Nuts about Oats (gluten and dairy free – not paleo)

Homemade Oat Flour and Pancake/Waffle Mix (gluten and dairy free – not paleo)

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve

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Welcome to mid-week posts.  These will be food facts, basic recipes, product evaluations, cookbook reviews, and anything else I think will be of interest to you.

Today’s post is about oats – oat flour to be exact.  As I experiment with wheat-free, gluten-free baking I’m finding oats to be my real go-to ingredient and since oats and oat flour will be making regular appearances here I thought this is a good time to share some info with you.

For gluten-free readers, let me start by saying that oats are gluten-free.  There is some debate or maybe much debate on the subject, but the fact remains that oats do not contain gluten.  Here are the two problems:

Some people are allergic or sensitive to oats  in addition to wheat.  This is something one tends to learn by trial and error.

Contamination.  Oat fields are usually planted near wheat fields and due to weather, harvesting, and production practices, it is not uncommon for some wheat to get mixed in with the oats – and that is why people who cannot tolerate wheat may have reactions to oats.   The good news is that some producers (most notable Bob’s Red Mill) do isolate oat crops from wheat and process them separately, making it possible to buy gluten-free oat products.

OAT FLOUR is just ground up oats.  If you have oatmeal, a blender or food processor, and a strainer in your  house, you have all you need to make oat flour.   I use oat flour for baking and cooking instead of “gluten-free all purpose flour” because I love the fact that it is just one ingredient, has no added starches or gums, and is made of something I heard of before I became wheat-free.

Now before I give you the recipe for oat flour I feel obliged to issue this Graphic WARNING:  if you are not used to eating quantities of oats, it is highly possible you will have room clearing gas after doing so.  This problem will go away if you eat oats regularly.  The best way to deal with this problem is to sit near your dog (if you have one) and when the event happens, Look Shocked and say “BowWow (fill in your dog’s name)!  HOW COULD YOU DO THAT!?!”

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If you don’t have a dog, you might want to just isolate yourself from everyone else for a while (gas will probably occur about 12 hours after ingesting large quantities of oats).  Don’t let this warning discourage you, once you start eating oats regularly they will not affect you adversely at all, in fact they are incredibly good for you.

Oat Flour

Store bought oat flour is really easier to use because you just open a bag.  However, finding a bag of oat flour can mean going to several stores and still coming up empty handed.  That’s when I make homemade.  Be sure to use rolled oats – not Scottish oats

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1 1/4 cups oatmeal (gluten-free, if necessary)

1.  Place the oats into a blender or food processor container (blenders work better).  Cover and process on high until oatmeal has become flour.

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2.  Pour the flour through a mesh strainer.

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3.  If more than 1 or 2 tablespoons of oats did not make it through the strainer; return them to the blender and process again; restrain.

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4.  Discard any remaining pieces or use it to add fiber to other recipes.

Makes: 1 1/4 cups flour

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Pancake and Waffle Mix

I love pancakes and eat them several times a week.  To save myself the work of pulling all the ingredients out of the pantry and measuring everything out, I make this mix.  It’s so convenient.

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5 cups oat flour or 1 (22-ounce) package gluten-free oat flour

1/4 cup coconut flour or additional oat flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1.  Using a whisk, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.

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2.  Store in plastic bag until needed.

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Makes enough for 4 pancake or waffle recipes

To make pancakes or waffles:

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil

3/4 cup soy milk or any other milk substitute or milk (if you can)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/3 cups mix for pancakes or 1 2/3 cups mix for waffles

1.  In a medium bowl, beat the egg with the oil.  Beat in the milk and vanilla.  Stir in the pancake/waffle mix.  Proceed as in Oat Pancake recipe.

Enjoy!

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