Why aren’t oats gluten-free?

Here are some thoughts about oats. Do you have to buy gluten-free oats? Yes!
Here’s why:

Cross-Contamination

Of 134 samples of oats collected in the USA, Canada and Europe, 109 were found to be contaminated with gluten, according to a 2008 study published in the “European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.” Most oats, including steel-cut oats, are processed in the same facilities and with the same equipment used for wheat and other gluten-containing grains, which explains why over 80 percent of oats contain traces of gluten. If you are sensitive to gluten, even traces of gluten could be enough to trigger side effects. Since there is no way to know if products containing oats are contaminated or not, avoid all conventional steel-cut oats.

Gluten-Free Oats

Oats that are labeled and certified gluten-free are suitable for a gluten-free diet. Food manufacturers offering gluten-free oats use different equipment to process oats and ensure that their products are not cross-contaminated with gluten, which makes it safe for people suffering from gluten intolerance. Ideally, you should use skillets, bowls and utensils that are only used to prepare gluten-free foods at home to avoid cross-contaminating your bowl of steel-cut oats with gluten. (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/steel-cut-oats-contain-gluten-1687.html)

Granola

It sure has been difficult to find a good, gluten-free granola. I normally make my own if I want it to really excite me, but it’s always wonderful if you can find a good product to buy when you’re feeling like you need an easy, out-of-the-bag solution. This is the only store-bought GF granola that I’ve tried and liked:

Now, here is my granola recipe:

Granola

6 cups gluten-free oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins
1 cup sunflower seeds or sliced almonds
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Mix ingredients in a 9×13 pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Stir and bake another 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Mellow Mushroom

Yum…the Mellow Mushroom has a new gluten-free crust! The first time they offered a gluten-free crust, I was not impressed. It wasn’t that great, it tasted like it was gluten-free and I didn’t feel like it was worth the drive to go get it. Especially not when I could make something that tasted way better. The new crust is a nice and crispy thin crust. This was amazing! If you live near a Mellow Mushroom, try it out:

Celiac Awareness

Celiac Disease awareness is very important to me, obviously, it took about 15 years of doctors and specialists to reach this diagnosis. Celiac blood tests are not always accurate, and gluten intolerance is not testable this way. We just discovered recently that the cause of death for my maternal grandmother was an intestinal cancer frequently associated with undiagnosed Celiac Disease. I was blessed to be diagnosed before I reached that point. Awareness is important, it has serious long-term effects and doctors are still slow to diagnose this. Check out my Celiac Disease Information page on this blog. Awareness is important!