Learn how to make oat flour at home with this simple tutorial. Save 50% by making homemade oat flour instead of buying store-bought, and improve texture & flavor in your favorite recipe! Plus tips for using an oat flour substitute in baking.
I’m always looking for ways small, practical ways to boost the nutrition of our meals at home.
Hands down though, my all-time favorite nutritional swap is using oat flour in place of all-purpose flour when baking.
DIY: Homemade Oat Flour
Not only does oat flour boost nutrition, but it also gives baked goods a moist, slightly chewy texture. It adds moisture to items like cookies and breads that tend to dry out in just a day or two.
Making oat flour doesn’t require any recipe rocket science to pull off successfully. It is super easy! It also keeps my budget down since I tend to keep rolled oats on hand.
Using food I have on hand to make substitutions is one way I keep my food expenses down! Use this FREE Master Substitution List to start saving money today!
Nutrition in Oats
There aren’t any nutrients hidden in oats. What manufacturers advertise on the label is pretty much what you get:
- Soluble Fiber. shortens the time in the intestinal tract to promote regularity, slows digestion to make you feel fuller longer, binds acids in the intestines to alleviate constipation, regulates blood sugar
- Protein. The same high quality as meat, milk, and eggs.
- Vitamins and Minerals. Vitamin B, Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus… These all help the immune system in addition to other bodily functions.
What’s surprising about the nutrition in oats is that you get ALL of this in just one ingredient.
Oats are pretty much a “superfood” thanks to the amazing combination of nutrients available. All the more reason to add them to cookies, don’t you think?
Different Types of Oats
Here’s a list of the most common types of oats:
- Steel Cut Oats – After harvesting, oats are separated from the husk in a large spinning machine. In the process, many oat groats are broken into small pieces. These small pieces of oat groats are steel-cut oats.
- Old Fashioned Oats – The steel-cut oats are sifted so that only larger oat groats remain. These are rolled in between large pins and flattened into rolled oats. The result is considered old fashioned oats.
- Rolled Oats – Old fashioned oats are steamed and lightly toasted to aid in the cooking process at home. These are called rolled oats.
- Quick Cooking Oats – These oats are cut into smaller pieces before being rolled, steamed and toasted. This process is again to aid in the cooking process at home.
- Instant Oatmeal – This is the Quaker maple and brown sugar I grew up with. The oats are pre-cooked at the factory and then dried, usually with flavoring and sweetener added before packaging.
To increase nutrition and eat as much real food as possible, aim for old fashioned oats at a minimum. Steel-cut oats have a higher level of nutrition because some of the bran (the outer protective shell) will still be intact. Oat flour from steel-cut oats is considered a whole grain flour.
Regardless of the type of oats you buy, homemade oat flour will always be more affordable than store-bought!
How to Make Homemade Oatmeal Flour
If you have oats (any kind but whole groats), you can make oat flour in two easy steps!
- Place oats in a high-speed blender or food processor.
- Blend or process on high until oats are finely ground.
It’s helpful to know that two cups of oats yields approximately 1 3/4 cups of oat flour.
Additional Recipe Tips for Making Oat Flour
One cycle on my Blendtec (about 50 seconds) gave me pretty decent oat flour. A second cycle gave me even finer powder. I prefer the finer flour for my baked goods.
If your blender or food processor tends to heat up with use, allow the machine to cool in between cycles. This helps prevent the oats from sticking to each other and not grinding well enough.
Oat flour is NOT as fine as typical all-purpose flour. It will be slightly grainier, and more like coarse cornmeal.
Cost of Oatmeal Flour
Ten pounds of rolled oats run less than $10 from Costco, putting the price point at just under $1/lb. Compared to most other brands on Amazon, you’re saving 50% right off the bat by making it yourself!
You can also find steel-cut and gluten-free oats. (Although oatmeal in and of itself is gluten-free, some oats may contain gluten from cross-contamination in processing.)
Using Oat Flour in Recipes
Gluten-free oat flour is the secret weapon for gluten-free families. Even if you’re not a gluten-free family, it helps to know how to substitute oat flour in baking recipes.
- Recipes that require rising: Bread recipes, biscuits and rolls require gluten in order to rise. Since oat flour doesn’t have gluten, it won’t help with rising or elasticity in any recipe. While you can’t substitute oat flour entirely in bread recipes, you CAN substitute 1/2-1 cup of oat flour in those recipes.
- Cookie and brownie recipes: substitute up to half the wheat flour with oat flour.
- Cake or pastry recipes: substitute only 1/4 of the flour for oat flour. Typically you’re looking for a fluffy rise in cakes or pastries. Too much oat flour will either cause the batter to be too dense or fall flat after baking.
- For all other recipes, like quick bread and muffins: start with 1/4-1/2 cup and see what happens! If you add too much the first time, your people might be leery of trying it again. You can always add more next time.
Recipes to Try
Here are a few of our favorite recipes that we most often use oat flour in – all tried and true:
- Zucchini Bread with Carrots & Apples
- Very Little Bother Oat Bread
- Maple Oatmeal Bread
- Vanishing Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Double Chocolate Blender Waffles
- Cinnamon Oatmeal Blender Waffles
- 1/4 cup to any smoothie
- Banana Bread Muffins
- Two cups of oats*
- Place oats in a blender or food processor.
- Blend or process on high until oats are finely ground.
To increase nutrition, aim for old fashioned oats at a minimum. Steel-cut oats have a higher level of nutrition because some of the bran (the outer protective shell) will still be intact. Oat flour from steel-cut oats is considered a whole grain flour.