Oats are having a breakfast comeback right now. The options are truly endless, whether you make overnight oats or add oats to your muffin mix to make them more filling.
But if you follow a gluten-free diet, you may think you can’t join in on the fun. Well, think again.
Today, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about oats, including the top gluten-free oatmeal brands.
Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?
Yes, plain oats (whether that’s quick oats, steel-cut oats, old-fashioned oats, or rolled oats) are naturally gluten-free.
However, the problem is that oats are often grown and produced alongside gluten grains like wheat, barley, or rye.
Therefore, there’s the potential for cross-contamination on the field, in the manufacturing process, and during transportation. This can be a concern for people with celiac disease.
The other concern is that people with celiac disease sometimes have cross-reactions with oats. This is because oats contain avenin, which is a protein similar to gluten. So on rare occasions, people have reported feeling sick after eating oats.
How to Buy Gluten-Free Oats
The best way to avoid cross-contamination is to only buy oatmeal with a gluten-free label. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulates this label, which means the gluten-free oats brands contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. In basic terms, this means the amount of gluten is so minuscule that people with celiac disease can safely eat the product.
Even better, products labeled certified gluten-free have less than 10 parts per million of gluten. Now, if the package doesn’t have a gluten-free label, check out the ingredients and see whether there’s a gluten allergen statement or any hidden gluten sneaking its way inside.
How to Identify Gluten-Free Oats
As mentioned, to identify gluten-free oats you want to look for a gluten-free or certified gluten-free label on the front of the packaging. If there isn’t one, you’ll need to look at the ingredients list and allergen statement to confirm whether gluten may be present.
Types of Gluten-Free Oats
Here are the types of gluten-free oats that are naturally gluten-free, but may be processed alongside gluten products before hitting grocery store shelves:
- Steel cut oats
- Rolled oats
- Quick oats
- Old-fashioned oats
- Instant oats
- Oat flour
Top Gluten-Free Oatmeal Brands
So, what oatmeal is gluten-free? Here are the best oatmeal brands that are gluten-free.
Best Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
These are the best gluten-free oats to use for baking favorites like cookies, crisps, muffins, and homemade granola bars. They are also great to use in overnight oats.
Can you even do a post on the best oatmeal brands without mentioning the one and only Quaker? Quaker Oats Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats have gone through an expert milling process to remove any unwanted gluten-containing grains for the highest-quality gluten-free oats.
- Pros: Quaker Gluten-Free Oats are made with 100% whole grains, no preservatives or sweeteners, and are non-GMO certified.
- Nutritional information: Containing 13% of your daily suggested intake of fiber, Quaker Oats are a great source of fiber, which helps support a healthy digestive system.
Classified as the “World’s Best Oatmeal,” Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats are one of the most popular gluten-free oatmeal brands out there, and for good reason. Like Quaker Oats, they have a dedicated gluten-free facility and their oats are tested in a state-of-the-art lab to ensure they only provide consumers with the best gluten-free oats.
- Pros: These gluten-free oats are non-GMO and certified organic.
- Nutritional information: Each serving includes 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber (18% of your daily value).
Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, Nature’s Path Organic Gluten-Free Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats are another great option.
- Pros: These are the only gluten-free oatmeal option that is Certified USDA Organic. They’re also vegan, non-GMO verified, and kosher. Plus, Nature’s Path Organic packages their oats in easy-to-use canisters, which we definitely approve of.
- Cons: These old-fashioned oats don’t have as much fiber as their competitors.
- Nutritional information: 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
Gluten-Free Prairie goes one step further with their gluten-free production. Their gluten-free oats are grown in gluten-free fields in Montana, harvested on dedicated gluten-free equipment, and then packaged in a designated gluten-free facility. So you can rest easy knowing you’re enjoying only the finest gluten-free oatmeal for breakfast or in your next batch of oatmeal cookies.
- Pros: Besides their strict gluten-free standards and certification by the Gluten-Free Food Program, Gluten-Free Prairie Oatmeal also contains no preservatives or additives.
- Cons: One downside is that they’re only currently stocked in grocery stores in Montana and surrounding states. However, you can easily purchase them from Amazon.
- Nutritional information: 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein.
Best Flavored Gluten-Free Oatmeal Brands
What do you get when you combine the best gluten-free rolled oats with stone-ground Scottish oatmeal and natural flavors? Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cup Range, of course.
- Taste: Take your pick from dried blueberries and roasted hazelnut; real apple pieces combined with cinnamon; the traditional flavors of brown sugar and maple; and classic oatmeal sweetened with a touch of sea salt. The Apple & Cinnamon has an apple pie vibe, while the Brown Sugar & Maple almost tastes like a fresh batch of pancakes.
- Pros: These gluten-free instant oatmeal cups are manufactured in a 100% gluten-free facility and are batch tested in their quality-controlled laboratory. They’re non-GMO and all contain wholesome flaxseeds and chia seeds. Plus, you can pop them in the microwave and they’ll be ready in just three minutes.
- Cons: You’re paying for the convenience and there are trace amounts of soy, tree nuts, and sesame seeds, which might not suit all consumers.
- Nutritional Information: 7 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the flaxseeds and chia seeds.
Superfood is right! Earnest Eats Gluten-Free Superfood Oatmeal is packed full of fiber-rich and nutrient treats.
- Taste: Superfood Oatmeal is overloaded with all of the good things, so it’s basically a taste sensation. There are the superfood grains (whole rolled oats, quinoa, and puffed amaranth), plus pepitas, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, and flaxseeds. Add unsweetened natural cocoa, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt for the most nutrient-rich and flavorful breakfast.
- Pros: Earnest Eats’ Hot & Fit Cereal Cups range is the perfect grab-and-go instant breakfast. All you have to do is add hot water and breakfast is served.
- Cons: They’re higher in fat at 9 grams, but this is thanks to the healthy fats in all of those nuts and seeds.
- Nutritional information: One serving of Superfood Oatmeal equals 9 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber (that’s 28% of your expected daily value). This will definitely help you feel fuller for longer.
Nature’s Path Organic brings something different to the table with their Creamy Coconut Instant Oatmeal packets.
- Taste: Creamy Coconut Instant Oatmeal definitely has a nutty undertone, thanks to the toasted coconut. But this is blended with the nutritious flavors of gluten-free rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and buckwheat. Add the milk of your choice to put the creamy in creamy coconut.
- Pros: Firstly, they’re super easy to make, just add hot water and go! Secondly, you can feel confident knowing there are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Thirdly, remember that Nature’s Path Organic products are all non-GMO verified, Certified USDA Organic, vegan, and kosher.
- Cons: The main downside is that the addition of coconut means they aren’t suitable for people with nut allergies.
- Nutritional information: Thanks to the trio of power seeds, this gluten-free instant oatmeal packs an energized and satisfying punch. We’re talking 35 grams of whole grains, 6 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber. It also contains ALA omega 3s and only 1 gram of sugar.
Quaker Gluten-Free Instant Oatmeal is one of the best and most flavorful gluten-free instant oatmeal options in today’s market.
- Taste: Consumers say the maple and brown sugar flavor is tasteful and sweet enough that you don’t need to add extra syrup or sugar. It tastes great with your favorite toppings, like fresh or dried fruit and chopped nuts.
- Pros: Made with 100% gluten-free whole grain oats, this is an easy and filling breakfast option that’s quick to prepare.
- Cons: The main feedback is that it’s quite expensive considering the affordable cost of plain Quaker Oats and it doesn’t have as much fiber as its counterparts.
- Nutritional information: Contains 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein. Each bowl also includes essential vitamins and minerals like iron, thiamin, and magnesium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Oats Brands are Gluten-Free?
To summarize, the best gluten-free oatmeal brands are Quaker Oats, Nature’s Path Organic, Earnest Eats, Bakery on Main, KIND, GF Harvest, and Bob’s Red Mill.
Just make sure you’re picking up the products with the gluten-free label, as many of these brands also have oat products that aren’t certified gluten-free and thus processed separately.
Is Quaker Oats Brand Gluten-Free?
Quaker Oats currently has three certified gluten-free oatmeal products: Quaker Gluten-Free Quick 1-Minute Oats and Quaker Gluten-Free Instant Oats in an original and maple and brown sugar flavor. You only want to purchase products that have the specially marked gluten-free label. This means they’ve gone through an expert milling process to remove stray gluten-containing grains. So you can rest easy knowing you’re eating only the highest quality gluten-free oats.
Are Kellogg’s Oats Gluten-Free?
No, Kellogg’s Oats are not 100% gluten-free. Although there’s only one ingredient, rolled oats, if you check the allergen statement, it reads: “Kellogg's Oats is sourced from a facility that processes wheat and tree nuts and may contain traces of gluten and tree nuts.”
This is why it always pays to read the allergens, particularly if you have celiac disease. Fortunately, as you can see above, there are plenty of other gluten-free oatmeal brands to choose from that are certified gluten-free.
Do Old-Fashioned Oats Have Gluten?
Pure old-fashioned oatmeal has one main ingredient: whole grain rolled oats. So no, they’re naturally gluten-free. However, always remember to double-check the packaging.
Is Flavored Oatmeal Gluten-Free?
This depends on the brand, so double-check the packaging for that holy grail gluten-free label or check out the above recommendations. Some gluten-free oatmeal brands add sweeteners to their flavored oatmeal, which can have hidden gluten. If there’s no gluten-free label, check the allergen statement and ingredients list.
Why Should I Eat Gluten-Free Oats?
There are so many reasons why you should add gluten-free oats to your diet. Primarily, they’re a great source of protein, fat, and fiber, meaning they fill you up and give you energy to power through your morning. The extra fiber also helps to lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar, and avoid constipation.
What is the Difference between Oatmeal and Gluten-Free Oatmeal?
Technically, there is no difference between oatmeal and gluten-free oatmeal, as they both use rolled oats. However, to get that gluten-free certification, the oats need to be processed separately from products containing gluten.
Recipes to Make With Gluten-Free Oats
So, you’ve gone shopping and secured your certified gluten-free oats. Now it’s time to do some cooking!
We are big fans of overnight oats as they tick all the boxes. They’re easy to make, so versatile, and you can meal prep them on Sunday for breakfast every weekday morning. Did we mention they’re delicious as well?
Which gluten-free oatmeal brand is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!