We all want to stay healthy but we also want to eat tasty and wholesome meals. If you are trying to eat high fiber, low-calorie breakfasts, or snacks, then surely oat bran is a staple in your kitchen.
There is a chance though that you dislike oat bran because it is tough and bland, and while the flavor depends on cooking, sometimes it is good to know what alternatives you could use instead.
What Is Oat Bran?
This rich fiber comes from an oat grain that is processed to remove the inedible exterior layer. Oat bran is high in a type of soluble fiber named beta-glucan, which can bind to cholesterol and sugar, lowering both their levels in the blood. Oat bran is usually prepared by bringing water to a boil with salt and cooking the oats for a few minutes or until the correct texture is reached.
What Can I Make With Oat Bran?
For years, oat bran has been a breakfast item, but this fiber is also easy to mold and can be used in many different foods, such as oat cookies, bread, or muffins.
You can usually add oats to dough when baking, or use a mixture of both, which can add whole grains to your carbohydrates making them healthier.
Eating oat bran is recommended to improve bowel movements, lower blood cholesterol, and blood sugar, and provide satiety.
What Can I Replace Oat Bran With?
If you want a healthy choice but don’t have oat bran, try these substitutes in its place:
#1. Wheat Bran
This type of bran is also high in fiber but much drier than oat bran, so you’ll need more liquid. Wheat bran is consumed as a breakfast food, or sometimes made into a side dish. You can use it in bread, pancakes, cookies, and muffins too.
While not as common as oat bran, wheat bran can be found in grocery stores, usually by the cereals, or in organic supermarkets. You can replace 1 cup of oat bran with 1 cup of wheat bran, just make sure you adjust the liquid as well.
This breakfast food is incredibly popular and can usually be eaten as porridge, or addition to cookies, and cakes.
Oatmeal is rolled oats that have been prepared by steaming the groats, and then being rolled over with steel rollers. The benefits are pretty much the same for oat bran, but this type of oats is softer and faster to prepare.
Oatmeal can be found in any grocery store in the cereal section, but it is also very common so even a convenience store would have it.
We recommend you use regular oatmeal and not an instant one, as this one cooks too fast. Also, 1 cup of oat bran can be substituted with 1 cup of oatmeal.
Related: Can Oatmeal Go Bad?
These yellow and brown seeds are a great way to add fiber and omega-3 to your meal. They don’t taste like much, though they can be hard, so we recommend you use this choice only if you need to add fiber to a recipe.
Flaxseed was traditionally used as a medicinal food to reduce cholesterol and improve bowel movements, but since it gained popularity, it has been used in smoothies, cereals, parfaits, yogurt, and salads.
Flaxseed can be harder to find, but you should try the organic market or section at your grocery store. Sometimes pharmacies have these seeds too.
You should never add as much as the recipe calls for, so try cutting the amount in half, and remember to only use it in recipes that don’t need the oat bran for consistency and texture.
#4. Rice Bran
This is not a common food for most, but it is incredibly healthy, as it is a good source of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins.
Also, because it is made of rice, it is gluten-free and safe for people with allergies. Rice bran is commonly used as a substitution for breakfast foods, including bread, cookies, and pancakes.
You can find rice bran in the gluten-free section of your grocery store, but you can try an organic store, as they’ll surely have it too. Replace 1 cup of oat bran with 1 cup of rice bran, but adjust for water, as it may need more.
#5. Corn Bran
This type of bran is made from corn, which as you may know is mostly insoluble fiber, so this choice will not be digested but instead, your body will use it as a way to add bulk and prevent constipation.
Corn bran is used in cereals, granola, and in some snacks, such as chips, and muffins. The flavor is also more of corn and the fiber is less tough, so the consistency may change your dish.
Corn bran can be found in most health or organic stores, though some grocery stores may also have it since it is a healthy choice. Replace the oat bran for the same amount of corn bran, but you may need to adjust other ingredients for more flavor.
The main difference is that oat bran contains only the bran of the grain, while oatmeal contains all the grain, making it whole grain. Oat bran is, however, more digestible than oatmeal, and it has 50% more fiber, which makes it very effective at lowering cholesterol and sugar.
Yes, you can replace wheat bran with oat bran, just as the opposite is true too. Both choices are high in fiber and will make your foods healthy, but you may find oat bran to be less dry and cook faster.
Oat fiber is the complete opposite of oat bran. While oat bran is made from the outermost cover of the groat, which is considered edible, oat fiber is the processed oat hull or the indigestible cover of the groat. Oat fiber is composed of insoluble fiber contrary to oat bran with its soluble fiber.
Oat bran is a great food to use in baked goods or certain breakfast items, but if you can’t find any these days, try using one of these substitutes.
We recommend that you carefully measure, particularly the water or liquid you’ll be using, as some may need more or less. Now it’s time to get baking a yummy but healthy muffin or bread!
*Photo by SergeyChayko/depositphotos