We all remember growing up with oats or porridge as the main component of our breakfast. It was a simple, nourishing send off before school in a time when very few breakfast cereals were available. We have gone full circle on this one and oats are back in style for breakfast. But is this wonderful breakfast off limits to those who enjoy the gluten free lifestyle?
Here is the issue with oats. They are technically gluten free BUT, and this is important. Oats can be contaminated with other grains and the risk can make it not prudent for those who eat gluten free, to eat oats. This contamination can happen in the fields where they are grown. Crop rotation can leave seeds or small plants that grow the next year and get harvested with the oats. Harvesting equipment can be used for multiple crops. Shipping containers can be contaminated. Processing operations can process multiple grains. So you can see that the chance for contamination exists at many points in the cycle from earth to table.
But you need not avoid them altogether. Just avoid the commercial brands that do not state that they are gluten free. There are numerous brands that are gluten free and they are readily available. Check out your health food store for brands like Lara's Brand, Avena Foods and of course Bob's Red Mill. These are certified gluten free from the time they are grown until they arrive at your table.
Here is a way to add even more value to an already nutritious bowl of oatmeal. Add two tablespoons of chopped walnuts for a crunchy alternative. Add raisins too for a sweetness that is natural and irresistible. Together with the oatmeal they provide a powerhouse bowl of nutrition to start your day right. Just like when you were a kid only better and certified gluten free!