives like natural flavors, corn syrup, sunflower oil, and others, it may not be kosher.
Rice milk and soy milk are a little more problematic. While neither qualify as chametz, they may violate other Passover restrictions.
Rice and soybeans both fall under another class of foods known as kitniyot, which also includes legumes such as peas.
How to Tell if Plant-Based Milk is Kosher
Scanning through all the ingredients on the back of every carton of milk you want to buy during passover can be pretty tedious.
Luckily, there’s an easier way to tell if plant-based milk (or any product) is likely to be ok during passover.
Look for a kosher certification label on the carton. There are a number of organizations that certify products as kosher, including:
For a quick way to find non-dairy kosher milk, browse our database of over 400 non-dairy milk products.
Keep in mind though, that just because a product is kosher doesn’t mean it’s ok to consume during passover.
For instance, there are several kosher oat milk brands on the market. But since oat milk isn’t allowed during passover at all, you should still avoid it.
Avoid Oat Milk During Passover
While Sephardic Jews and some Ashkenazi Jews can enjoy milk made from rice, soy, or even peas during Passover, many cannot.
Since oat milk remains off-limits to all, this leaves coconut and almond milk as the primary alternatives for Passover observers who cannot digest lactose.
By bearing these simple rules in mind, all observers can enjoy a relaxing, nutritious, and worry-free celebration of their faith.