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How To Use Oat Flour is number 11 in my 12-post series on gluten free flour. We can’t talk about recipes until we know a little bit about the safety of oats and how oat flour is made.

Have you heard the acronym B.R.O.W.? It is to help you remember what foods to avoid and it stands for barley, rye, oats and wheat. Oats have come a long way in the ten years I’ve been cooking gluten free but it’s safe to say “oats are complicated.”

The use of oat milk and oat flour has sky rocketed in recent years. This year one company moved away from using safe oats in their oat milk. They advertised this change well in advance but it was a hot topic in some Facebook groups. This is another reminder that food manufacturing has to be on your radar.

A significant percentage of people on a gluten free diet cannot tolerate oats, including safe oats using the purity protocol. There may be different reasons so this is your reminder to pay attention to what is in the food you eat. Then trust your gut (and your dietitian).

A black background with a hand holding some oat flour from a pile below.
How To Use Oat Flour

Is Oat Flour Safe for a Gluten Free Diet

Oat flour is finely ground from whole oats yet food manufacturing is a complex process with lots of opportunity for cross contact. Only oat flour, made from safe gluten free oats, is safe for anyone eating a strict gluten free diet.

The purity protocol was created to ensure oats were free of gluten and there are companies that sell safe gluten free oats. Their products are labeled but if you’re interested in learning more about the process here are a few resources.

Tricia over at Gluten Free Watchdog shares accurate up-to-date information on all gluten free food products and claims. Oats and oat products are popular topics for her and I borrowed her statement, oats are complicated. Visit her website and follow her for updates.

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Photo of the Everyday Gluten Free Gourmet in black, holding coffee mug with logo, underneath is picture of her hand sprinkling oat flour.

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Where To Buy Purity Protocol Oat Flour

There is an extensive list of companies selling oat products over at Gluten Free Watchdog but these companies specifically sell oat flour made from purity protocol oats. These are the brands to look for.

How To Use Oat Flour

Finally, we’re now talking about how to use the flour in your kitchen.

Properties of Oat Flour

  • High in fiber which is important for anyone on a gluten free diet.
  • Light texture and mild flavour similar to wheat.
  • Absorbency that adds moisture to baked goods.
  • Helps make cakes light and fluffy.
  • Oat flour labeled gluten free may still contain gluten greater than 20 parts per million. Be aware of the source of your flour and support manufacturers using purity protocol oats.

Best Uses

  • Use up to 25% oat flour in a gluten free flour blend.
  • Pancakes, muffins, brownies and cupcakes.
  • Oatmeal cookies for a thick and chewy texture.
  • Use as sprinkling flour to prevent bread dough from sticking.

Can I Make Oat Flour from Whole Oats

Yes, you can make oat flour at home! Isn’t that awesome?

You need a grain mill to make flour from other grains but you can put whole oats or quick oats into a food processor and make oat flour.

Now try and remember that when you’re a little short somewhere.

The Recipes: How To Substitute Oat Flour

I experiment with oat flour all the time and became more adventurous as I wrote this series. I like to try different flours in the recipes I make most often. It feels low risk in pancakes, waffles or muffins and I learn how each flour affects the taste and texture.

My usual recommendation is to replace 2-4 tablespoons of the total amount of flour in any recipe. Simply doing this makes you pay closer attention to your results and increases your confidence with substitutions.

Here are a few ways to substitute oat flour in recipes you’re already making.

There are enough ideas to have you trying oat flour for a year. Let me know what you learn.

Happy Baking!

Originally posted 2018, updated December 2022.

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How To Use Gluten Free Flour series:

This is a series of blog posts on gluten free flours. My intention is to provide a basic overview of several gluten free flours for the everyday home cook, both new and experienced. Let me know in the comments below if you have a specific problem with your baking or a tip you’d like to share.

  1. How To Use Rice Flour in Gluten Free Baking
  2. How To Use Starch in Gluten Free Baking
  3. How To Use Millet Flour and Sorghum Flour
  4. How To Use Corn Flour, Cornmeal and Masa Harina
  5. How To Use Almond Flour and Quinoa Flour
  6. How To Use Binders in Gluten Free Baking
  7. How To Use Chickpea Flour
  8. How To Use Teff Flour
  9. How To Use Buckwheat Flour
  10. How To Use Coconut Flour
  11. How To Use Oat Flour
  12. How To Use A Gluten Free Flour Blend

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