When we hear the word oats, many of us quickly think of oatmeal. While oatmeal has undoubtedly been the star of the health food industry for a while, lately, there are quite a few different oat-based products filling up supermarket shelves—one of the most popular being oat bran. Loaded with nutritional value, amazing flavor and a great texture, oat bran can be used to create delicious dishes.
If you've only recently heard of this superfood and are wondering how to cook oat bran and why you should add it to your weekly menu, we're here to share everything there is to know about oat bran nutrition and its sudden increase in popularity.
What Is Oat Bran?
So, what is oat bran and what is the difference between oat bran vs oatmeal? Put simply, it is the outer layer of the oat groat and what separates the grain from the inedible husk. To make oat bran, the outer shell of the oat groat must first be removed and separated from the endosperm during processing.
While separating these layers makes the grain easier to cook, it also creates unique products with different uses. For example, while our rolled, steel cut and Scottish oats are made with whole grain oats, we also sell ground oat bran as a separate product.
With fewer calories per serving than whole oats, oat bran can give you an excellent boost of fiber, protein and micronutrients. Adding oat bran to your regular meals is a perfect way to boost their nutrient profile without worrying about increasing the cholesterol level. Additionally, we offer a gluten free oat bran that is suitable for those with celiac or a gluten intolerance.
Oat Bran Health Benefits
The thing we love most about oat bran is that aside from its great taste, it's also great for you. The next time you want to make a healthy yet delicious treat, search for a recipe that uses oat bran. We're confident it won't disappoint.
A Great Source of Fiber
As we mentioned, oat bran is overflowing with nutrients—one of the most prominent being fiber. Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, is something that the body can't digest. While this may sound like a problem, it works to help your body's digestive system. Because fiber isn't broken down during digestion, it travels through your body and is used where needed.
Soluble fiber travels through your digestive system until it's eventually dissolved by water and metabolized by the good bacteria in your gut. This keeps your gut microbiome balanced, which in return helps keep your body healthy and strong.
In addition, insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved by water and instead adds bulk to your stools, preventing troublesome digestive symptoms like constipation and diarrhea.
Lastly, dietary fiber also helps the sugar in foods metabolize more slowly, providing you with long-lasting energy. This energy helps keep you focused and full between meals. And may even prevent you from reaching for a mid-day candy bar. Because oat bran is such a great source of dietary fiber, the health benefits don't go unnoticed.
Featured Recipe: Flax Oat Bran Zucchini Muffins
Muffins are always a great idea, and even more so when you need a bit of fiber on the go. This fluffy treat will not only leave you full and satisfied, but it may also help your digestive system out a bit. So the next time you need a boost of fiber added to your diet, make these Flax Oat Bran Zucchini Muffins.
Whole wheat, oat bran and flaxseed meal are used as a fiber-filled base for this fluffy snack. Flavored with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract, they're a treat that the entire family will enjoy. Serve these out bran muffins as a quick breakfast, or pack them with you to snack on later. No matter when you choose to eat them, we're confident they'll satisfy your cravings.
Provides Plant-Based Protein
One ⅓ cup serving of oat bran provides seven grams of plant-based protein. Protein is essential to a healthy diet and something that we often don't get enough of, especially when following a plant-based diet. Working more oat bran into your recipes is an excellent way to boost your protein intake without even thinking about it.
Featured Recipe: Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars
When most people think of a healthy meal, they often fear it will take a long time to make. While homemade meals are often better for you, that doesn't mean you have to spend hours making them. In fact, with a bit of help from whole food ingredients like oat bran, creating a healthy homemade snack can be made in minutes.
Take these Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars, for example. They're made with Organic Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats, Oat Bran Cereal and Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal, which provide you with an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber. The combination of pumpkin, raisins and cinnamon makes this snack one that's hard to resist. Easy to make, after trying these granola bars, you'll likely find yourself making batch after batch.
High in Antioxidants
It's no secret that we feel a lot better when we fill our bodies with healthy and wholesome foods. Not only does oat bran taste great, but it's also great for you. A powerhouse of antioxidants, consuming oat bran is a great way to increase your intake of good-for-you nutrients.
Antioxidants work hard to protect your body from harmful molecules that could potentially cause disease and cell damage.
Featured Recipe: Carrot Bread
Whether you're looking for the perfect breakfast to pair with your morning coffee or sweet sandwich bread to enjoy as an afternoon meal, this Carrot Bread is sure to suffice. While bread may not be at the top of the list when you think of healthy foods, it can be great for you when made with natural, good-for-you ingredients. And because it's incredibly versatile, just one loaf can supply you with a week full of excellent meals.
To make this carrot bread, a combination of White Rice Flour, Gluten Free Oat Bran and Potato Starch is used. Overflowing with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it's a superfood bread that you can feel great snacking on.
Much like oat bran has a wide range of health benefits, it also has many uses. Oat bran can be enjoyed on its own as a warm breakfast cereal, baked into a delicious muffin, added to yogurt, mixed into smoothies, or added to homemade granola. The possibilities are endless!
Featured Recipe: Berry Peachy Hemp Smoothie
When we're running short on time, smoothies are our go-to treat. So easy to make and incredibly versatile, you can customize them with whatever ingredients you like. While there are several ways to enjoy the benefits of oat bran, smoothies are undoubtedly the easiest. By adding just a tbsp of oat bran cereal to your smoothie, you'll provide it with a boost of nutrients while improving the overall texture.
Are you worried about oat bran changing the flavor of your smoothie? There's no need to stress. Oat bran’s mild flavor works well with most smoothie ingredients and may even make it taste better. For a flavorful smoothie made with oat bran, try this Berry Peachy Hemp Smoothie. A combo of hemp protein powder, fresh or frozen fruit, oat bran and a dash of maple syrup are used to create a nutritious breakfast or snack that your taste buds are sure to enjoy.
Note: Eating raw oats is generally safe, but may cause digestive issues or increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Oat Bran Is Easy to Use
Though it is not exactly a health benefit, oat bran's simple-to-use nature makes healthy eating a lot easier. Whether you choose to enjoy oat bran as a hot cereal or add it to a sweet smoothie recipe, minimal effort is needed to make this ingredient taste great. Enjoy it as a hot breakfast cereal, add it to your favorite smoothie, or bake it into an energy bar. It has so many uses; you'll never run out of new oat bran recipes to try.
The next time you feel like switching up the healthy food in your pantry, purchase a bag of oat bran. Whether you choose to recreate one of the recipes listed above or make your own, we're sure that this superfood will soon become a staple in your kitchen. Aside from oat bran's many health benefits, it is great-tasting food that nearly everyone will enjoy. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we hope you have a healthy and happy day!
Have an oat bran recipe that you love creating? We'd love to hear more about how you use oat bran in the kitchen. Let us know what treats you make with this superfood ingredient in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!