Thursday, November 09, 2006

GlutenFree Oats for Breakfast (certified gluten free)

Yes, you read correctly! I have eaten gluten-free oats for breakfast today!

It has been so long since I had any oats, and I must say, they tasted darn good! There has been a lot of controversy about whether or not oats are gluten-free, and whether oats are safe in a Celiac diet. This was one of the topics discussed at the Columbus Celiac Conference this prior weekend, and the bottom line from the latest in scientific and medical research is simple: oats themselves are gluten-free by nature; it is only any cross-contamination (with gluten-containing grains) that would render oats anything other than gluten free (GF).

I have been following the back-and-forth arguments about whether oats are "safe" for a long time now - years in fact. And, with this latest information, coupled with the availability of certified gluten-free oats, I finally have given in and tried oats again. At the conference, one of the vendors this year was a certified gluten free oats grower called Gifts of Nature, Inc. They had a supply of oats on hand and were selling 2.75lb (44 ounce) bags for about $10/bag (i.e., $3.63/lb!). A bit steep for oats! But, they are independently certified free of cross-contamination and all. Even at this price, they easily sold out their entire stock before day's end at the conference. I guess I am not the only one that so badly wants the taste (and health benefits) of oats back in my diet.

I did try earlier in the year to order some GF Oats from another place online, but when I did, the vendor was out of stock for a couple months or more (due to super-high demand). What I expect to see happen is this: 1) short-term prices will remain high, or perhaps even spike higher with increased demand; 2) other suppliers will start popping up all over the place as they see how they can turn a piece of fallow land into a serious cash-maker by producing certified gluten-free oats (compared to very low prices for standard oats - which I can get for 40-cents/lb or less at retail in some places yet)... $3.63/lb is nearly 10 times the price for essentially the same commodity; 3) at this gold-rush kicks in over time, the supply will finally exceed demand, lowering prices. This will likely take 10 years or more to play out, but one way or the other, it will happen given enough time.

So, I just consumed my oats about 1/2 hour ago. I took it light -- 1/4 Cup uncooked this time. I want to see how my system takes to these things before I start ramping up. Other conference attendees that had tried the GF oats before all said to start out with small amounts and work up. Most had good experiences and were able to tolerate them if they started small and worked up. So, that is where I am at too. I'll report in on the outcome over time.

Now, one thing I have been waiting a long time to make again are a couple recipes I really love: Oatmeal Cookies (I have a nearly-perfect gluten free oatmeal cookie recipe we left out of our book due to the potential "controversy" about oats) and another thing I called the Triple-Oat-Energy-Bar (I use Rolled-Oats, Oat-Flour, and Steel-Cut Oats) that is sort of a really hearty granola bar. I have not had either one for at least a couple years. When I first went gluten-free, I was tolerating oats yet, but that ability slowly went away until I could not eat them. That was in the days of non-certified-GF oats, so I really hope these certified gluten-free oats make the difference and bring back some of my favorite Oat recipes (oh, and my mother has this rather tasty oat-flour chocolate cake recipe too). If all goes well, I will bring all these recipes back out of the archives and put them online for others.


Lynn Barry said...

Oh thank you JESUS (via Mike)! I miss oats too. I have been afraid to take a chance because I feel so darn good all the time, but this give me hope. I love oats.

Mike Eberhart said...

Glad to be a conduit to your happiness or such :)

Well, 2.5 hours since consuming, and I feel fine. That's a good start. I figure I will take a day off, then try more of the gluten-free oats on Saturday. And, if I do not see any disturbing trends, I will be back in oat-land! I sure hope all goes well.

gaile said...

This is really exciting news! i do't envision eating oatmeal, but the baking and breading possibiities are really exciting to me! thanks for being our guinea pig!

Mike Eberhart said...

Always glad to be a guinea pig :)

It's been about 8 hours since I consumed the oats. The only noticable thing, whether from the oats or not, was a bit of... well... gas. heh. I have a feeling it is from my body not being used to the proteins in oats. Nothing bad, no pain or anything, nothing else to make me feel like I was "glutened" or such. Thus, I am so far thinking all is fine.

I'll see how things go if I just eat them on/off over the next couple weeks. I hope my body completely welcomes oats.

And, Gaile, I agree... all sorts of baking/breading prospects await in gluten-free oatmeal / oats land!

Anonymous said...

Oats are so good for you! Don't they lower cholesterol??? I was just Dx'd with high cholesterol for the first time. As a gluten eater in years gone by my cholesterol was low. And I I have changed was given up gluten. So if I can go back to daily oats maybe that would help. I look forward to your "archived" recipes!

Kim said...

Thank You Mike. My parents own Gifts Of Nature and I am very happy the oats are working well for you. We will hopefully have oat flour soon. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Do you still believe that oats are gluten free unless contaminated by
other gluten crops?
what are the best companies
to buy from?
Has anyone else had a problem with them recently?

Mike Eberhart said...

Yes, I do believe that if certified as gluten-free, they are indeed free of the gluten-proteins that are the root-cause of issues for people suffering from celiac disease. I have used GF oats from a few different places over the years, but honestly I do not consume many oats regardless. I have found that if I eat them too often, I tend to get acid-stomach or such. So, I have them once in a while. Perhaps others will comment about specific recommended brands and their experience. Regards.