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    Gluten-Free Oats? YES! Chewy, Yummy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Gluten-Free)


    Jules Shepard

    In the celiac world, there remains a long-standing controversy over whether to exclude oats and oat products from the list of "safe" gluten-free grains.  When I was diagnosed with celiac disease, standard protocol recommended against including oats in a gluten-free diet, but more recent studies show that oats themselves are likely not the source of a celiac reaction.  Instead, researchers now believe that the fact that milled oats are often contaminated with other gluten-containing grains has skewed diagnostic testing of reactions to gluten from oat products.


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    The most recent scientific statements on the inclusion of a reasonable amount of oats (1 cup or less per day) in a gluten-free diet indicate that most individuals with celiac disease can actually tolerate uncontaminated oats.  However, health professionals (including the American Dietetic Association) recommend that newly diagnosed celiac patients avoid oats until the disease is well-controlled with full resolution of symptoms and normal blood tests demonstrate that tissue transglutaminase levels (IgA tTG) are under control.  Gastroenterologists also universally caution that introducing oats into your diet should only be done under the guidance of your physician.

    Federal food labeling laws and rules have incorporated this recent research and have not per se excluded oats from future "gluten-free" labeling, so long as the manufacturer seeking to dub its oat containing product "gluten-free" demonstrates that there is less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in that product, just as in any other.  Thus, it seems the greatest hurdle to reintroducing oats to your gluten-free diet will be the shortage of mills and processing plants which produce certified "gluten-free" oats (and the resulting high cost of those few products)!

    I decided to try these outrageously expensive "gluten-free" oats myself to expand my baking horizons (of course, I discussed this with my physician first...).  I doubt I will be sitting down to a big bowl of oatmeal anytime soon, since I still love my grits and they are probably 1/5 the price of gluten-free oats!  However, as it would be challenging to make oatmeal-like cookies with grits, I dove into my $12 box of oats to see what happened.  (Granted, as time goes by, companies like Bob's Red Mill are thankfully making gluten-free oats more prolific -- and thus, less expensive -- they will always be more expensive than my grits!)

    Just as an aside, I recently found a product available (finally) in the United States that would probably make a mean oatmeal cookie for those of you who are unable or unwilling to give the gluten-free oats a try.  On one of my European adventures many years ago I thoroughly enjoyed German muesli made with rice flakes, but have since been unsuccessful finding them Stateside.  Imagine my surprise when, on a slightly less exciting adventure last week, I discovered them at David's Natural Market in Columbia, Maryland!

    But back to the oats.  I used them quite successfully in the first oatmeal-raisin cookie I have had since 1999, and I'm pleased to share the recipe with any of you who would like to try!  The oats I used were Lara's and the rice flake substitute I found at my local organic market was made by Shiloh Farms.  The cookies are soft, moist, chewy, full of cinnamon-y flavor and are almost totally gone, so I only had 2 left for a picture!  I probably should have doubled the recipe, but my oats were so darn expensive!  Oh well, these are worth splurging for next time.

    I hope you enjoy!
    ~jules

    Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    ½ cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks or butter
    ½ cup granulated cane sugar
    ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 egg + 1 egg white
    ½ teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
    1 cup All Purpose Nearly Normal Gluten-Free Flour Mix
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 ½ cups gluten-free oats*
    ½ cup baking raisins**

    Cream the sugars and butter until fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and thoroughly incorporate into the batter.  Stir in the vanilla last.

    In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients (except oats), mixing well.  Stir into the creamed mixture until integrated.  Stir in the oats and raisins.  Cover the bowl and chill until cold, at least 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 350 F for static ovens or 325 F for convection.

    Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.  If you can wait, let them cool on a wire rack before removing.

    *Note: Not all people with celiac disease can include oats in their diets. For more information on whether they are appropriate for your diet please see our Celiac Disease and Oats section.
    **If you do not have baking raisins on hand, gently boil ½ cup of raisins in a saucepan with enough water to cover them.  Drain, then add to your recipe.

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    You referred to a 'rice flake substitute' but it was not included in the recipe. Was this an error? What is the name of the German muesli you referred to?

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    Guest kathy sample

    Posted

    Sounds very good. I will try it in the future.

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    Guest Paul C. Aldrich

    Posted

    Thanks for the recipe. Can't wait to try it. I am a Cookie Freak and drooling!

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    Guest Beth Armour

    Posted

    Hi Jules - well written, informative and factual article on oats and celiac disease. Thanks for including a recipe for gluten free Oatmeal Cookies! Hope you bought them from Gluten-Free Mall.

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    Guest Sue Anderson

    Posted

    What is all purpose gluten free nearly normal flour mix and where can I buy it - never heard of it before. Thanks

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    Guest Jinny Wilt

    Posted

    This Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe looks scrumptious and I'd like to bake it.

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    Guest Jules

    Posted

    In response to the question about the rice flakes, I mentioned in the article that the brand I recently found was Shiloh Farms organic rice flakes. Barkat also makes organic porridge flakes (rice flakes, millet flakes and agar) as well as a gluten-free organic muesli. To my knowledge, all of these items are now distributed in the United States.

     

    I will continue to add information about new recommended products at my Web site and in my newsletters. I hope you all make the most of the new gluten-free options available to us!

    ~jules

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    Guest Diann

    Posted

    I've been told it is very hard to find oats in the US that are not milled on equipment that is used for wheat--therefore, no matter how safe oats are, they are likely to be contaminated through the milling equipment. Do you have a source that is milled separately?

