Making your own flour is both easy and cost effective – learn how to make oat flour and use it in your favorite oat flour recipes to increase the health benefits of baked goods! Use the homemade flour to add a punch of whole grains to your favorite recipes, from pancakes to cookies to breads. Using oat flour brings a chewy texture and heartier flavor as well as the benefits that come with oats to your favorite baked goods. Bonus – if you’re careful to use certified gluten free oats, it’s gluten free! It’s perfect in cookies and breads and if you make flour yourself, it’s much cheaper than buying it in store. Making your own oat flour takes just minutes and you’ll love the benefits it brings to your family.
This post was originally created May 9, 2015 and has since been updated.
I’ve always loved baking – it’s just one of those things that brings joy to my heart and that I do when I’m happy or sad or want to gift someone I love something sweet. I love baking when I’m alone and I love baking with my kids – making special birthday cakes or someone’s favorite dessert just because is my love language.
That being said, I’m not a huge fan of packing my kids with tons of sugar and white flours because, well, they offer nothing to little bodies.
Which is why when my oldest was just a baby I went on a mission to figure out ways to bake a little bit healthier – from reducing refined sugars to increasing whole grains, I was on a mission to make baking less of a “sometimes” treat and more of an every day thing without the guilt.
One of the first solutions I found was adding more whole grains and using less wheat flour in baked goods. Originally, I started with whole, rolled oats, but found the texture lacking – while it added to some recipes, it just wasn’t perfect in others.
Thankfully, I learned how to make oat flour and fell in love with the health benefits of oats, nutty flavor and chewy texture it brought recipe. Learning how to make homemade flour was my next obvious choice – it’s so easy and saves SO much money!
What is oat flour
Oat flour is flour that is made by grinding oats into a powdery, fine substance. By processing the oats finely, you are able to use the flour as you would a wheat flour but with the health benefits of oats.
Is oat flour good for you?
Oat flour offers many different healthy benefits that outweigh traditional white wheat flour. Oats are a whole grain that are packed with nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals as well as slow digesting carbs, fiber, and protein.
The fiber in oats have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, reduce blood sugar and insulin spikes, increase the presence of gut friendly bacteria, and provide a feeling of fullness that lasts longer.
Why make your own oat flour?
At my local grocery store, a 22 ounce package of non-organic oat flour costs $4-5. Meanwhile, an 18 ounce canister of store brand organic oats costs $1.49, while non organic is usually $.99. Not only is the price savings a great push to make your own, you can also control the texture and freshness.
How much rolled oats do I need for oat flour?
For each cup of flour needed, you will need one heaping cup of oats since the flour takes up less volume than the whole oats. If you are making the flour for a specific recipe, I would suggest using at least one and a quarter cups of oats for one cup of oat flour, though one and and a half would be better.
Tips for making oat flour
- Use quality oats.
- Don’t overfill the food processor. It might seem counter intuitive, but if you half fill the container versus fill it totally, it will go faster. Work in batches!
- Use either old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats. Steel cut might work, but I have a feeling it wouldn’t work as well.
- Take your time. If you think the flour is fine enough, go another 20 or so seconds to make sure you’ve got the best texture for your homemade flour.
- On the same page, just like with other food processor recipes, stop occasionally and stir it up manually to make sure nothing is getting stuck. This will also give your machine breaks to cool down so you don’t burn your motor out.
- Use a fine mesh sifter if you’re worried about any larger bit of oats. I personally leave it but I’m usually just a bit lazy. If you’re looking for VERY smooth flour, you’ll want to sift it.
How to Make Oat Flour in a Food Processor
- Add your whole oats to the container. Do not fill more that ½ way.
- Process for 20 seconds before opening up to stir.
- Process again for 30-45 seconds before stirring.
- Continue until you have the desired consistency – it usually takes me about 3.5 minutes for 2 cups in an old food processor.
- Be sure to give your motor a break every once in a while to avoid overheating.
