Oat bran is a common and nutrient-dense cooking ingredient with many uses, whether in baked goods or when adding texture to smoothies. However, we know that oat bran isn’t the most favored health food out there, with some of us thinking it has a tough texture and bland flavor.
Some of us like oat bran, and some of us don’t, and that’s okay! Whatever the case, there are times we need oat bran substitutes.
Check out what you can replace oat bran with, thanks to our extensive list.
What to Replace Oat Bran With?
Before we get into oat bran replacements, what is oat bran in the first place? (*)
This is a rich fiber coming from oat grains that were processed to remove their inedible exterior layers.
Oat bran contains beta-glucan, which is a kind of soluble fiber that binds with sugar and cholesterol. This helps lower levels in your blood. (*)
People prepare oat bran by boiling water with salt, letting the oats cook for a few minutes until it reaches the desired texture. Oat bran is a common breakfast item and can also be used in making oat muffins, cookies, or bread.
Because oat bran contains a high fiber content, it helps improve bowel movements, satiety and lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
There are many reasons why people need to substitute oat bran, such as:
- They need a flavor boost
- Allergies to oats or gluten
- You ran out of oat bran in your pantry
- Oat bran isn’t available in your supermarkets
Regardless of the reason, it’s essential to be aware of what you can replace with bran. Here are your options:
1. Wheat Bran
Wheat bran is a kind of bran with high levels of fiber. However, it has a drier texture than oat bran, so that it will require more liquid.
You can use wheat bran as a breakfast food, side dish or incorporate it into your baked goods.
While this isn’t as common as oat bran, you can find wheat bran in supermarkets. Use an equal 1:1 ratio when replacing oat bran with wheat bran, but add a bit more liquid.
2. Rice Bran
Rice bran isn’t a common food for everyone, though it’s very nutrient-dense and filled with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Since this is made of rice, it’s also gluten-free and safe for those who have gluten sensitivity. (*)
We use rice bran as a way to substitute breakfast food, like bread, pancakes, and cookies. Like wheat bran, you can use a 1:1 ratio but do add a bit more water.
3. Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
This is a popular breakfast food you can eat on its own as porridge, or you can use it for baked goods like cakes and cookies. It’s essentially rolled oats prepared through steaming groats, then rolling it over using steel rollers.
While oat bran and oatmeal have similar health benefits, but oatmeal is softer and quicker to prepare. Plus, they are very accessible and found in the cereal section of supermarkets.
4. Corn Bran
As the name suggests, corn bran is made of corn, which is filled with insoluble fiber. This can’t be digested but will have your body add more bulk while preventing constipation.
You can replace oat bran with corn bran in granola, cereals, and even snacks like muffins and chips. Since it has more corn flavor with less tough fiber, it will have a slightly different consistency.
When replacing oat bran with corn bran, you can use an equal ratio but adjust the ingredients to achieve a good flavor.
Flaxseed is made of yellow and brown seeds with more fiber and omega-3s to meals. They don’t have much taste but have a hard texture, so this is an ideal choice only if you want more fiber in recipes.
This ingredient was used as a medicinal food for its health benefits, and we love using it in cereals, yogurt, salads, parfaits, and smoothies. Flaxseed might be tough to find, but it’s common in organic markets or health sections in grocery stores.
Don’t add equal amounts as the recipe requires. Instead, cut the amount in half to prevent adding too much fiber.
6. Oat Flour
Oat flour is an excellent replacement for cooking, made of whole grain with a nutty flavor and tender texture. It’s also gluten-free and provides a slight caramel flavor to baked goods.
You can use equal amounts of oat flour or adjust the quantity based on your recipe and its ingredients.
7. Wheat Germ
You can replace oat bran with wheat germ in various ways. It’s made of wheat seeds, which offer a ton of health benefits.
Both oat bran and wheat germ have in common: they contain dietary fiber, which is excellent for your health. Depending on the recipe and ingredients used, you can use the same amount of wheat germ or adjust the amount.
Use wheat germ when making pancakes, cookies, muffins, and even smoothies!
8. Whole-Wheat Flour
Whole-wheat flour is a kind of flour suitable for replacing oat bran. It’s made of ground whole grains of wheat, which we usually use for baking bread.
It offers many health benefits, containing vitamins and minerals like copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. This is known to help reduce risks of various diseases, improve digestion, and maintain blood sugar levels.
When using this replacement, adjust the amount accordingly.
9. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour is made of dried coconut flour, something we usually use for baked goods. It’s a suitable substitute in recipes that need oat bran not only in baking but in other recipes, too.
Another huge plus: It’s gluten-free, and it works well in bread, cookies, and muffins.
10. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat flour is another good wheat bran alternative made of buckwheat plant seeds. This type of flour has a nutty and bitter flavor, just like oat bran.
However, buckwheat flour has a more intense flavor that might not be best for all recipes. That said, it’s gluten-free, and you can use it for making pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wait, we’ve got more in store for you! Learn more about oat bran with these frequently asked questions.
1. What’s the difference between oat bran vs. oatmeal?
The significant difference here is oat bran only has the grain’s bran, while oatmeal has the whole of it. That’s why oatmeal is whole grain.
Oat bran is more digestible compared to oatmeal and contains 50% more fiber. This makes oat bran more effective in lowering sugar and cholesterol.
2. Is oat fiber similar to oat bran?
No, they aren’t the same. Oat fiber is actually the exact opposite of oat bran!
Oat bran’s made with the groat’s outer cover, an edible part. Oat fiber is made with processed oat hull, which is the groat’s indigestible cover. Also, oat fiber has insoluble fiber, while oat bran has soluble fiber.
3. Can I interchange wheat bran and oat bran?
Yes, it’s possible to replace oat bran with wheat bran, or vice versa. These ingredients have high fiber content, though oat bran isn’t as dry and will cook faster than wheat bran.
Wrapping It Up
Did you find a good substitute for oat bran based on our list? Let us know what you think of these ingredients and successfully create many recipes that call for oat bran!