Sometimes it can be hard to find anything beyond the basic white or whole wheat flour at the grocery store. The good news is, my favourite flour for baking can be made at home in just minutes. So, grab yourself some rolled oats and your blender (or food processor). I’m going to show you how to make oat flour in your own kitchen.
Why Oat Flour?
Oat flour has become one of my favourites to use in baking. It’s an easy substitute for those who are intolerant to gluten (as long as you use certified gluten-free oats). It makes delicious and fluffy baked goods, and oats come with all sorts of health benefits. What more could you ask for?
Oats are a pretty powerful food. They are nutrient-dense, containing many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as protein and fibre. They also contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre provides some bulk, which helps to keep us regular. Soluble fibre mixes with liquid to form a sort of gel that feeds our gut bacteria. Soluble fibre has also been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugars and even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Oats also contain a powerful antioxidant called avenathramides. These are only found in oats and can help reduce inflammation and regulate blood pressure in the arteries.
When it comes to grains, you can probably see why oats are one of my favourites.
Why Make Your Own?
So, now you know why I love oat flour so much. Why make your own? Well, there are a few reasons for this. First of which is convenience. Oat flour isn’t typically carried by your run-of-the-mill grocery store (at least, not in my area). This means that to purchase it, I typically have to go to a specialty health food store or a bulk food store. This isn’t a huge deal, except that sometimes an extra stop is just not in the cards for me on a busy day. The easy solution is to grab some old-fashioned rolled oats (which are available almost everywhere) and make it myself.
The second reason is the cost. While I have no problem paying a little more for quality ingredients, oat flour tends to be significantly more expensive than rolled oats. It’s much more cost-effective to just make it myself. After all, it’s super simple and takes just a few minutes.
So, save yourself the frustration of hunting for it and some money as well by making your own.
Making Oat Flour
This is a super simple process that doesn’t require much time or effort. All you need is some rolled oats and a blender or food processor. Now, you can make oat flour with instant oats, but I prefer to use old fashioned rolled oats. The main reason for this is that rolled oats are less processed and therefore contain a little more fibre than instant oats do. Since over 95% of the western world doesn’t consume enough fibre, I’m always looking for ways to include more of it in my cooking and baking.
To make oat flour all you need to do is add your rolled oats to a blender or food processor and run on high for a moment or two. Depending on the speed and power of the appliance you use, you may need to run it a little longer to achieve the desired consistency. I personally find that the food processor takes a little longer than my blender does.
Either way, you’ll want to stop and check the flour partway through to ensure it’s reached the fine flour consistency you’re looking for. If it’s not as fine as you like, blend a little longer. You may end up with some small pieces or fibrous flakes leftover. You can either sift these out with a fine mesh strainer, blend a little longer, or leave them in for a more rustic oatmeal texture.
If you’re aiming for a specific amount, add a little more than the amount you need. For example, one cup of rolled oats will generally leave me a little shy of 1 cup of oat flour. To remedy this, use a heaping cup of oats, to cover the difference.
How to Use Oat Flour
As I mentioned earlier, oat flour can be used as an easy substitution for most other types of grain flours. I commonly suggest it as a gluten-free option in my recipes. Just substitute it in a 1:1 ratio. The texture may change slightly (depending on how fine your flour ends up), but this is only noticeable in cases where the recipe called for fine pastry flour or similar. I typically use oat flour interchangeably with whole wheat flour in my baking.
Here are some recipes you can use your oat flour in:
Vegan Banana Bread (sub oat flour in place of the whole wheat flour)
- Old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed).
- Add the desired amount of rolled oats to blender or food processor. If you need an exact amount for baking, add a little more oats than required. (Ex: 1 heaping cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour).
- Pulse the oats for 1 minute, then open and stir to check the consistency.
- Continue pulsing until you reach the desired consistency.
- Allow to cool (blending may warm the flour slightly) and then transfer to an airtight container for storage. Store in your pantry for 3-6 months. Freeze for longterm storage.