If you’re looking for a healthy, whole-grain flour packed with nutrients, oat flour is definitely one of the top choices, with a distinctive nutty flavor.
It can easily replace white flour, as well as other options you may try to avoid, in pretty much any recipe.
However, when it comes to replacing oat flour in baking and cooking in general, you may find it hard to find an adequate replacement that fulfills both texture and nutritive requirements.
Keep on reading to discover some of the best substitutes for oat flour, whether you need a quick replacement or you’d like to try something new.
The best substitutes for oat flour
Just like the name itself implies, oat flour is made of oat groats, and it is an incredibly nutritious flour since it comes from whole grains.
The fact that it is produced from whole grains makes this flour rank high on the list of healthy, nutrient-packed flours – especially as a white flour replacement.
Depending on the brand, you’ll be able to find oat flour made from cleaned and hulled oats, as well as flour made from oatmeal or rolled oats.
Aside from its role in forming the dough, oat flour is also a common choice of bakers due to its specific nutty aroma and unique flavor.
Also, a significant difference between wheat flour and oat flour is in the texture of the baked goods. If you use oat flour instead of wheat flour, you’ll notice that your baked goods retain their moisture longer.
When it comes to baking recipes such as leavened bread, it is recommended to mix oat flour with wheat flour in a 1:3 ratio to get the best results, and that is due to the role of gluten in dough forming.
Oat flour, in fact, is a much better option in cooking recipes that require no baking, as it adds a beautiful nutlike aroma.It is recommended to use freshly ground oat flour whenever possible since it provides the best texture, flavor, and aroma.
As far as storage is concerned, if you want to extend its shelf life, it is necessary to keep oat flour in an airtight container in the freezer. Stored like this, oat flour can last for a few months.
What is the best oat flour substitute you can use in both your cooking and baking recipes? Keep on reading to learn more about all the available alternatives.
1. Homemade oat flour
In case you have some oats lying around, making your own oat flour is the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it is even better to make your own oat flour if you have a brand of oats that you trust and love.
When making oat flour, it is better to choose whole rolled oats, since this way you’ll keep all the necessary nutrients and get high-quality flour.
Therefore, for this specific recipe, we’d suggest staying away from quick oats or steel-cut ones.
Aside from the desired amount of whole rolled oats, you will need a food processor or a quality blender that will be able to form a fine flour.
Add your oats into the food processor or blender, then process them until you get a fine flour and you’re done!
Make sure to store the flour in an airtight container and keep it in a dry space or your freezer for up to 3 months.
2. Soy flour
Soy flour is a great gluten-free oat flour substitute made from roasted soybeans. Many people tend to switch from wheat to soy flour as it is packed with protein, in addition to being completely gluten-free.
When choosing soy flour, it is important to note its fat content. In case you get a full-fat soy flour brand, it is necessary to store it in the fridge or the freezer, as it can develop an unpleasant flavor or aroma if not stored properly.
Since it contains no gluten, you will need to mix soy flour with wheat flour or another kind of flour that can provide the necessary structure in baked goods.
3. Brown rice flour
Another spot-on substitute for oat flour is brown rice flour. You’ll notice it has a somewhat gritty texture, and just like oat flour, it contains no gluten.
Another important similarity between this oat flour replacement and oat flour itself is that both options offer a nutty, slightly toasty note that can elevate any baked dish – especially desserts.
Contrary to what you may conclude from its name, brown rice flour is usually completely white. Just like other gluten-free types of flour, it does require the addition of wheat or a similar kind of flour for more complex baked goodies.
4. Coconut flour
Yet another oat flour alternative that contains no gluten and makes for a great, healthy flour option is coconut flour made from dried coconut meat.
However, in combination with glutinous flour types, it can certainly be used for your favorite baked goodies. It does particularly well in desserts since it provides that unique coconut aroma and flavor, but it isn’t too overwhelming.
It is also important to note that coconut flour contains no starch – and therefore no carbs, which makes it a great choice if you’re keeping an eye on your carb count.
5. Almond flour
Almond flour is an amazing substitute for oat flour in baking, especially if you’re looking for that toasty, nutty aroma that you’d get from oats.
Usually, almond flour is produced from blanched, ground almonds, and the boiling step removes the skins. Some people tend to confuse almond flour with almond meal, but they’re entirely different.
Almond flour is a fine powder that can be used in cooking and baking, whereas almond meal has a coarser, rougher texture.
Also, even though it does have a slightly nutty aroma, almond flour will not alter the taste of your dish as the almond flavor isn’t too dominant.
Almond flour can substitute oat flour in all kinds of dishes and baked goodies, including pancakes, bread, or even pasta.
6. Barley flour
Made from ground whole barley grain, barley flour is yet another whole-grain, extremely nutritious, healthy flour option, and also a decent alternative to oat flour.
Just like oat flour and the alternatives we’ve mentioned before, if you’re using this kind of flour for baking, you need to combine it with wheat flour.
Barley flour, usually in a mixture with wheat flour, is often used to make flatbread, noodles, as well as baked goods for added nutrients.
However, barley flour is a great alternative to all-purpose flour in sauces, soups, and dips if you’re looking for a healthier thickening agent.
7. Chickpea flour
This replacement for oat flour is an absolute favorite among athletes and people who prioritize protein in their diet, as it is packed with high-quality protein.
Chickpea flour is also a gluten-free option, and it is low in calories (especially when compared to wheat flour), as well as carbs.
The texture of chickpea flour is extremely fine, dense, but also quite sticky. It is exactly this stickiness that makes it a terrific binder in baking, and it can even replace some heavier types of flour.
8. Quinoa flour
Everyone already knows about all the amazing health benefits and the impressive nutritional profile of quinoa, which is often used as a rice substitute.
However, not many people know about quinoa flour, which is packed with important nutrients – especially protein and fiber.
Since quinoa flour can be quite expensive, if you’re looking to save up and make it at home, you should know that it is just as easy to make as homemade oat flour.
The only extra step is that quinoa should be toasted then cooled before grinding or blending it into powder. Toasting it will release that nutty aroma that makes quinoa flour so unique.
Also, to get the finest texture possible, make sure to sift the quinoa powder after processing it to remove any large pieces.
How to choose an oat flour substitute
In case you need oat flour for a specific recipe but you’re currently out of it or you cannot find it in stores, you can always make it yourself using your favorite brand of whole rolled oats.
A significant advantage of oat flour over wheat flour is that it is gluten-free, and it offers a decent amount of protein and fibers while being relatively low in calories.
Keep in mind that some oat flour brands will include additional ingredients and the mixture will no longer be gluten-free.
Therefore, if you have gluten sensitivity or intolerance, it’s important to always study the ingredient list before purchasing a product. Luckily, many oat flour substitutes are gluten-free as well:
- Best pick: homemade oat flour is certainly the best substitute for store-bought oat flour, and you will notice no difference in your recipe.
- Flour properties: if you’re not looking for a pretty neutral flavor profile and you’d simply like an alternative that has similar properties to oat flour, you can’t go wrong with soy flour, brown rice flour, and barley flour.
- Flavor&aroma: coconut flour and almond flour, on the other hand, have a very distinctive, flavor and aroma. Almond flour has an aroma quite similar to the one oat flour provides, while coconut flour provides the unique flavor we all know and love. Therefore, if your focus is on the flavor profile and not so much on the baking and thickening properties, you can choose between these two options.
- Nutritional profile: finally, chickpea flour and quinoa flour are top choices for protein-based diets, as they offer an impressively high protein/low carb content, rich in fiber.