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    Guest Chrissy

    Posted

    My family uses Lara's gluten free rolled oats for this recipe and I think they are milled separately (in response to #9). We have had no problem with them. This recipe is delicious! I'm so glad to have oatmeal cookies back in my life as they were always some of my favorites. I made this recipe for my family (5 gluten free eaters) and all of them were gone the same day!

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    Guest Tommy Krenshaw

    Posted

    This recipe ROCKS! I don't understand why it only shows 3 stars, when all of the reviews, including mine, I can assure you, gave it 5. Man, have I been waiting for this recipe. This flour works miracles...it truly is all-purpose...it hasn't let me down yet in any recipe I've tried it in. Thanks Jules!

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    Guest Chrissy

    Posted

    This recipe is GREAT--I'm so glad to have oatmeal cookies back into my new gluten free life, they were always my favorite!

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    Guest Cheryl

    Posted

    I can't wait to try. Also, isn't all pure vanilla extract gluten-free (McCormick's)?

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    Guest Molly

    Posted

    Vanilla extract should be gluten free and I've used McCormick's safely before...LOVE this flour.

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    These were kind of thin and flattened out a lot (not thick and chewy like I expected.) I didn't chill the dough, though, so maybe they would have been different if I had.

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    I tried these cookies yesterday...and they turned out awesome! Well, my first batch in the oven didn't, but I added more flour because I am at high altitude (I figure 1/2 cup more for the total recipe) the first batch was flat and sticky...but the rest were Oh so yummy ! I also used my own version of flour mixture using rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan...as I did not have the other, and it worked great...and yes, chilling the dough is a MUST! My dad thanks you for this recipe! I thank you too...as now I have moved considerably up the ladder in the favorite daughter department!

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    These are good cookies, if you double the amount of flour and bake them for 15 minutes. I am not at an altitude that this should be a problem, but the first batch was so flat/thin and fragile that you couldn't remove them from the pan without breaking (called that batch granola) I did chill the dough, but it was just a mess. The flavor is good and worth adjusting the flour.

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    Guest Kathy

    Posted

    These cookies are amazing!!! I made them for my family yesterday and they are almost all gone. Jules flour is the best.....I can bake anything with her flour!!!! Thank you Jules.

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    Just finished making a batch and they look great, I added a half teaspoon of nutmeg, (because I love it so much) but everything else I followed according to the recipe. Can't wait to share these with my friends.

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    After chilling dough overnight in the refrigerator, cookies came out as thin as the parchment paper.

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    375, not 350, that's why your cookies are spreading too much. (higher temp means they cook before they get a chance to spread too much.)

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    My wife just made the cookies and I had one , let's just say if you like cookies you will love love these.

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    I've been told it is very hard to find oats in the US that are not milled on equipment that is used for wheat--therefore, no matter how safe oats are, they are likely to be contaminated through the milling equipment. Do you have a source that is milled separately?

    Bobs Red mill has gluten-free oats....can only find it in my local family run health food store...hope that helps....good luck!

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    Guest Jean

    Posted

    The taste of the cookies was good however I had the same problem as some others, the cookies flatten and difficult to remove from cookie sheet. These were used as loose granola. I though placed the second batch in lined muffin pans and they came out like granola muffins, shaped by the liners.

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    Guest Heidi Patton

    Posted

    These cookies are gonna be great! For my dad he is all gluten free and loves oatmeal raisin cookies!! Thanks Jules!

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    Scott Adams
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    Scott Adams
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    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
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    The team divided the TCR-GR patterns into clonal, polyclonal and prominent clonal peaks (PCPs), and correlated these patterns with clinical and pathological features. In all, they detected clonal TCR-GR products in biopsies from 67% of patients with RCDII, 17% of patients with RCDI and 6% of patients with gluten-free diet. They found PCPs in all disease phases, but saw no significant difference in the TCR-GR patterns between the non-RCDII disease categories (p=0.39). 
    They also noted a higher frequency of surface CD3(−) IELs in cases with clonal TCR-GR, but the PCP pattern showed no associations with any clinical or pathological feature. 
    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/13/2018 - There have been numerous reports that olmesartan, aka Benicar, seems to trigger sprue‐like enteropathy in many patients, but so far, studies have produced mixed results, and there really hasn’t been a rigorous study of the issue. A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether olmesartan is associated with a higher rate of enteropathy compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
    The research team included Y.‐H. Dong; Y. Jin; TN Tsacogianis; M He; PH Hsieh; and JJ Gagne. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA; the Faculty of Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Science at National Yang‐Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Department of Hepato‐Gastroenterology, Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan.
    To get solid data on the issue, the team conducted a cohort study among ARB initiators in 5 US claims databases covering numerous health insurers. They used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for enteropathy‐related outcomes, including celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy. In all, they found nearly two million eligible patients. 
    They then assessed those patients and compared the results for olmesartan initiators to initiators of other ARBs after propensity score (PS) matching. They found unadjusted incidence rates of 0.82, 1.41, 1.66 and 29.20 per 1,000 person‐years for celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy respectively. 
    After PS matching comparing olmesartan to other ARBs, hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.05‐1.40), 1.00 (95% CI, 0.88‐1.13), 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10‐1.36) and 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01‐1.07) for each outcome. Patients aged 65 years and older showed greater hazard ratios for celiac disease, as did patients receiving treatment for more than 1 year, and patients receiving higher cumulative olmesartan doses.
    This is the first comprehensive multi‐database study to document a higher rate of enteropathy in olmesartan initiators as compared to initiators of other ARBs, though absolute rates were low for both groups.
    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics