One of the most challenging aspects of following a gluten free diet is knowing which foods you can and cannot eat. As more people switch over to a gluten free lifestyle, more grain-free products begin to hit shelves. While the selection of gluten free food is growing, it's important to consider its quality. When made with whole food ingredients, pre-made gluten free treats provide an excellent snacking option. However, when making gluten free meals at home, you'll need to know what ingredients you can use and those you should stay away from.
As oat bran grows in popularity, one of the most common questions we've begun to receive is "Is oat bran gluten free?" While oat bran is naturally gluten free, if you have celiac, please be aware that only our Gluten Free Oat Bran Hot Cereal is processed in a 100% gluten free facility and has been tested and confirmed gluten free. We've created this complete guide to help answer all your questions about oat bran and its gluten free qualities. Keep reading to learn more about this superfood and how you can begin cooking with it today.
What Does a Gluten Free Diet Entail?
Before we talk more about oat bran and how you can use it to create delicious gluten free meals, let's first discuss what following a gluten free diet entails. Simply put, a gluten free diet avoids all foods containing gluten—a protein that is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Following a gluten free diet can have significant benefits for individuals who have gluten intolerance and celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the body has difficulty digesting gluten.
It's also an excellent option for people with gluten sensitivity, which causes digestive upset whenever gluten is consumed. To effectively reduce and stop these symptoms, individuals must not consume gluten in any amount. Because gluten is found in many grains, there are large amounts in bread, pasta, crackers, cereals and even beer. When following a gluten free diet, people should steer clear of these foods or choose gluten free options.
What Foods Are Naturally Gluten Free?
Upon reading the list of gluten-containing foods above, you might find yourself wondering if any foods are naturally gluten free. The answer is yes. Many whole foods are naturally gluten free and safe for those with celiac disease to enjoy. Some of our favorite gluten free foods include vegetables, fruits, meats and fish, most dairy products, legumes, and grains like quinoa, buckwheat, cassava and oats. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you can create delicious naturally gluten free meals that will help keep you feeling your best.
What Is Oat Bran?
at bran is the outer layer of the oat groat that separates it from the inedible husk. In addition, oat bran has been turned into its own product—one that's overflowing with health benefits.
Is Oat Bran Gluten Free?
As we mentioned, oat bran is derived directly from the oat groat, and because the oat grain is naturally gluten free, oat bran is as well. That being said, not all varieties of oat bran are safe for individuals with celiac disease. When purchasing oat bran, you must buy one that was processed in a gluten free facility. Often, naturally gluten free foods will be processed alongside gluten-containing ones. This results in cross-contamination, and because even a tiny amount of gluten can cause digestive upset for those with celiac disease, these foods should be avoided just as much as gluten-filled ones.
At Bob's Red Mill, we understand how vital gluten free foods are to those who require them, and because of these, we've created a dedicated gluten free processing facility where all of our gluten free foods are handled. For example, each bag of our Gluten Free Oat Bran is made from protein-rich certified gluten free oats, which undergo an R5 ELISA gluten test to make sure it meets our industry-leading standards. The oat bran is then processed and packaged in our gluten free facility and tested again to ensure that it's suitable for those with celiac disease and a safe choice for anyone following a gluten free diet.
Oat Bran Recipes
Now that you've discovered that oat bran is an entirely gluten free ingredient, it's time to begin incorporating it into your weekly recipes. To help you get started, the Bob's Red Mill team has rounded up some of our favorite gluten free oat bran recipes along with their related products. Take a look at the list below to decide which recipe you'd like to make first.
Oat Bran Cereal
There's nothing like waking up to a warm bowl of porridge, especially on chilly mornings. While porridge may sound a bit complicated to make, it's effortless when made with our gluten-free oat bran cereal. All it takes is just a few ingredients and a stovetop. To make a warm bowl of oat bran cereal, you'll need: gluten free oat bran cereal, water and salt—that's it! Then bring the water and salt to a boil on the stove before adding the oat bran and cooking for 3 minutes.
For a bowl of oat bran that has even more flavor, we recommend toasting the bran beforehand. Oat bran can be toasted by adding it to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk the bran continuously for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until you smell it toasting. Then transfer the toasted oat bran onto a plate and begin making the oat bran hot cereal as you usually would.
Because plain oat bran is usually a bit bland, we suggest topping it with delicious foods like fresh and dried fruit, yogurt, nuts, raisins and anything else that you think would taste great. For complete instructions on how to cook oat bran cereal, check out this comprehensive guide.
When switching to a gluten free diet, learning how to make delicious cookies is a must. Unfortunately, though several gluten free cookie recipes are floating around the internet, many of them aren't that great for you. And even though cookies are a dessert, they can have some pretty great nutritional benefits when made with whole-food ingredients. So to create a cookie recipe that you can feel great about eating, we set out to find whole food and gluten free ingredients that work well together. And what we came up with, maybe the best cookies you've ever tasted.
In this White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookie recipe, gluten free ingredients like Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, Gluten Free Organic Quick Cooking Rolled Oats and Gluten Free Oat Bran are combined with coconut flakes, white chocolate chips and dried cherries to create a dessert that's bursting with flavor. The quick-cooking oats and oat bran add a handful of good-for-you nutrients like fiber to these cookies, making them a dessert that you don't have to feel guilty snacking on. Chewy, delicious and packed full of dried cherries, the texture and flavor of these cookies is one that you will crave over and over again.
When adding oat bran to your weekly recipes, adding it to a smoothie might not be the first option you think of. However, when made with a combination of fruits and vegetables, smoothies are a healthy and nutritious meal that can be enjoyed any time of the day. And when add-ins like oat bran and protein powder are used, the meal's texture, taste and nutritional value only increase. So, if you're a fan of smoothies and looking for a way to spice things up, try adding a tablespoon or so of oat bran to your next one. Oat bran's creamy texture and nutty flavor is sure to amplify all of the things you already love about the smoothie.
Not sure where to start or which oat bran breakfast recipes to try out? Try making this Berry Peachy Hemp Smoothie. This delicious smoothie uses our Hemp Protein Powder, fruit, Oat Bran and a touch of maple syrup to create a nutritious breakfast or snack.
Whether you're new to gluten free cooking or have been following a gluten free diet for a while now, working oat bran into your recipes is an excellent way to diversify the ingredients and nutrients you consume. Gain some inspiration from this article and begin using oat bran today. We can't wait to see the many delicious dishes that you come up with. From the Bob's Red Mill Family to yours, have a healthy and happy day!
Note: Eating raw oats is generally safe, but may cause digestive issues or increase the risk of foodborne illness.