In the movie Stranger than Fiction, Will Farrell’s character, Harold Crick, tries to woo a baker, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, by bringing her flours. Not flowers. Flours. As far as romantic gestures go, we can’t think of anything sweeter – assuming, of course, that his gift contained oat flour.
Just like our buddy Harold, oat flour has a few quirks. But once we figured out how to work with it, we gave it a permanent place in our baking pantry and have been sneaking it into recipes ever since.
To take advantage of all of oat flour’s nutritional benefits without significantly changing the texture of our favorite recipes, we simply replace up to one-third of the wheat flour called for with oat flour.
Take our Jalapeño Cheese Cornbread, for example. The original, tried-and-true recipe calls for 2 cups all-purpose flour. Now whenever we make it, we replace a third of that (2/3 cups) with oat flour and the results are, well, exactly as expected. Our cornbread turns out perfectly every time. In fact, we think it’s even better with oat flour than without.
Why? Oat flour is surprisingly light and retains moisture, resulting in a soft, tender crumb. This makes it perfect for pairing with the coarser, grittier texture of cornmeal. The slightly sweeter taste of oat flour not only complements the corn flavor, it also lets us get away with a little bit less sugar.
Oats are naturally rich in beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber. Studies suggest beta-glucan can improve heart health, lower cholesterol and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. With more protein than any other common grain, choosing oat flour also adds a boost of protein to your baked goods. And let’s not forget the iron that oat flour adds, which is particularly important for women or anyone following a plant-based diet.
Of course, you’re not limited to just cornbread. Oat flour can supercharge any baked good with nutrients, from sweet and savory quick breads to biscuits, muffins, brownies, loaves and bundt cakes.
But don’t just take our word for it. Try it for yourself! And be sure to share your delicious experiments with someone special.
Or just send flours.
Who can resist a piece of moist cornbread, still warm from the oven? We’ve replaced some of the flour in our traditional recipe with oat flour, for added nutrition. The jalapeños and cheese make this cornbread a perfect accompaniment for chili.
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal (375 ml)
- 2 1/2 cups milk (625 ml)
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (325 ml)
- 2/3 cup oat flour (160 ml)
- 1/4 cup white sugar (60 ml)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder (15 ml)
- 1 tsp salt (5 ml)
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided (500 ml)
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeño pepper (45 ml)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup canola oil (125 ml)
- Sliced jalapeños to garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) degrees.
- Combine cornmeal and milk in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to soften.
Grease a cast iron skillet or 9" x 13” baking pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil. Stir until smooth. Stir in half of the cheese and the chopped jalapeños.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with remaining cheese and sliced jalapeños.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.