Can we eat raw oats?



Can we eat raw oats?

You will see many examples of oats being used in recipes on Instagram for things such as energy balls, groats, zoats, smoothies and porridge, savoury or sweet.

I decided to do a little research because my stomach became quite unhappy; distended, bloated and went into spasm, after eating gluten free oats which I used in an energy ball recipe which I was developing.

So it turns out that oats needs to be made soft with some sort of liquid before consumption. We should either be soaking them in milk, nut milk or water to make them softer or alternatively cooking them before we ingest them.


Oats have a thick membrane which protects the starch and nutrients. This thick membrane needs to be softened so that we can access the nutrition. Our bodies cannot digest this membrane. So if we consume raw, un-soaked or uncooked oats our digestive system can lead to bloating, cramps, constipation and stomach discomfort.

So what about smoothies or energy balls?

It is important to think about soaking the oats before using them. So if you are going to throw in a handful of oats into your smoothie then allow the oats to soak up the liquid for about 30 minutes before consuming.

As for energy balls, definitely soak them for 10 minutes in boiling water to soften them before putting them into your mixture.

What about Granola?

The oats are baked so they have been cooked and should be fine to eat.

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