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Are Oats Gluten Free?

Are Oats Gluten Free?

Have you ever wondered, are oats gluten free? The short answer is “yes.” But you might be surprised how many thoughts and feelings people have on the subject.

Have you ever wondered, are oats gluten free? The short answer is "yes." But you might be surprised how many thoughts and feelings people have on the subject.

Whatever your reason for going gluten free, I’m here for you. Whether it’s medical necessity, personal preference or something in between, you need not as for either permission or forgiveness. Your body, your choices.

Deciding what to eat on a gluten free diet can become complicated, though, pretty quickly. There’s no shortage of opinions on what is “safe” to eat and what isn’t.

Whether oats are gluten free or not can be a subject of great debate. Whenever I post about a recipe containing gluten free oats on Facebook, that debate always threatens to take over. I usually shut it down, as the point is the recipe—not the differing opinions.

But today, we’re talking about oats. And accepted conventional wisdom in the United States, where I live, shop, cook, bake and raise my family, is that oats are gluten free.

Whatever your reason for going gluten free, this is what you need to get started: The Ultimate guide to the Gluten Free Diet!

As I stated in my basic rules of the gluten free diet:

Oats are not a gluten-containing grain. However, they are typically grown on shared fields with wheat and other gluten-containing grains, and stored and processed in shared facilities with gluten-containing grains. Oats that are grown on dedicated fields and stored in dedicated gluten-free silos will be labeled “Certified Gluten Free” in the United States. Some celiacs are also sensitive to oats, but they are not a gluten-containing grain when in their pure form.

Gluten Free Living magazine, long a leader in this arena and the reason we all know that distilled vinegar that doesn’t have gluten as an added ingredient is in fact gluten free, agrees.

With this in mind, I will continue to post recipes using certified gluten free oats. If you live in Australia, it seems that there is no such thing as certified gluten free oats. That’s such a shame!

Whenever possible, I provide information on how to substitute something else for oats in my recipes that call for them. Unfortunately, that usually just isn’t possible.

But that doesn’t mean that U.S. certified gluten free oats aren’t safe to eat on a gluten free diet in the U.S. If you choose not to eat them, that’s your right!

Here are a few of my favorite recipes using gluten free oats. Are oats gluten free? These certainly are! And my family loves them all. Granola bars, energy bites, oatmeal cookies, no-flour muffins, all packed with whole grains. I hope you can enjoy them all!

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.

This simple recipe for thick and chewy gluten free oatmeal cookies is crispy around the edges, soft and chewy the rest of the way through. In other words, perfect.  

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

This chewy homemade granola bar recipe is endlessly customizable with different mix-ins and nuts. Perfect for school (or work) lunchboxes!

Healthy blueberry muffins, made with applesauce, yogurt, oats and big, beautiful fresh blueberries (or frozen!) and no added fat or refined sugars. All of the taste and texture, none of the guilt!

Healthy blueberry muffins, made with applesauce, yogurt, oats and big, beautiful fresh blueberries (or frozen!) and no added fat or refined sugars. All of the taste and texture, none of the guilt!

My favorite gluten free granola recipe, made with plenty of good olive oil, raw almonds, pumpkin and hemp seeds, coconut, maple syrup and oats. Make it your own, with your favorite nuts and seeds!

My favorite maple almond gluten free granola recipe, made with plenty of good olive oil, raw almonds, pumpkin and hemp seeds, coconut, maple syrup and oats. Make it your own, with your favorite nuts and seeds.

Just rolled oats, some seeds and any sort of milk, plus 2 minutes of prep, are all it takes to make a fast, nutritious and filling breakfast of gluten free overnight oats. Come see the endless flavor variations!

Gluten free overnight oats are made with just rolled oats, some seeds and any sort of milk, and take less than 5 minutes of prep time. A fast, nutritious and filling breakfast, with endless flavor variations!

No bake fudge cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

No bake fudge cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free either way! 

Peanut Butter No Bake Gluten Free Energy Bites

These no bake gluten free energy bites are delicious, satisfying and so easy to make. They cost about 20¢ each to make—and might cost you about $1.79 each to buy (no joke).

Super healthy banana oatmeal muffins are naturally gluten free and so simple to make!

Super healthy banana oatmeal muffins are naturally gluten free and so simple to make!

Get this tested, easy-to-follow recipe for healthy oatmeal muffins—with no added sugar and plenty of whole grains. Naturally gluten free, and kid approved!

These healthy oatmeal muffins have very little added sugar and plenty of whole grains. Naturally gluten free, and kid approved!

These homemade protein bars are no bake, made with simple ingredients, and can be customized in endless ways. Whip up a naturally gluten free batch right now!

These homemade protein bars are no bake, endlessly customizable energy bars. Just like Luna and Power bars, and made with your favorite protein powder. I’m working on an oat-free version of these, and it’s right there, just beyond my reach! I won’t stop until I hit it, though, so stay tuned!

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Comments are closed.

  • Janis
    January 28, 2017 at 12:43 AM

    I buy GF oats through the Azure Standard co-op (US). It’s a 50 lb bag for $68 (I think), so it competes price-wise with regular oats. If it weren’t for that, our transition to the GF diet 7 months ago would have been harder budget-wise. We use gallon-size freezer bags and stick them in our deep freezer. As a family of 7 we were already eating oats 3 times a week, so the cost savings is significant.

    Thank you for your blog. You have made this exhausting diet much more doable!

  • RitaW212
    January 24, 2017 at 10:18 AM

    I cannot eat oats I get sick from it I have tried many times and as soon as something has oats in it and I eat it by mistake without knowing I get sick

  • Leah
    January 22, 2017 at 8:13 PM

    Has anyone tried replacing oats with quinoa flakes?

  • Maz White
    January 20, 2017 at 7:32 PM

    Yes, you are correct. In Australia, and New Zealand I believe, a product can only be labelled Gluten Free if it has no detactable gluten. Elsewhere it seems that a product can be labelled gluten free if the gluten detected is 20 ppm. Therefore we can buy low gluten oats here in Australia which would be labelled gluten free elsewhere. These are what I buy but, as you say, it is a personal or health choice whether you can eat oats or not.

    • January 22, 2017 at 7:36 AM

      That may be true in certain circumstances, Maz, that the oats sold as GF in the U.S. comply with the 20 ppm law only. But it isn’t true with all brands of certified gluten free oats in the U.S.

    • Maz White
      January 22, 2017 at 11:42 PM

      Thanks, the more info the better!

  • Alexis S
    January 20, 2017 at 6:10 PM

    I don’t think the issue of oats being gluten free is as simple anymore as it was when I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008. Now, many products that are labeled gluten free and contain oats are being made with mechanically sorted oats. I personally only feel safe eating products made with purity protocol oats. Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Bakery on Main and Bob’s Red Mill products use mechanically sorted oats, so I will not eat them. Too many people have reported feeling ill after eating “gluten free” Cheerios. I am so disappointed that Bakery an Main and Bob’s Red Mill have moved away from using purity protocol oats. Thankfully, Trader Joe’s has inexpensive purity protocol rolled oats.

    • January 22, 2017 at 7:38 AM

      I completely agree that there is no way I’d let my son have any of the mechanically sorted oats products from General Mills. I am really disappointed in the way they handled the situation, although it’s my understanding that there aren’t enough pure GF oats available in general for them to be able to make Cheerios with them. But they should be much more up front about the process, and commit to much more testing and oversight. I wasn’t aware that Bob’s Red Mill products were no longer as safe, though, but it’s not surprising given the quality of their other products in general.

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