Hey guys! If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have seen my Quaker Summit (#QuakerSummit) posts. I was recently invited to attend a Quaker Summit, hosted by Quaker Oats, with some other fabulous gluten free bloggers.
This post is sponsored by Quaker Oats but all opinions are 100% my own. As always, thank you for supporting brands that support What The Fork Food Blog ♥
During our trip we ate some fabulous food (I’m looking at you, Two), stayed at a fabulous hotel, and learned about some über delicious oatmeal.
Friends, Quaker Oats has something to share with you – they’re now making gluten free oatmeal.
Now, I know there has been some controversy when big brands have gone gluten free, but Quaker has worked hard to do it right. And boy, have they been working.
For the past several years, gluten free oats were the number one request after “where do I find your products”. Number one new product request. Got that? They’ve been working on this for a very long time. There was no way they wanted to rush this, especially with how concerned they were for people’s safety, health, and well being. And safety has been and will continue to be their number one concern.
The first step to processing their gluten free oats is by isolating and testing the incoming oats to find the batches with the lowest levels of gluten. Quaker chose not to use purity protocol oats because their testing actually found the taste to be inferior and the oats were not actually pure, they had been contaminated.
Quaker uses a “cleaning” (aka. sorting) process unlike any other company out there. They start with a batch of oats, locate and remove the gluten containing grains using a breakthrough system of mechanical and optical sorting technology.
The oats are also inspected multiple times to check for gluten. After the oats have been thoroughly sorted, they are called ‘groats’ at this point, samples are taken about every hour for testing. Before packaging, the equivalent of 3,000 40 gram (serving size) samples are taken from each lot. They are inspected and any grains that may contain gluten are subject to analytical testing. Quaker uses a hold and release process, so while they are waiting for the test results, production is stopped. When tests come back clear with levels less than Quaker standards, they continue production. If sample fails, the entire batch is transferred and used for regular oats. To date, Quaker has not had to repurpose any of their groat batches since they have been releasing product to consumers.
Once the oats have been cut and flaked, then packaged, 16 samples per production run are taken again, approximately one serving size every 30 minutes, and checked for gluten. If any samples fail at this point, the entire production lot is destroyed.
Quaker gluten free oats come in 3 varieties: Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (18 oz. canister), and Quaker Instant Oatmeal (single serve pouches) in Original and Mable & Brown Sugar flavors.
They’re part of the Select Starts line and have the same taste and texture you’d expect when eating Quaker Oats.
After spending all morning learning about the Quaker gluten free oats, we got to spend the afternoon in the test kitchen. Sam, from OatMeals, shared a few oatmeal recipes for us – one sweet and one savory.
Savory oatmeal is the next big thing guys! We actually had a little cooking challenge and we got to create our own awesome oatmeal bowls. I teamed up with Brynne from Gluten Free Hungry Gal and we made The Hipster Bowl. It was a savory oatmeal dish seasoned with salt and garlic powder and mixed with some turkey bacon, honey and Sriracha. We finished it with a little more honey, bacon, Sriracha, and some green onion. Sounds crazy but it was actually really good. So good, we won #winning
Super bummed I came in second for the trivia though. Competitive much?
Quaker’s gluten free oats start to hit the shelves in select markets last month so some of you may have already seen and/or purchased them. They will be available nationwide by January 2016.
Friends, this was such a great trip – informative and fun. I am so excited about these oats. I’ve got a great recipe to share with you next month where I’ll be featuring the heart-healthy Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats. Make sure you’re signed up to receive my email updates so you can see what I make!
I advise each person to use their best judgment when deciding whether or not to try Quaker’s gluten-free products. I have presented the facts as they were presented to me, and I hope they help you make the right decision for yourself and your family.