The Benefits of Baking with Oat Flour
Oatmeal has long been a breakfast staple for its fiber-filled, heart-healthy benefits. And you’ve no doubt had some delicious oatmeal cookies in your day. But, we take our love for oats one step further—and use oat flour in many of our recipes. It’s got all the benefits you find in a bowl of oatmeal, and makes for a healthier, chewier cookie! Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of baking with oat flour:
What Is Oat Flour?
If you have a blender at home and some oats on hand, you can make your own oat flour. Or, if you prefer a finer flour that’s been milled to an extra-smooth powder, there are countless oat flour brands to purchase from.
The ingredient list is as simple as it gets, featuring just oats. That’s right, oat flour is made from nothing more than ground rolled oats.
One thing to keep in mind if you have a gluten sensitivity, is that you should look for a package that’s labeled ‘gluten-free.’ Not all oat flours at the supermarket are 100% gluten-free, so exercise caution when making your selection! In the Fresh from the Heart kitchen, we use only certified gluten-free oat flour to ensure it’s safe for those with allergies and intolerances.
Is Oat Flour Healthier Than Other Flours?
While there are several all-purpose flour alternatives that tout numerous health benefits, oat flour is definitely among the healthiest options out there! It offers targeted support for the heart and digestion but is also great for overall health and wellness. It’s no surprise that doctors so often recommend adding oats to your everyday diet.
Oat Flour is Rich in Essential Vitamins and Minerals
It’s tough to consume all the nutrients your body needs every day through diet alone. Luckily for you, oat flour is jam-packed with lots of essential vitamins and minerals to make it a little easier to hit your macro goals.
Phosphorus and manganese help your body break down and metabolize other food. Selenium helps keep your thyroid strong. Iron’s essential for healthy hormones. Plus, Zinc’s important for just about everything! And that’s just a few of the nutrients you consume each time you eat oats.
Oat Flour is Chock-Full of Fiber
Oats contain a whole lot of fiber, which is a powerful compound for so many reasons! It helps you feel full, and in turn, supports weight loss and weight management. It’s also so good for your gut. Not only does fiber work to keep you regular, but it feeds healthy bacteria in your digestive tract, that are essential for a host of body functions.
Oat Flour is Heart-Healthy
Adding oats to your diet helps out your heart three-fold. First, high-fiber foods, like oats, have been shown to help prevent heart disease. Second, eating oats supports healthy cholesterol levels. And third, oats are proven to help reduce blood pressure. Combine all these benefits, and your cardiovascular system will thank you for adding oat flour to your recipes while baking!
Oat Flour Supports Your Immune System
Oats contain powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress that puts a strain on your immune system. When you consume foods rich in antioxidants, , like oats, your immune system gets a little extra help so it can focus on important things, like keeping you healthy!
What’s more, the majority of your immune system actually lives in the digestive tract. Fiber-filled oats support healthy digestion and benefit immune health through your gut, as well.
How To Use Oat Flour As A Gluten-Free Flour Alternative
Oat flour can be added to other gluten-free flour alternatives to create a baking blend, or used on its own as the backbone for any baked good recipe. Typically, recipe conversions that offer an oat flour swap require you to add an equal amount of oat flour by weight. A kitchen scale will come in handy if you plan to do lots of oat flour baking!
Oat Flour Tastes Great
Oats taste delicious on their own and add a rich flavor to any recipe. They're subtly sweet. They’re a touch nutty and a tiny bit toasty. They pair well with chocolate, caramel, and almost any flavor. Oat flour is definitely our pick for the best gluten-free flour alternative when it comes to taste!
Oat Flour Adds Texture
Because oat flour is high in protein and fiber, it adds incredible texture to baked goods. Hen used in cakes, you end up with a tender, delicate crumble. Oat flour can also be added to thicken recipes and to help bind the mixture together if you don’t plan to use eggs. It has the ability to absorb lots of liquid, so coat flour helps keep your good moist and tender. And in cookie dough? Expect a cookie that’s thick and chewy. Our favorite!
If you’d like to try some Fresh From the Heart gooey, soft, chewy oat flour cookies, shop here. For the ultimate oat experience, grab a box of our Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies. We start with a base of oat flour, add even more rolled oats, sweetened with maple syrup and cranberries for a truly delicious, and healthy cookie. Or, go old fashioned with a box of classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. We can’t get enough of this oat flour recipe, which is no doubt why it’s our best seller!We’d love to hear which oat flour cookies you love best! Tag us @FreshFrontTheHeart on Instagram to share.