If you’re on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free flour to use in your baking, oat flour and quinoa flour are two nutritious contenders you might want to try out.
Oat flour is a nutritious and affordable option that is high in fiber and protein, while quinoa is a member of the same family as spinach and beets, making it a nutrient-dense alternative to traditional wheat flour.
So, which one is better for your bake? In this article, we’ll break down the nutritional benefits, taste, and versatility of both oat flour and quinoa flour to help you decide which one is the best fit.
Comparing oat flour vs quinoa flour
|Oat Flour||Quinoa Flour|
|Substitution ratio vs all-purpose flour||100% swap with all-purpose if done by weight. If done by cup, you need 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose||Replace 25%- 50% of your all-purpose or gluten-free blend with quinoa flour|
|Paleo-friendly?||No||No (pseudocereal grain)|
|Pantry shelf life (unopened/sealed)||2 months||6 – 12 months|
|Best for baking…||Dense baked goods like pancakes, bread, and muffins||Muffins, pie crusts, quick bread, savory bakes, and anything that needs a grittier texture.|
*Check the label/ingredients to determine gluten-free status
Differences between oat flour and quinoa flour
Although both flours are naturally gluten-free, they have a few differences.
If you’re looking for a 100% swap for all-purpose flour, oat flour is a great option. On the other hand, quinoa flour works best as a partial substitute for all-purpose flour, replacing around 25% – 50% of it. In terms of their pantry shelf life, quinoa flour lasts between 4 – 10 months longer than oat flour, which is a big bonus if you’re someone who doesn’t bake as often.
So, what are these flours generally best for baking? Oat flour is better for denser and chewier goods like pancakes and bread, while quinoa flour works well in recipes like muffins, pie crusts, quick bread, and savory bakes because of its tougher texture.
Note: Always choose certified gluten-free oat flour if you are gluten intolerant since some oats are processed on machinery that also handles gluten.
Baking with oat flour vs baking with quinoa flour
Oat flour is known for absorbing tons of moisture, which can lead to denser and chewier baked goods. But you’ll want to keep in mind that if you don’t use it correctly, it can lead to a dry or crumbly texture.
Quinoa flour also has a high absorbency, but it has a slightly different effect on baked goods. Because it’s a bit rougher than oat flour, it can give baked goods a slightly gritty texture if used in large quantities. That’s why it’s often best to use quinoa flour in combination with other flours for a better texture and taste.
When it comes to flavor, oat flour has a mild taste and aroma, which can be great for recipes where you don’t want the flour to overpower the other flavors. Quinoa flour will give you a distinct earthy flavor, which would be a great addition to chocolate chip cookies or banana bread, where the nutty flavor would complement the sweetness of the other ingredients.
Ingredients in oat flour vs quinoa flour
Both flours are made by grinding their main ingredients into a fine powder. Oat flour is made up of whole oats and quinoa out of whole quinoa seeds (that’s right – it’s not actually a grain, but a seed!). Because they’re made from whole grains, they’re fantastic healthy alternatives to more processed flours like all-purpose flour.
Oat flour + quinoa flour nutritional facts
|Per ¼ cup serving||Oat flour||Quinoa flour|
|Carbs||22 g||19 g|
|Fiber||3 g||3 g|
|Sugar||0 g||1 g|
|Fat||2 g||1 g|
|Protein||4 g||4 g|
|Glycemic index score||44||40 – 53|
Let’s look at both flours side-by-side. A ¼ cup of oat flour contains roughly 120 calories, 22g of carbohydrates, 2g of fat, 0g of sugar, and a glycemic index score of 44. Quinoa flour contains 100 calories, 19g of carbohydrates, 1g of fat, and 1g of sugar, and a glycemic index score of 40 – 53. They’re quite moderate in calories and carbohydrates and are low in fat and sugar, which is a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.
Both are rich in fiber (3g each) and protein (4g each). And they also have glycemic index scores between 40 and 53, which means they both have a low glycemic index, according to the Glycemic Index Foundation. Both flours add nutritional value to baked goods in their own way – quinoa with its complete amino acid profile and oat with its soluble fiber.
Oat flour vs quinoa flour storage
Oat flour tends to have a shorter shelf life than quinoa flour, so it’s a good idea to use it within two months of opening or store it in the freezer for a longer shelf life. Quinoa flour’s 6 – 12 month storage length is ideal if you only want to use small portions for it each time you bake.
Oat flour vs quinoa flour: Which is better?
While oat and quinoa flour have similar nutritional profiles, they have their own special qualities that are better for some recipes than others. Are you looking for a sweet, nutty flavor or an earthy flavor? Does what you’re baking need a finer texture or a grittier texture? The better choice all depends on the specific needs of the recipe and what you’re baking!
You can totally use quinoa flour as a substitute for oat flour in most recipes, but since quinoa flour has a slightly different taste and texture than oat flour, your recipe might have a slightly different flavor and consistency. To avoid any surprises, do some test runs or find a recipe that specifically calls for quinoa flour.
While you can’t exactly substitute quinoa grains for oats, you can use quinoa flakes as a 1:1 replacement of rolled oats if you’re making oatmeal cookies, for example. Note that the larger rolled oats tend to alter texture more than quinoa flakes do.
If you’re looking for a substitute for oat flour, you can try using spelt flour, barley flour, or whole wheat flour instead. All three of these flours have a similar nutty flavor and can be used in many of the same recipes as oat flour.
Yes, you can substitute quinoa flour in place of other flour in many bakes. Experimenting with flours can open up a whole world of possibilities to create delicious and unique treats! Check out our comprehensive breakdown of 61 different flours.