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Are Oats Gluten-Free?

Are Oats Gluten-Free?

As I’m sure everyone has noticed by now, the shelves in the supermarket aren’t exactly overflowing with oat products labelled as gluten-free. 

Oats are indeed naturally free from gluten, the protein in wheat, rye and barley that many people cannot tolerate. Yep. If you walked into a perfect field of oats and picked just one groat, chances are pretty good that it would be completely gluten free. We don't live in a perfect world, though. I'm sure you've heard of crop rotation, where farmers change out their crops from year to year to keep the soil active and keep the land fresh. It's a basic part of farming. Oats, wheat, barley, and rye are often grown in rotation cycles. Fields of oats will typically have a few wheat plants that sprout up, it's just part of farming. That is one reason why oats need special attention to be gluten free.

Also Oats are loaded with good-for-you nutrients like fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and omega 3 fatty acids, among other things. Plus, oats don’t contain added sugar if you read the labels and avoid certain instant varieties. They also can be eaten different ways, making them one versatile power food. Whether topped with peanut butter, banana and maple syrup or fresh fruit, vanilla and cinnamon, there are endless creative ways to enjoy oats as a satisfying breakfast.

The second reason that oats need extra precautions to be gluten free is plain old cross contact. At the most basic levels, we're talking about grain commodities and these basic agricultural products move in huge batches from farm to truck to silo to truck to grain cleaning to truck to . . . well, you get the picture. There are really quite a few steps between field and table. More steps mean more chances for the truck that just delivered wheat to pick up oats and contaminate them during transit.

The third major reason that oats can easily contain gluten is that oat groats and wheat berries are strikingly similar, which makes the technology needed to separate the two very expensive. It actually involves a highly technical color sorter to make sure that wheat berries don't end up in the oat groats. Many grain processors do not have that technology, after all it is much simpler to separate debris from grains. The demand is much higher for grains to be free from rocks and chaff than from each other.

Gloriously Free supply premium quality foods to people who follow specific dietary protocols. These are the only oats in Australia that are tested, certified and guaranteed to meet the strict Australian standards with regards to nil gluten detected.

At Bob’s Red Mill, they are serious about our oatmeal! We stock Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats in three thicknesses, and offer steel cut oats and Scottish Oatmeal. Bob’s Red Mill offer conventional, organic, gluten free and gluten free organic options, as well as oatmeal cups! Oats are one of the prides of the mill and are known as whole grain nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants and fiber. Whatever sort of oatmeal you’re in the mood for, it’s safe to say we’ve got you covered!

Read on to learn how to make simple overnight oats and find out its many benefits!

What Are Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are raw oats that have been soaked overnight in liquid: popular choices include almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk or Greek yogurt. While old fashioned oats are the most common type to use, you can also use steel cut oats, quick oats, or whatever else you have on hand. The oats absorb the liquid during the night, softening them in the same way cooking them softens them, except without the work! You can soak pretty much any variety of oats, although quick cook or rolled oats are often preferred because they absorb the liquid faster than, say, steel cut oats. Thinking about making some for a quick and easy breakfast? Here are five reasons you should try overnight oats this week.

1. Overnight Oats Have Increased Digestibility

When you soak oats overnight, it’s almost like you’re cooking them, but the process is much longer and slower, and it’s done without heat. Soaking helps the starches break down and reduces the natural phytic acid, which may help your body utilize the oats’  nutrients much more efficiently. This may make the oat mixer easier to digest compared to oats that have been cooked, which is great for everyone, but is especially helpful for people with gluten sensitivities. Even oats that are gluten free aren’t always easy to digest, but overnight oats are a game changer for many.

2. Overnight Oats Contain Increased Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is found in all foods that contain starch, but it appears to be present at higher levels with cooled starchy foods instead of cooked ones. RS is a natural carb and helps to improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase feelings of fullness and decrease insulin spikes associated with eating hot starchy foods.

3. Overnight Oats Are Versatile

Not only are overnight oats quick and easy to make, they are extremely versatile. You can experiment and brainstorm endless variations and stir-ins, which helps to keep things interesting and make breakfast on the go fun and satisfying. All you need to make overnight oats are your oats of choice (we recommend our organic, quick cook rolled oats), your liquid, and a sweetener.

You can use almond milk, Greek yogurt, coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk, oat milk or even regular cow's milk if you want. Sweeteners can be anything from honey or stevia to maple syrup and more, depending on your preference. Then you can add things like chia seeds, flaxseed, coconut flakes, nuts and nut butters, fresh fruit, cinnamon, dried fruit, berries and even cacao nibs, protein powder or maca powder to your oat mixture. Coconut oil can be a great addition as well and add some energy-giving fats.

4. Overnight Oats Are Time and Money Savers

Ingredients for overnight oats aren’t super expensive, and because they are so filling, you may eat less throughout your day. This makes them ideal for those on a budget. Plus, prepping your oats recipe before bed probably takes less than 5 minutes, and when you wake up in the morning, they are ready to rock! No cooking, no mess, no fuss. You can prep all your add-ins the night before as well and have them ready to stir in, or bag them up to take with you. Yum and done!

5. Overnight Oats Are Delicious

Have we mentioned how tasty overnight oats are? It’s like dessert in a jar, only good for you and is a full meal in itself. And the best part is, a basic overnight oats recipe can be completely customized to suit your preferences. From dried fruit and shredded coconut to almond slices and cocoa powder, the flavor combos are truly endless! You can even save it for later and really eat it like it’s dessert. We promise we won’t tell a soul.

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