Can You Eat Wheat Bran Like Oatmeal?

Wheat bran is a high-fiber food that you can add to baked goods or sprinkle over soups and cereals. While you might sprinkle wheat bran over cooked oatmeal, cooking it like oatmeal will result in an unpalatable, chewy mush. Choose other uses for wheat bran, however, as it is a highly nutritious addition to any diet.

Save wheat bran for baking bran muffins. (Image: manyakotic/iStock/Getty Images)

About Wheat Bran

Wheat bran is the outer layer of the wheat kernel. Millers remove the wheat bran to produce refined white flour. Usually, wheat bran is included as an ingredient in cereals or breads. Wheat bran is a whole grain and counts toward the U.S. Department of Agriculture's minimum recommended three 1-oz. servings you should consume daily.

Nutritional Benefits

Wheat bran is a concentrated source of nutrients. In 1/4 cup, you get 6 g of fiber. The fiber can help you feel full, contribute to lower cholesterol levels and keep your digestive tract healthy. Wheat bran is also a source of most of the B-complex of vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, copper and selenium.

Uses

Even if you did cook and enjoy wheat bran as a hot cereal, you might experience digestive distress from the high fiber content. Instead, substitute wheat bran for part of the flour in muffin or quick bread recipes. Sprinkle wheat bran over salads or into plain yogurt to add texture. Wheat bran can also thicken soup and is often an ingredient in processed foods as a thickener.

Alternatives

Oat bran offers many of the same nutritional and fiber benefits as wheat bran, but has a milder taste and moister texture. You can cook oat bran like any other hot cereal, including oatmeal. Other highly nutritious alternatives to oatmeal that are more palatable than straight wheat bran include quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth.

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