Oat flour is a naturally gluten-free flour made from oats. It has the same flavor and nutritional profiles as oats and a lot in common with wheat, aside from the lack of gluten. While you can find oat flour in many large grocery stores, it may not be available in all of them; however, it is remarkably easy to find a substitute. Here are some of the best oat flour substitutes available today:
Your best bet: Make your own oat flour
Oat flour consists entirely of grains of whole oats that have been milled to a fine powder. Any other form of whole oats can serve as an adequate substitute. Old fashioned rolled oats will be one of your best options, but you can use steel-cut or quick-cooking oats as well. Grind it to a fine powder, which you can do with a blender or food processor. Blend the oats as fine as possible and then use a sieve to separate the finest from the larger particles.
Your homemade oat flour will work just as well as the commercially packaged stuff in all your recipes.
You will need to start with slightly more of the old fashioned oats to get the amount in your recipe. For example, use 2 1/2 cups of rolled old fashioned oats to get 2 cups of oat flour. Keep in mind that oat flour has a shorter shelf life than wheat flour, so store it in the refrigerator if you plan on keeping it for a long time.
A decent second choice: Barley flour
Made from the barley grain, barley flour has a slightly nutty taste similar to oats. It is a high-fiber flour that shares many of oat flour’s health benefits. It is a good source of the beta-glucans that give oat flour its outstanding health benefits. Like oat flour, barley flour works best when you use it alongside wheat flour in recipes. When you use barley flour in place of some of the wheat flour in a standard white bread recipe, the finished product is softer with significantly more retained moisture than you would get from the original all-wheat recipe.
Barley flour is not gluten-free like oat flour, but its gluten content is low. This means that you shouldn’t expect significant rising if you use it by itself to make cakes or bread.
In a pinch: Almond flour
Made from blanched and ground almonds, almond flour is a gluten-free flour with a mild nutty flavor. Almond flour is a lot like oat flour in that it contains a lot of fiber and is not excessively absorbent. Because it won’t soak up a lot of the liquid in your recipe, it will behave in much the same way as oat flour when used in baking. Like oat flour, almond flour is full of fiber and minerals.
Almond flour does contain more fat than oat flour and won’t taste exactly the same.
Whole wheat flour will be easier to find than most of the other oat flour substitutes on this list and has many of the same nutritional benefits. It is rich in fiber and minerals. It is not gluten-free, but you will still need another flour for binding.
Rye flour is another excellent oat flour substitute. It is a good source of the beta-glucans and other nutrients that you would get from oat flour.