Cooking With Oats: The Latest From Glutenfreeda

Posted On: March 10, 2015

We here at Glutenfreeda Foods could not be more thrilled to announce our newly expanded line of certified gluten-free oats! Introducing Steel-Cut, Traditional, and Quick Rolled Oats in conveniently resealable 24-ounce bags.

Now, we know what you may be thinking: what’s the big deal about a few oats? In an industry where standards for safe, whole foods can sometimes be – shall we say – “flexible,” it is imperative that companies who value reliable, natural gluten-free alternatives step up to make a product you can trust. We have heard the call, friends! And here is our answer…

Oats Are Really Gluten-Free?

Yes, they are! While some folks with severe celiac sometimes report having reactions to oats, they are, in their natural form, 100% gluten-free. That said, cross-contamination in the commercial production of oats is so prevalent, they are often not seen as a safe, gluten-free food option. How does this happen? Let us explain:

Oats are often a rotation crop with wheat, barley and rye. In the process of rotating/replanting, some of the previous season’s crop has a tendency to linger, popping up here and there amongst the new crop. In this instance, it means a new crop of oats is growing in the same field as wheat, barley, and/or rye. Additionally, many farmers then use the same processing equipment to harvest all crops. So, when the oats are harvested they are run through the same machinery as the aforementioned gluten-y crops, or even with them. All this, we don’t need to tell you, leads to oats that are unsafe for you to eat.

That is, of course, unless you source your oats from certified gluten-free farmers!

These select growers are highly trained in preventing cross-contamination. Our chosen seed growers have proven abilities in growing select varieties of identity-preserved (no cross pollinating here!) pure oats and following stringent production guidelines as they take our crop from seedling to harvest. Once they have passed strict protocols for oat cleaning and delivery, the oats arrive at our processing facility where they undergo Quality Assurance testing, both by third parties and by our own team. Once we have verified that our pedigreed crops are free from contamination by wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains, we package them up into the array of quality products you know and love! None of our oats are ever irradiated, sterilized, or fumigated. Plus, they’re 100% GMO-free. We bet that’s why they taste so darn good.

Oats and More Oats… What’s The Difference?

So all that being said, are you wondering what the big difference between all those oats really is? How do you know which one to buy and what to use it for? Is Steel-Cut really all that different from Quick Rolled? Consider the following your Oats Primer:

Steel-Cut Oats:The part of the oat that we eat comes encased in what is called a “groat.” The oats are typically toasted inside the groat and then shelled. But in the case of Steel-Cut, the whole groat is split into several pieces. As a result, steel-cut oats retain much of their shape during cooking and make a chewier, nuttier final product.

Traditional Rolled Oats: The whole oat grain (sans groat) is steamed to make it soft and pliable, then pressed between rollers and dried. The resulting “rolled oats” re-absorb water and cook much more quickly than whole groats or steel-cut oats.

Quick Rolled Oats: These are oats that have been pressed slightly thinner than Traditional rolled oats. They cook more quickly, but retain less of their texture.

What does this all mean? If you’re making something with a longer cook time and a lot of liquid, go with the sturdier Steel-Cut Oats, and on down the line from there. The shorter and drier the recipe, the more delicate and quick-cooking the oat.

Getting Creative

Now that you’re up to speed, what kind of delicious treats can you whip up? Good oats are a magnificent, hearty substitute for a number of gluten-y ingredients and can even be ground up in a processor to make you own DIY oat flour. But, there are also some amazing – sometimes unexpected – uses for this versatile ingredient.

Traditional Rolled Oats

We love overnight oats, and Traditional Rolled Oats are just what they call for! This set-it-and-forget-it way of prepping breakfast is ideal for an on-the-go lifestyle, but allows for a lot more variety and nutrition than grabbing something on the way to work. Try this recipe for Cocoa Banana Overnight Oats from My Fussy Eater. They taste like dessert, but get a healthy punch from yogurt, banana and a splash of milk!

Want something on the savory side? These Mini Meatloaves are as adorable as they are hearty and make the perfect dinner party entree, or recipe for a week’s worth of easy lunches. Just remember to check your sauces (Tamari, not soy!) for any gluten.

Steel-Cut Oats

Bring on the breakfast bakes! These Skillet Baked Oats with Maple Glazed Apples
are a perfect addition to any brunch or weekend breakfast. It’s full of sweet spices and gets an added nutritional boost from plenty of flax and pumpkin seeds. Mmm…

Who says oats and eggs aren’t for dinner? Try these One-Pot Savory Steel Cut Oats as a fast, flavorful weeknight meal that’s low fat and vegetarian. It boasts aromatic Asian flavors and plenty of fresh veggies, but again, don’t forget to sub in those gluten-free sauces.

Quick Oats
A quick side dish or snack food, this Instant Oats Paniyaram recipe produces blissful little baked oat dumplings, kind of like Indian-spiced hush puppies. Some of the ingredients may sound unfamiliar, but your nearest Asian market should have them on hand.

You can also go short and sweet with this super simple recipe! Take your next brunch up a (healthy) notch with these Cinnamon Oat Rolls made with fresh apple and dates. Can you believe they’re egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, AND refined sugar-free? Us either.

We hope you enjoy our new addition to the Glutenfreeda family! If you come up with any creative uses for our gluten-free oats, share them in the comments below!

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