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Oats – Will the True Raw Oat Step Forward

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Finding out the process in which oat grains are done, took some deep Internet digging. Understanding if they could be TRULY raw was another thing. Raw oats do exist, but they’re not easily obtained. You have to research companies (hoping they share publicly how they process the oat grain) and you typically have to order them online. In my research and communications with oat producing companies, I learned that it all starts with the type of oat grain used. From there, the manufacturing process changes, dictating whether the oats are indeed raw or not once they land in your pantry.

Oats are annual plants and often reach five feet in height. The long leaves have rounded sheaths at the base and a membranous ligule (small appendage where the leaf joins the stem). The flowering and fruiting structure is made up of numerous thin branches bearing florets that produce the one-seeded fruit (oat grain).


I found a company called Montana Gluten Free that states that their oats are indeed RAW as well as gluten-free. I am not affiliated with them in any way… just sharing my research. I read through their website gaining some information but I wasn’t quite satisfied, so I started emailing them with some questions.

Montana Gluten Free Raw Oatmeal is the only raw, rolled oatmeal produced in North America. Most oatmeal manufacturers steam the oats to remove the hulls, then roll or cut them, and finally heat them again to remove the moisture. As Montana Gluten Free’s special variety of oats are naturally hull-less, they need no special treatment before rolling. No steaming, steeping, or cooking is required in the unique process. Learning that they were hull-less caused me to dive deeper into what grain produced this type of oat.

There are two types of oat grains commonly used in the oat industry. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t more, but for today I will be sharing about the Avena sativa L. and the Avena nuda L. grains. For those of us who are looking for RAW oats, we want to start with the Avena nuda L. grain. The main difference between the two following oat grains is in how they are processed.

Facts on Naked Oat (Avena nuda L.)


Processing Raw Oat Grains – Naked Oat (Avena nuda L.)




Milling / Grinding

Raw Oat Products

Ripe oat grains ready for harvesting.

Why go into how “cooked” oats are processed?

Well, I believe that is important to understand not only how food grows but also how it ends up on our plates. And frankly, not everyone here is completely raw and should they/you decide that enjoying a bowl of cooked oats is right up your alley… well then, you need to know this stuff too! If you do decide to enjoy a warm bowl of oats, steel-cut oat and oat groats are the least processed forms available.

Facts on Common Oat (Avena sativa L.)

Uses for the Common Oat

Common Oat (Avena sativa L.) Processing

Common oat is the most important of the cultivated oats. After doing tons of research, Buzzle.com helped to break the steps down in how oats are processed. Raw oat grains undergo various stages of processing to get transformed into different forms. Once ripe, the oat grains are harvested and dried before being transported to the milling plant. This is where the fun begins and they undergo various stages of processing. This process includes water and heat. Therefore ninety-eight percent of the oats that you find at the store are NOT raw.

Cooked Version of Processing Oat Grains


Cleaning & Grading



Sizing and Cutting


  • This process results in the production of oat flakes or rolled oats, depending upon the raw material used―groats or steel cut oats.
  • Before flaking, the whole or steel cut oats must be steamed to increase the moisture and elasticity.
  • Once softened, they pass through the rolling mill. Which is usually two large corrugated rolls spinning at the same speed in opposite directions.
  • Steel cut oats in different sizes are used to produce quick rolled oats, baby oat flakes, and instant oats.
  • Whole groats produce old-fashioned types like regular, medium, and thick rolled oats.
  • Before packaging, the flakes are dried and cooled in a fluid-bed dryer and cooler.


  • The milling process involves two methods―oat bran milling and whole flour milling.
  • In the first method, oat groats are sent through roll stands, which separate the bran from the flour. This process results in two products―oat bran and oat flour without bran.
  • The second method is used exclusively to produce whole oat flour from whole groats. Groats are fed to hammer mills, where it is converted into fine oat flour. The coarse flour, left behind after sifting, is again fed to the hammer mill, and this process continues.


  • The oat hulls that have been removed from the grain are often used for livestock feed and as fuel.
  • The most common byproduct of the hulls is furfural, a liquid aldehyde (dehydrogenated alcohol) that is used as a phenolic resin or as a solvent. The list of products that contain furfural includes nylon, synthetic rubber, lubricating oils, pharmaceuticals, antifreeze, charcoals, textiles, plastic bottle caps, buttons, glue, and antiseptics.

One day I want to drive one of these combines and harvest some oat grains!


2 thoughts on “Oats – Will the True Raw Oat Step Forward

  1. Vivjames52 says:

    If I buy oat groats (seems to be the only form of raw oats I can find without ordering online), what is the best way of dealing with them so they can be used in your raw recipes?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Viv,

      Oat groats have a completely different texture than rolled oats so you won’t always be able to substitute them in place of the rolled ones. I soak, sprout, and dehydrate mine. I will work on writing a post about this. If you have a particular recipe that you are questioning, please shoot me the link so I can help. Blessings, amie sue

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