Non-Gluten Substitute for Oats in Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal cookies. (Image: Ron Orman Jr/iStock/Getty Images)

Gluten-free oatmeal cookies are a tasty, sweet treat with high levels of dietary fiber. If you do not have oats available, or if your oats are contaminated with gluten, you can use a gluten-free substitute for the cookies. Pick from one of several ingredients, depending on what you have on hand, to use as a non-gluten substitute for oats in oatmeal cookies.

Basic Recipe

Rectangular baking tray
Start with a cookie sheet. (Image: Dave King/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cooking sheet with parchment paper. Blend 3 tablespoons of softened butter or margarine, 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, one large egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of gluten-free flour, such as rice flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1-1/2 cups of oats or oat substitute. Stir the dry ingredients in the batter thoroughly and make 30 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheet, at least 1/2-inch apart, and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the oat cookies to a cooling rack. If you attempt to use low-fat substitutions, be prepared for a trial and error process. Using a sugar substitute can offset the balance required for gluten-free oatmeal cookies.

Oat Substitutes

Organic Grains
Bran and grains. (Image: thyegn/iStock/Getty Images)

You can replace the oats in an oatmeal cookie recipe with an equal amount of ground flax, rice bran, quinoa flakes or chia seeds. Ground flax has very little flavor and is likely to produce cookies that taste similar to the recipe with oats, with a slightly grittier texture. Rice bran introduces an earthy tone to the cookies, but they still taste sweet with a chewy consistency. Quinoa flakes have a slightly nutty flavor that can enhance the natural sweetness of oatmeal cookies and give them a similar texture to oats. Chia seeds have a hardly-noticeable nutty flavor and create a more crumbly oatmeal cookie.

Modifying a Recipe

dough and rolling pin
Cookie dough and rolling pin. (Image: spetnitskaya nadya/iStock/Getty Images)

Typically, gluten-free oatmeal cookie dough should be slightly sticky and hold together well. When you add ground flax, rice bran, quinoa flakes or chia seeds to an oatmeal cookie recipe, the dough might need adjustment. Stir the substitute ingredient in thoroughly and assess the cookie dough. If it is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the dough is a better consistency. If the dough is too moist, add 1 tablespoon of the substitute ingredient at a time to dry it.

Considerations

Rolled oats
Oats. (Image: Image Source/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When you substitute an ingredient in a recipe, its nutritional value is modified. If you are concerned about the protein, calories, carbohydrates or fats in the recipe, record the nutrition of each ingredient you use. Divide the totals by 30, or however many cookies you make, for the nutrients in each oatmeal cookie. Some ingredients, including oats, ground flax, rice bran, quinoa flakes and chia seeds, can become contaminated with gluten. Purchase at-home gluten testing kits to ensure the ingredients you add to the cookies are gluten-free. Even if you are familiar with the brand, some batches of grains can become gluten-contaminated. Testing before you bake with the ingredient ensures the cookies are safe for those with gluten allergies and intolerances.

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