Oats are Gluten-Free or Are They?

While oats are naturally gluten-free, they are often grown and processed close to wheat, which causes contamination.  In fact, traditional oats are so often contaminated with second-hand wheat that experts for years thought they contained gluten.  You can see how important it is to only use oats that are grown and processed away from wheat to live a gluten-free life.  Plus oats are so easy to incorporate into your diet.

Why should we eat more oats?  The nutritional credits they add to a diet are many including vitamins, fiber and protein!  All of these are important but the fact that oat fiber is slowly absorbed by your body helps so much in controlling appetite.  It fills you up and delays hunger pangs.  Some studies show that eating oats on a regular basis can lower total cholesterol.  Oats are also diabetes-friendly, since oats do not cause swings in levels of glucose in the bloodstream.  All positive reasons to start adding oats into your daily meals.

Oats can be used in many ways beyond the morning breakfast bowl.  Although a bowl of oatmeal with spices, nuts and fresh fruit is a great way to start the day!  Adding oats to baked goods will bring a chewy, almost nutty, flavor.  My family likes oatmeal cookies.  Usually I add the raisins but they can be optional or they can be omitted or substituted with another dried fruit.  Anyway you do it they are a tasty, fulfilling treat.  Just don’t tell the kids how good these cookies are for them!

Oatmeal Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup Baking Free Gluten-Free all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups Positively Free Instant Oats
  • ½ cup raisins or chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Bring butter and shortening to room temperature.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar until a creamy mixture.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add to the creamed mixture in 2 or 3 batches.
  5. With a spoon, slowly mix in the oats until just combined. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips (optional).
  6. Put dough into refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Using a large spoon, drop portions of dough on prepared cookie sheets 2-3 inches apart.
  9. Bake until golden brown and chewy, about 12-14 minutes.
  10. Let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes and then slide parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Makes about 24 cookies.