Oat flour is something I use very often in my recipes. It’s one of my favorite ways to adapt a conventional recipe to a gluten-free version by substituting oat flour for the wheat version.
If you haven’t tried oat flour yet, keep reading for some ways you can easily swap it in your recipes at home (and why you should!).
First off, oat flour is simply ground up oats. You may purchase oat flour, or if you are like me and would like to control how coarse the oat flour is depending on the recipe, then you can make it yourself.
Next, please consider that not all oats are gluten-free, meaning that some types may prove unsafe for those who are gluten-intolerant. No doubt, some will find this confusing. Pure, uncontaminated oats are indeed gluten-free. Unfortunately, the issue with oats is cross-contamination. Most commercial oats are processed in facilities that also process barley, wheat, and rye (all of which contain gluten).
Nevertheless, many gluten-intolerant people have no reaction when they consume oats, even if they are not marked as gluten-free certified. That is simply because people have different levels of sensitivity to gluten. It’s a very personal scale, and only those who frequently buy and try different oats can safely make choices for themselves.
My advice is to always be clear: if you bake a recipe with gluten-free certified oats or just plain oats, let your food audience know precisely which so that individuals can make an informed decision about their consumption of the product.
As I mentioned, oat flour is my favorite way to make a recipe, gluten-free friendly. It’s much easier to bake with than potato or corn flour, at least in my opinion. It’s also more versatile than xanthan gum or almond flour. Oats also add so much fiber; they have a special type of fiber called beta-glucan, the component found to have beneficial impact on cholesterol, making oats one of the most heart-friendly grains available.
Oats have also been linked to reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes, due to their blood sugar stabilization qualities. And, they also impact immune system health. There are many studies still looking at oats and their properties. So far, oats continue to stack up as a powerful grain to potentially prevent many diseases.
Starting your day with a bowl of oats is a great idea for all ages. And, if you didn’t have time to get your oatmeal in the morning, why not get your share with these Chocolate Oat Brownie Bites? They are made with oat flour but also almond butter, increasing even more your necessary fiber and boosting your protein intake, simultaneously. They are perfect when served with ice cream or just a plain glass of cold milk.
Chocolate Oat Brownie Bites
2 cups whole oats (1 ¾ cups oat flour)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup almond butter
1 cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Add the oats to food processor and grind them into a fine flour. Add the baking soda and cocoa powder to the mix, and set aside. In separate bowl, mix almond butter with yogurt and sugar. Then, mix dry and wet ingredients until you have a thick dough-like result. Use a cookie scoop to help fill sections of a mini-muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes.
Yields: about 20 brownie bites.