- Oat flour is a nutritious and versatile alternative to wheat flour
- Oat flour is gluten-free
- Gluten cross-contamination may occur during oat flour processing
- Look for certified oat flour and oat flour products if you are in a gluten-free diet
Oat flour is a type of flour used in baking and cooking. Consumers would like to know if oat flour is gluten free or not.
Oats in their natural, pure form are gluten-free. Oat flour is also gluten-free and should be safe to consume for individuals with gluten intolerance, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Always read the product packaging before buying oat flour.
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Does Oat Flour Have Gluten?
Oat flour is made by grinding whole oats into a fine powder. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a subtle nuttiness that makes it a great addition to a variety of recipes.
It’s often used in baking as a substitute for wheat flour, particularly in gluten-free recipes. It can be used to make bread, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods. It can also be used as a thickener in soups, stews, and sauces.
One of the benefits of using oat flour is that it is high in fiber and protein. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and magnesium. Oat flour is also low in fat and calories, making it a healthy choice for those watching their weight.
If you're someone who's been diagnosed with celiac disease or has a gluten intolerance, you've likely heard about gluten.
Gluten is responsible for giving bread, pasta, and other baked goods a texture which is chewy.
Gluten is made up of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. When flour is mixed with water, these proteins form a sticky substance that gives dough its elasticity. This is what allows bread to rise and gives it its chewy texture.
While gluten is harmless for most people, those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can experience a range of symptoms from consuming even small amounts of gluten. These symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue.
If you're someone who follows a gluten-free diet or has celiac disease, you may be wondering if oat flour is a safe option for you. Is oat flour gluten-free? Is oat flour safe for a gluten-free diet?
The answer is not straightforward, as it depends on how the oat flour is processed. While oats themselves do not contain gluten, they can become contaminated with gluten during processing.
Oats are often grown in fields adjacent to grains such as wheat, which are all grains that contain gluten. Oats are often processed in facilities that also process these grains, leading to cross-contamination.
There are brands of oat flour that are certified gluten-free, meaning they have been tested and contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is the threshold set by the FDA for a product to be labeled as gluten-free.
In case you’re unsure if a brand of oat flour is gluten-free, it is best to check the label or contact the manufacturer in order to identify certified gluten free oats.
You can also look for certifications such as the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) or the Certified Gluten-Free label from the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).
Is Store-Bought Oat Flour Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet?
Store-bought oat flour may be safe or unsafe for a gluten-free diet. It all comes down to how the oats used to make the flour were grown, harvested, and processed.
To be on the safe side, you should only go for oat flour with a gluten-free certification, such as the one offered by GFCO.
During certification, GFCO will audit all processes involved in oat processing. This organization will also go a step further and test the oats several times, to confirm they are gluten-free.
With this rigorous approach, GFCO can guarantee that any oat flour that bears its certification is 100% gluten-free and safe for a gluten-free diet.
Can You Take Oat Products if You Have Celiac Disease?
Oat flour should be safe to consume for individuals with celiac disease.
There’s always a possibility of gluten-cross contamination when it comes to oats. Oats are usually grown together with gluten grains..
Once they are mature, they will be harvested, processed and transported using the same facilities as the gluten-containing grains, resulting in gluten cross-contamination.
If you have celiac disease, you need to be extra vigilant whenever you are buying oat flour. Check product labels carefully to ensure you are only buying gluten-free oat flour.
If a particular product doesn’t carry a gluten-free label, you should always assume the possibility of gluten cross-contamination.
How to Use Oat Flour in Gluten-Free Baking
If you have decided to switch to oat flour for gluten-free baking, you may need to adjust your oat flour recipes slightly to get the desired results. Here are some tips to help you use oat flour in your gluten-free baking:
Combine oat flour with other gluten-free flours
Oat flour can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in many recipes, but it may not provide the same texture and structure as wheat flour. To get the best results, you can combine oat flour with other gluten-free flours such as rice flour, almond flour, or coconut flour. This will help to balance the flavors and textures and give you a better end result.
Use xanthan gum or guar gum
Xanthan gum and guar gum are commonly used in gluten-free baking to provide structure and elasticity to the dough or batter. You can add a small amount of xanthan gum or guar gum to your oat flour mixture to help improve the texture and structure of your baked goods.
Substitute oat flour in recipes
You can substitute oat flour for wheat flour in many recipes, but you may need to adjust the amount of liquid or leavening agents used in the recipe. Oat flour tends to absorb more liquid than wheat flour, so you may need to add more liquid to your recipe. You may also need to increase the amount of baking powder or baking soda to help your baked goods rise properly.
Experiment with recipes
Oat flour has a mild, nutty flavor that can work well in many baked goods. You can experiment with different recipes to find the best use for oat flour in your gluten-free baking. Oat flour can be used in cookies, muffins, bread, pancakes, and many other baked goods.
Store oat flour properly
Oat flour should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. It can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life. Make sure to label your oat flour container with the date of purchase to help you keep track of its freshness.
Are There Gluten-Free Oat Flour Brands?
Yes, there are several gluten-free oat flour brands. Adding oat flour to your gluten-free baking or cooking shouldn’t be a problem. .
Some of the most notable gluten-free oat flour brands include GF Harvest, Thrive Market, Anthony’s, Relative Foods, Better Body Foods and Gluten-Free Prairie.
You can buy the oat flour from these brands from a grocery store, health food store or specialist store near you.
You have the option of shopping online. Regardless of the brand you choose, ensure to read the packaging carefully to verify the oat flour is gluten-free certified.
Can You Make Your Own Oat Flour?
You should be able to get gluten-free homemade oat flour from a store near you. But, if you are having trouble finding it, then you don’t have to worry. You have the option of making your own gluten-free oat flour at home.
The entire process is simple. You just need oat rolled oats or quick-cooking oats and a food processor blender.
From there, you will add around three cups of oats to the food processor and then blend until they turn into fine flour.
The entire process won’t take more than five minutes. You can then use this oat flour in your gluten-free recipes.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker