I’ve been eating a lot of oats lately. Not just oatmeal, either, or even just oatmeal cookies (yum). It started out that way, though: a nice bowl of hot oatmeal, graduating from instant to quick rolled to quick Irish to steel cuts. Using some in our cookies, scones, crisps. Without yeast, I was still making flatbreads and quick breads with traditional wheat flours. Without wheat now, too, though, oats have become much more important in our house.
In the past 2 months, I’ve experimented with home-ground oat flour, certified gluten-free oat flours, whole oats, toasted oats, overnight oats. You name it. I’m just diving into this wheat-free world, and I’d like to hang onto as many other grains and proteins as I can. That means I’ve also been trying rice flours, corn flours, bean flours, and more. Oats are a personal favorite, but even I can get sick of them.
For now, I hope that some examples of how we’ve played around with oats in new recipes will help others out there who might be trying to eat fewer wheat-type products, or who are looking for variety in their whole grains, or who just like oats more than for breakfast alone. Enjoy!
The (very short) making-flour learning curve:
Homemade ground flour: I tried my blender/processor instead of a coffee grinder. Not bad. Gritty, too coarse, though. Also dusty. And I have more to clean afterward. With prepacked flour widely available (and certified GF for any of my baking adventures for friends with celiac), I’m not doing this again unless I run out unexpectedly for personal baking!
Bob’s Red Mill: NOW I understand how important this company’s products are. We liked them before as a family without nuts, eggs, dairy, seeds. Without wheat, though, I’m turning to Bob’s oat flour or steel cut oats every single day. Their blog and podcast are particularly fun for bakers and cooks of any kind, custom eater or not. Plus, he and his team are just nice.
McCann's Irish oats, quick cooking: These have become our new kitchen staple. I can make my own basic oatmeal for morning customization in a jiffy, and I can tweak the recipe on the back of the box to make without any of our allergens. Win, win. I just wish the boxes were bigger.
My First Wheat-Free Recipe
It’s really not a long weekend without pancakes. My husband would say waffles. But I make the food, and pancakes are easier without eggs. Plus, I can make enough to freeze some for later, which is a nice surprise for everybody. Waffles seem to disappear in this house before the iron is cool.
Anyway, I found myself newly wheat free and facing a morning of making pancakes for my family and going without. I’m quickly prone to become a martyr in such circumstances, but I’m working hard at self care equal to what I’d do if my kids went wheat free (or at least close). They’re great at reminding me to do that, too. ?
So, Google. I came across a lot of great research about wheat replacement, and I’m still trying to gauge all of it and sort it in my brain and on paper. But I saw very early on a recipe by a chef, Dana Slatkin in 2012 for vegan almond pancakes. We can have almonds, now (mostly), and the eggs and butter were already replaced for me, so I was in.
I learned a lot about going gluten free from just this recipe. And it took a few tries to get the right texture, consistency, aftertaste, and more. Just a few tries---basically, the definition of deceptively simple. I'm still pretty sure this is my biggest wheat-free success to date, 4 months in, and it's the one I started with.
Here you go, inline for now with a pretty basic PDF to download if that's easier. It's still only the first full week of school here (read about how we missed a day of school for food allergies already), so nothing is pretty or organized or otherwise ready to go yet.
1-1/2 cups oat flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp psyllium
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/2 Tbsp water
1-1/2 cups water (divided in half)
Preheat a griddle (check for readiness: a drop a water should sizzle).
In a medium bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine all dry ingredients.
Make a well, and add the first four wet ingredients.
Then add 3/4 cup water and stir to mix to a batter consistency. Slowly add in the remaining 3/4 cup water to the thickness you desire.
Let the batter rest for a few minutes while you check the griddle.
Make your pancakes as you usually would with wheat versions. For us, that means starting with a thicker batter and thinning it with water as we go along to make a spreadable, but not watery, round cake (two to a pan).
Enjoy what you can, and then freeze the rest between layers of wax paper. Toast or microwave to reheat.
My next go or two:
I also decided that, just because I’m wheat free doesn’t mean we have to be chocolate free. Dessert is essential. We figured out brownies without eggs, which sounds unreal. I was sure I could figure out brownies without wheat, too.
I tried three different varieties: rye was my absolute favorite, of course. I’m tweaking it with oats or sweet rice instead for those GF friends and hope to have both versions on the blog this fall.
Another oat inspiration wagon we're jumping on is overnights oats. My oldest daughter and I are making a sporadic tradition of evening oat creations to replace our old favorite morning cereals. Look for that post this fall, too, with some of our oat toasting/type comparisons.
Do you have any other outside-the-box ideas for oats or oat flours for us to try? Any tips on cups versus grams (I'm diving into that GF topic, too, while I'm at this.)?
Hi, I'm Nicole.
ABOUT THE BLOG
An apothecary is a person or a place. Either one implies healing and relates to pharmacy in its truest sense, as a source of treatment and advice.
This blog is my way of uniting my pharmacy training with my efforts to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle for my family. In true apothecary form, I research and prescribe alternative ingredients that work just right in each specific recipe, and I would like to share the results with anyone who needs help making their own family’s kitchen allergy safe and heart healthy.
I made the 2017 Top-40 Food Allergy blogs!
Nicole Van Hoey's books on Goodreads
Bakery Bites: Breads and Treats Without Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Seeds, or Soy
ratings: 1 (avg rating 5.00)
Kitchen Adventures With Multiple Food Allergies: A Recipe Collection for Celebrations Without Dairy, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Seeds, or Soy