Made by grinding whole oats into a fine powder, oat flour is a popular gluten-free alternative to all-purpose flour.
But what sets oat flour apart from other types of flour, and what can you use it for? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about oat flour, from its nutritional benefits to its culinary uses. Let’s get started!
What is oat flour?
Oat flour is a type of flour made from ground oats – that’s it!
Oat flour is made by grinding whole oat groats (hulled grains) into a fine powder using specialized milling equipment. The oat groats are first cleaned and dehulled to remove the outer husk, then they are ground into flour using a roller mill or a stone mill.
To make oat flour at home, you can simply grind rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they reach a fine, powdery consistency.
When purchasing oat flour from the store, note that “ground oats” are not the same as oat flour!
What’s the difference between oat flour and regular flour?
Oat flour is made from ground oats, while regular flour is made from wheat, which contains gluten.
Oat flour has a nutty taste and a slightly denser texture than regular flour. Overall, both oat flour and regular flour can be used in baking, but they have different properties and are best suited for different recipes.
Benefits of oat flour
Oat flour offers a variety of benefits, both in terms of taste and nutrition.
In addition to being gluten-free, oat flour is also high in fiber, which is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The soluble fiber in oats can also help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health.
When it comes to baking, oat flour is easy to work with and can be used in a variety of recipes, including muffins, pancakes, and cookies. Because it absorbs more liquid than wheat flour, it can also result in moister, denser baked goods.
For more baking tips and insights, see our other post on how oat flour can work with a low FODMAP diet.
Oat flour nutrition facts
|Flour (¼ cup)||Calories||Carbs||Fiber||Sugar||Fat||Protein||Glycemic Index|
|Oat flour||120||22 g||3 g||0 g||2 g||4 g||44|
|All-purpose flour||120||24 g||1 g||0 g||0.5 g||4 g||85|
How to bake and cook with oat flour
Oat flour can be used as a substitute for all-purpose flour in many recipes, including muffins, pancakes, and cookies. When substituting oat flour for wheat flour, you need 1 ⅓ cup of oat flour for every 1 cup of all-purpose. You may also need to add more liquid since oat flour absorbs more liquid than wheat flour.
Because oat flour does not contain gluten, it may not hold together as well as wheat flour. To help your baked goods hold together, you may need to add some binding agents, such as eggs or xanthan gum, to your recipes.
Oat flour has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. One of my favorite ways to use oat flour is with chocolate chips, vanilla, and cinnamon for chewy cookies or a dense loaf of banana bread.
While oat flour is often used in sweet recipes, it can also be a great addition to savory dishes. Try using oat flour in recipes like meatballs, burgers, or as a thickener for sauces.
Popular oat flour baked goods and dishes
Oat flour is a versatile ingredient that can be used in several different recipes, including:
- Pancakes and waffles
- Muffins and coffee cake
- Gluten-free bread
- Banana bread
- Fruit crumbles
- Gluten-free oatmeal cookies
- Granola bars
How to make oat flour at home
Making oat flour at home is super easy and only takes a few minutes.
- Start with old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats. Steel-cut oats won’t work as well since they are too coarse.
- Add the oats to a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Blend or process the oats until they reach a fine, powdery consistency. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
- If you notice that the oats aren’t grinding evenly, stop the blender or food processor and give the oats a stir with a spoon or spatula.
How to store oat flour
Oat flour can spoil quickly if not stored properly. Keep your oat flour in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to prevent it from going rancid. It has a shelf life of about 2 months at room temperature.
I recommend making small batches of homemade oat flour as you need it, and storing any leftover oat flour in an airtight container in the fridge for 6 months or in the freezer for up to 1 year.
What are the best substitutes for oat flour?
A mix of buckwheat flour and white rice flour can imitate oat flour’s hearty texture and baking characteristics. For a less nutritious, but closer light, nutty flavor, go with 100% white rice flour.
You can also use all-purpose flour, but you’ll need a bit less of it (1 cup for every 1 1/3 cups of oat flour).
For a lower-carb, gluten-free option that offers just as many benefits, check out coconut flour.
Essentially, yes. Oat flour is made by grinding whole oats into a fine powder.
Oat flour can be used as a replacement for all-purpose flour in certain recipes, such as pancakes, waffles, and muffins. However, it may not work as well in recipes that require gluten for structure, such as bread or pizza dough.
Oat flour is gluten-free as long as the oats were not contaminated with gluten during processing. Certified gluten-free oat flour is available and safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.