How to Make Oat Flour in a Blender
- Add oats into a high speed blender. Fill only about ⅓ of the way up.
- Process for 30 seconds on high (or dry if your blender has the option).
- Stir to avoid clumping, before repeating the process in 30-45 second increments.
- Continue until you have the desired consistency, taking breaks regularly to avoid burning out the motor.
How to Make Oat Flour
Learn how to make oat flour and use it in your favorite oat flour recipes to increase the health benefits of baked goods!
- 2 heaping cups of oats rolled or quick
Making Oat Flour in a Food Processor
Add your whole oats to the container. Do not fill more that ½ way.
Process for 20 seconds before opening up to stir.
Process again for 30-45 seconds before stirring.
Continue until you have the desired consistency - it usually takes me about 3.5 minutes for 2 cups in an old food processor.
Be sure to give your motor a break every once in a while to avoid overheating.
Making Oat Flour in a Blender
Add oats into a high speed blender. Fill only about ⅓ of the way up.
Process for 30 seconds on high (or dry if your blender has the option).
Stir to avoid clumping, before repeating the process in 30-45 second increments.
Continue until you have the desired consistency, taking breaks regularly to avoid burning out the motor.
How to store oat flour and how long does oat flour last?
Since it has fat, leftover flour can go rancid if left on your counter. Instead, put into an air tight container and pop in the fridge or freezer for up to 2-3 months. Just make sure to bring it to room temperature before using.
Is oat flour gluten free?
Oat flour can be gluten free if you make sure you use gluten free oats to make it. Make sure the oats you use are labeled, “certified gluten free”.
How to substitute flours
If you’re looking to substitute oat flour for regular flour in a recipe, you definitely can. When testing out replacing wheat flour for oat flour, start by replacing 25-30% of the regular flour in a well loved recipe with your freshly made flour.
Oat flour uses
Oat flour is super versatile – you can use it in most recipes that use flour. Some of my favorite oat flour uses are..
- Quick breads
- Snack balls
- thickening sauces
- Kneading bread
Oat flour recipes
Tips to Use Oat flour
- Add in an oatmeal smoothie to ensure no large oats get stuck in the smoothie.
- In an oat cookie, muffin, or bread recipe, replace 1 ¼ cup of whole oats for 1 cup of oat flour for a smoother texture. This is a great way to get kids to eat more whole grains.
- When using oat flour, allow your batter to sit for a bit to allow the oat flour to absorb the liquid, allowing for a moister end product.
- Oat flour can be a great thickener – use it to thicken gravies in place of cornstarch.
- In baking recipes that use flour and whole oats, swap 1/4 of the flour of oat flour for even more complimentary flavor.
How to substitute oat flour in baking:
There is no one size fits all advice for substituting oat flour in recipes – it can sometimes take a bit of trial and error. Some guidelines for substituting oat flour in baking:
- Start small – start by substituting ¼ – ⅓ of the wheat flour in a recipe for an equal amount of oat flour. As you experiment more, you can increase the amount until you find the perfect amount for your family.
- Mix wet ingredients and then add your flour, allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes to absorb liquid and soften before adding the rest of the dry ingredients.
- You can sub in oat flour for whole oats in recipes like oatmeal cookies or oatmeal balls – this makes them a bit more kid friendly (smoother bite!) but with the same taste. Use about ½ the amount of oat flour for whole oats.
Will oat flour rise?
Unfortunately, no. A rise typically requires gluten, so substituting all of the wheat flour in a bread recipe will not make a good fit – you can take out some of the traditional flour and sub in about ¼ – ⅓ of the total amount with oat flour. You’ll get a more whole grain, toasty flavor and texture.
For something like cakes or muffins, you’ll want to keep it closer to the ¼ substitution. Oat flour can make the end result dense if you use all oat flour, (which is why it’s awesome in things like cookies!) but in a lesser amount it provides health benefits as well as the flavor.
Okay so tell me – have you ever made oat flour? What is your favorite way to use oat flour? Let me know in the comments!
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