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Gluten Confusion: Are Oats Gluten Free?

4:59 PM

Happy National Oatmeal Month! Did you know that? Apparently more oatmeal is eaten in January than in any other month of the year. That's great—it's such a healthy winter breakfast. Studies show that people who eat oatmeal have healthy hearts because the soluble fiber it contains helps to lower cholesterol. It's linked to reduced blood pressure and keeps you feeling full—definitely a better comfort food than, say, the huge plate of waffles I ate yesterday.

If you're new to gluten free, perhaps you're questioning the safety of oats. Here's the deal: oats don't naturally contain gluten, but they're very heavily cross-contaminated with glutenous grains during the manufacturing process. This means that oats are not safe unless marked gluten free. Fortunately, gluten-free oats are pretty easy to find! Bob's Red Mill has gluten-free oat bran, quick rolled oats, rolled oats, steel cut oats, and thick rolled oats (just be careful, because they also have some that are not gluten-free).

HOWEVER, there's a catch! An estimated 10–15% of people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity also react to avenin, a protein found in oats. There's also research to suggest that some types of oats are more toxic than others to people with celiac disease. So, like with many other foods, you'll need to listen to your body first and foremost. If you've yet to try gluten-free oats, have a few spoonfuls and see how you do. I don't have a problem and I hope you don't either (because any baked good with an oat crust is bound to be the yummiest thing ever!).

We've been on an oatmeal kick this month—I've been trying to make it for breakfast more often, topped with raisins and gluten-free granola. If you're looking to continue your oat lovin', check out our recipes for:

Chia + Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Banana Oat Macadamia Breakfast Nuggets
What's your favorite oat-y dish?

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