Oat flour is a wonderful and totally underestimated flour that can be used in many of your home baking recipes, and the great thing about it is it’s naturally gluten free (although you will have to double check labeling if you are truly gluten intolerant because oats are often be processed in factories alongside other gluten containing products).
In this post I will show you how to make homemade oat flour in 60 seconds, which is then immediately ready for use in whichever way you choose.
You can pretty much buy any kind of flour these days, and most supermarket shelves are laden with flours of all kinds, such as wheat, spelt, buckwheat, rye, rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa, and many more. For some reason, it can be harder to find actual oat flour in the shops, and this is a great reason to save time and money by making your own at home very quickly and easily.
Making your own Flour
Rolled wholegrain oats are a cheap and easily available whole grain to buy and something you will never have a problem finding in any supermarket. But actual grain flours on the other hand (such as the common oat) are harder to find commercially, and can also cost a small fortune just for the privilege of them being ground up for you.
The beauty of making your own is you can apply this method to make a flour from pretty much any grain, nut or seed you wish, and they all ready for immediate use in you favorite recipes.
Gluten Free Flours
When it comes to baking with gluten free flours, you will need to make some amendments to your favorite recipes to stop the bakes being too crumbly. It’s the gluten that gives a lot of baked products their chewy elastic texture and without it bakes can be too heavy and fall apart easily.
This problem can be amended to an extent, and in this post I will also show you how to make the most of your oat flour so it is still able to make, delicious plant based food items that will have you and your family exited to be eating.
Reasons to Choose Wheat Free Flours
- NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS – Different grains, and indeed nuts and seeds (which is what some flours are made of) often have better nutritional profiles and can be a lot healthier than wheat for these reasons alone. Don’t get me wrong, wholegrain wheat does have its benefits on the nutritional front as it is full of fiber and B vitamins, but is often not as high as the other wheat free flours. For instance, seed flours such as buckwheat, flax, chia and quinoa contain impressive amino acid profiles making them much higher in protein than grains. Quinoa is a known amino acid rich superfood that also contains omega 3 fatty acids, making it an all round ‘whole food’ source of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein.
- WEIGHT LOSS – Wheat and gluten free baking can help reduce body fat for a couple of reasons: 1. It will stop you eating the usual shop bought refined and highly processed baked goods such as pastries, cakes and biscuits – many of which will more than likely be laden with unhealthy saturated fats and refined sugars, not to mention chemical additives in the form of preservatives, colours, satbilisers and flavourings. All of these things spike blood sugar, promote belly fat storage AND up your risk of disease and obesity. 2. Wheat and gluten free baking usually involves the use of much healthier flour alternatives that are higher in fiber and nutrients – all of which are lower GI, will fill you up for longer, and make bloating less likely.
- YOU WILL MAKE MORE HOMEMADE FOOD – Which obviously means you will eat healthier as you will know EXACTLY what is in your food, and you can control how much sugar, fat and calories goes into it.
Wheat and Gluten Intolerances
Some people may either be gluten intolerant, or have celiac disease which means they need to steer clear of all glutenous products for good; others simply just feel better by omitting or cutting down on gluten in general. Gluten and wheat are not the same thing, and some wheat free flours still contain gluten – such examples include barley, rye and spelt.
It’s important to read labels scrupulously if you either have a severe gluten intolerance, or you are a celiac. This is important because you need to be looking out for products that are made in the same factory as gluten containing grains which may well be contaminated with gluten – and sometimes just a tiny amount is all it takes to trigger a reaction.
Oat flour can be less bloating
If you are one of those people who generally just feels bloated after eating bread, then this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re gluten intolerant, rather you may have a wheat sensitivity. You may notice that wheat triggers general bloating and IBS, therefore you may find if you steer clear of it as much as possible it will help reduce symptoms.
Or you may be one of those people who can tolerate a little gluten of wheat and be fine, or just have some very mild discomfort but when you eat a lot you have a much worse reaction. Sometimes it’s just about gut tolerance, and I think being mildly intolerant falls into the range of many people. You should, however, check with you doctor if you have any of these symptoms to rule out anything more serious.
Gluten free grains, nuts and seeds that can be made into flour for baking
- WILD RICE
- FLAX SEED
There are so many flours to choose from that you need never get bored, and you can experiment with what you like best by making your own very easily and cheaply. Some of these may not be suitable for grinding up yourself; or you may find them too hard for your processor which means you will need to use something more heavy duty like a coffee or spice grinder. Stick to the softer things for your food processor or blender such as the oats, buckwheat and amaranth flakes. The rest will probably need something more hard wearing like a spice grinder.
How to use a Spice Grinder
Spice grinders are pretty small, therefore you can only make smaller batches of flour at a time, but they do grind best when at least 2/3 full. How long this process takes will depend on how hard the grain, nut or seed you wish to grind is; and also how fine a flour you want. Nuts and seeds generally take longer, and big nuts such as almonds should be chopped up as small as possible on a chopping board first. This will not only take some of the pressure off your grinder, but will also help you to avoid ending up with big lumps that won’t break down.
Cooking with Oat Flour and other Wheat-Free Flours
Oat flour can be substituted for wheat flour in a rough ratio of 1 and a 1/2 cups of oat flour per 1 cup of wheat flour. This is a general rule only and you will need to check specific recipes for more details on this as it will also depend on what you’re baking. All the other types of flours may have different ratios which you can check out here.
Potential Rising Issues
Gluten makes your baking lighter and more elastic, therefore you will need to make amendments when using oat flour. For instance, you will need to add more yeast to recipes that require yeast to get the same rising effect, as oat flour is heavier. Oat flour will need to be combined with other flours in recipes that are required to rise.
You will also need to add 2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of oat flour required. And if the recipe requires buttermilk, but you prefer to keep the bake vegan or plant based, then you will need to substitute each cup of buttermilk with almond or soy milk (but you should add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice OR apple cider vinegar to it to sour it before you add it). You will also need an extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute) when using oat flour in the bake.
Making You Own Oat Flour in 60 Seconds
- To make oat flour, you can use either rolled oats or steel cut oats. Both work equally as well, but the steel cut type may take a little longer to grind. Using organic oats will ensure they are free of any chemical and fertiliser residues, and may even enhance the flavour.
- Using a blender on its pulse setting, or you food processor on its fast setting, you can blend 1 and a 1/4 cup of oats and yield about 1 cup of oat flour (this may vary slightly depending on the type of oats you use).
- Using a powerful blender like a Nutri Ninja will ensure that your flour will not only be done fast, but also broken down really fine. I literally made mine in 10 seconds, but this will vary according to how powerful the machine you are using is.
- You can go for a courser texture, or a finer texture, just keep your eye on it every few seconds as it powders up quickly. Your flour should be ground in under a minute if you are using a powerful blender of grinder.
- A courser texture may be better for certain recipes such as cookies and muffins as it will add extra texture; and finer powders may be better added to breads and pastries where a finer texture is preferable.
Thank you for reading this post today. if you have any comments or questions please feel free to fire away in the comments box below and I will be more than happy to help as soon as I can.