Gluten-Free Flours 101: Oat Flour

oat flour in a bowl

Written by Glen Call

July 29, 2020

One of the most common gluten-free flours found on shelves today is oat flour.  Companies like Quaker and Cheerios have been gluten free for years (provided they use a dedicated gluten-free facility). Oat flour is a natural progression for those needing gluten-free flour. Here’s a few things you should know about oat flour.

Wait, How are Oats Gluten Free?

When people think of common grains, you’ll often hear: wheat, barley, rye, oats or corn. While the first three grains listed are full of gluten, the last two aren’t. Oats are naturally gluten-free. They aren’t technically a grain though; they’re a groat. And as a groat, they don’t contain gluten. But, because oats and wheat look very similar, it’s difficult to remove any stray wheat mixed into oats.  It’s also often processed on the same machinery.  Make sure that your oats and oat flour is coming from a facility where cross-contamination hasn’t occurred.

Where Does Oat Flour Come From?

Because they’re a staple in most countries, oats are grown all over the world. The biggest producer is Russia, with 20% of global production. It’s followed by Canada, Australia, Poland and China. The US is the largest consumer of oats, with over 50% of the market. Oat flour is commonly milled in the US, and some consumers make their own oat flour at home using a blender to grind rolled oats.

Is Oat Flour Healthy?

Oat flour is a very nutrient-dense flour. It’s loaded with magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, and phosphorus. It also has plenty of antioxidants. Oat flour has more protein and fat than other traditional flours. Plus, it packs eight grams of fiber per half-cup serving. Think of it this way: you’re eating ground up oatmeal. It’s that healthy!

Is Oat Flour Right for My Product?

Most people are familiar with the taste of oats, so adding it to your product will give it a recognizable flavor.  Oat flour is often used to make gluten-free products because it makes products lighter and fluffier than other gluten-free flours. It also adds a nice crust to baked goods to give a bit of a crunchier and chewier texture for cookies and the like.

In Conclusion

Oat flour is a delicious addition that your customers are already familiar with. Substitute some oat flour into your breads and cakes to make them fluffier. Use it to add crunch to your breadcrumbs and chewiness to your cookies. Make sure your oat flour is sourced from a dedicated gluten-free provider so you can keep your customers safe

GF Blends has a variety of high quality ingredients to help you create the perfect product for your customers. We are here to help you every step of the way, and have a variety of flours including almond flour, buckwheat flour, sorghum flour, and more.

You can also learn more about our GlutenTox Testing Requirements and our different facilities including a gluten and allergen free facility.

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