Oat flour is made by grinding oats into a fine powder and hence the flour also retains the nutritional value of the oats intact. Oat flour is readily available in stores or you can make it yourself by simply processing quick-cooking oats or rolled oats in a food processor. Oats is a gluten-free grain, so is oat flour too. But care should be taken by people who are allergic to gluten while consuming oats because it is usually processed in machines that process wheat and hence there is a possibility for cross contamination and this could affect those who are severely allergic to gluten. Look for “gluten-free” oats which means that it was processed in a separate facility.
How to use it in baking?
Since oats is naturally gluten-free, oat flour cannot replace all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour in baking recipes. Cakes, cupcakes, breads, muffins, etc. need the gluten to rise. So a portion of the all-purpose flour can be replaced with this healthy, whole grain oat flour without affecting the taste or texture to a great extent. Start experimenting by replacing 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour with oat flour and figure out how much you can take it because it does have a nutty flavor and lends a dense texture to the baked goods. In my baking experience I found that whole grain flours like oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour or barley flour pairs well with chocolate. So whip up these delicious oat flour brownies and oat flour chocolate chip cookies today.
How to preserve it?
Care should be taken while storing oat flour because it can turn rancid quickly like any other whole grain flour. Store it in air-tight container or a zip-lock bag in the freezer or refrigerator so that it keeps good for a couple of months.