Find out if oat flour is gluten-free, what it’s made of, used for, and how to make your own gluten-free oat flour at home.
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If you’ve been looking around at recipes online lately and wondering what oat flour is and what it’s made of, you’re very likely not the only one.
Because I write about food every day, I think oat flour has been on my radar for a while now, but for many people, oat flour seems like this brand new ingredient that is popping up everywhere. In cakes, muffins, waffles, bread… really, everywhere!
While I don’t use a ton of oat flour in my own cooking, I’m no stranger to it either. In fact, last year I shared my pie crust recipe here on the blog that uses homemade oat flour.
If you’ve been trying to figure out how oat flour fits into your gluten-free diet, this post is for you. We’re going to cover the basics of this ingredient and help you determine when it’s a good option (and when it’s not), and what you can use oat flour for.
We’ll also cover a few popular brands of oat flour and find out if those are gluten-free, and wrap things up with some gluten-free oat flour brands to shop for, and how to make your own oat flour at home using gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats.
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it!
What is oat flour?
Oat flour is a flour that’s made by pulverizing old fashioned oats into a fine meal. You can buy oat flour for baking and cooking, or make your own at home using old fashioned oats and a food processor or high-speed blender.
Oat flour is often used in gluten-free baking (when gluten-free oats are used),
What is oat flour used for?
Oat flour is often used for baking and as an alternative to all purpose flour. People like this ingredient, because it offers up more fiber than an all-purpose flour.
Oat flour can be used in many different recipes, like muffins, cakes, breads, waffles, pancakes, quick breads, and cookies. I’ve even used oat flour in my favorite gluten-free pie crust recipe.
Is oatmeal and oat flour the same?
Oatmeal and oat flour are sort of the same thing. That’s not very clear, I know.
Both oatmeal and oat flour come from old fashioned oats, however oatmeal are the oats that have been pressed into a flat shape. Oat flour processes those old fashioned oats one step further by grinding them into a fine meal or flour.
Read on: Is oatmeal gluten-free?
Read on: Are Quaker Oats gluten-free?
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is gluten in food? The basics of a gluten-free diet
Is oat flour gluten-free?
Oat flour may or may not be gluten-free, depending on the oats that are used to create the flour.
While oats are generally considered to be a gluten-free food, the gluten-free community agrees that oats are some of the highest cross contaminated foods.
Many oats are processed in the same facilities and on the same equipment as wheat and other gluten-containing grains.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, you will want to be sure that any oat flour you purchase has a gluten-free label, otherwise anticipate there is a risk of gluten cross contamination within that product.
Read on: Is oat milk gluten-free?
Is store bought oat flour gluten-free?
Store bought oat flour may or may not contain gluten. To be sure, choose a brand that has a gluten-free label on the packaging.
If the product doesn’t have a gluten-free label, even with gluten-free ingredients only listed, it’s safe to assume there has been some gluten cross contamination.
One of my little secrets is that I carry around a copy of my GFDF Take Along Cards so that I always have a point of reference when I can sneak a peek at the ingredient list of a food.
>> Get your copy of the GFDF Take-Along Cards to make this easy on you.
Is Arrowhead Mills oat flour gluten-free?
Arrowhead Mills oat flour is listed as wheat free on their product page on their website, but there is no mention of this product being gluten-free.
This product does not show up on their list of gluten-free products, so it might be a good idea to avoid this option if you’re on a gluten-free diet.
Is Bob’s Red Mill oat flour gluten-free?
Bob’s Red Mill offers two different oat flour products in their product line.
On the product page for their Whole Grain Oat Flour on their website, in the question and answer section, they say:
“This Whole Grain Oat Flour is inherently gluten free but is processed in a facility that also processes wheat on shared lines. For tested and confirmed gluten free version search our website for the product, “Gluten Free Oat Flour.”
Their Gluten-free Oat Flour has a gluten-free label and is considered safe for a gluten-free diet.
If you’re looking at these two products, be sure to check the labels and opt for the Gluten-free one to avoid the cross contamination.
Can you buy gluten-free oat flour?
You can! There are a number of brands of gluten-free oat flour that you can buy from grocery stores or online retailers.
Be sure to look for a gluten-free label on any oat flour packages you come across when shopping.
Gluten-free oat flour brands
If you’re considering adding oat flour to your cooking and baking, here are a few gluten-free options you can look for when you’re out shopping either in the store or online.
Can I make my own gluten-free oat flour?
You can! As long as you have a food processor or high-speed blender and some gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats, you can easily make your own gluten-free oat flour at home.
Read on: Are rolled oats gluten-free?
How to make gluten-free oat flour
To make your own gluten-free oat flour at home, simply add gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats to your food processor or high speed blender.
Blend or process on high for a minute or two until a fine meal or flour is formed. The longer you blend it, the finer the flour will become.
This homemade oat flour can be used in any and all recipes that call for oat flour that you desire.
If you have been seeing recipes with oat flour online or in cookbooks lately and wondering how this ingredient fits into a gluten-free diet, I hope this post has helped you get the answers you’re after.
Some oat flours are gluten-free, while others aren’t, so do your due diligence to look for a gluten-free label before purchasing.
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