Food of the Week: Oat Bran

If I discovered I had an oat allergy or intolerance of some kind, I would be crushed. I love eating all the different forms oats can take: quick oats, rolled oats, steel cut oats, oat flour—and this week’s featured ingredient, oat bran. Oat bran is the outer layer of an oat seed. Like bran from other grains, it contains a good portion of the seed’s nutrients. One ounce of raw oat bran has 69 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and nearly 80 percent of the daily value of manganese. It is also a good source of thiamin, magnesium, selenium, and phosphorus. 

Keeping oat bran on hand makes it easy to toss it into a variety of dishes: cookie dough, smoothies, parfaits, stews, and casseroles. Or try sprinkling some on your next piece of toast, on top of butter, jelly, or nut butter. 


Sweet Potato Casserole

Not just for Thanksgiving, lovelies. 

4 c. sweet potatoes, mashed

7 T. butter, melted

3 large egg whites or 1 egg and 1 white, beaten

½ c. milk

4 T. brown sugar

4 T. oat bran

Heat oven to 325°. Mix sweet potatoes with 3 T. Beat in eggs and milk. Pour into a greased casserole dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and oat bran with the remaining 4 T. butter, melted. Spread mixture over sweet potatoes. Bake for one hour.

Note: For a lower-calorie dish, make half the amount of crust (2 T. each of butter, brown sugar, and oat bran). 


Peanut Butter Oat Bran Cookies

The texture of these cookies is on the grainy side because of the large amount of oat bran, but I still find them tasty. 

½ c. butter, melted 

½ c. white sugar

½ c. brown sugar

1 egg 

½ c. peanut butter 

½ t. vanilla extract

1 c. flour

1 ½ c. oat bran 

¾ t. baking powder

¼ t. baking soda


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the melted butter with the sugars, then mix in the egg. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until smooth. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix well. Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Criss-cross each with the tines of a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.


Hot Oat Bran Cereal

I find that with the cinnamon and raisins, this porridge doesn’t need a sweetener like honey or sugar. But you could add one before or after cooking if you wish. 

1/3 c. oat bran

Cinnamon to taste


Chopped walnuts or pecans

1 c. water


Combine the ingredients, except the milk, in a medium-sized but deep microwavable bowl. Microwave one minute, stir, then microwave another minute or so, until thickened. Observe during cooking so that the contents don’t spill over the sides. Serve with milk.


Turkey Meatloaf

Oat bran instead of cracker or bread crumbs results in a more nutritious meatloaf.

1 egg

3 T. ketchup

1 T. Worcestershire sauce

½ t. Dijon mustard

½ c. oat bran

½ c. finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

½ t. celery salt

½ t. rubbed sage

¼ t. pepper

1 t. salt

1 20-oz. package ground turkey

Heat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Stir in the oat bran, onion, garlic and seasonings. Mix in the turkey (a potato masher works well). Put into a greased loaf pan and bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes. 



4 c. rolled oats

¾ c. oat bran

¾ c. wheat germ

1 ½ c. finely chopped nuts

¾ t. salt

¼ c. brown sugar

2 T. maple syrup

¼ c. plus 2 T. honey

½ c. vegetable or canola oil

¾ t. ground cinnamon

½ t. vanilla

1 c. dried fruit

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat bran, wheat germ, and nuts. In a saucepan, stir together the salt, brown sugar, syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, stirring to coat. Spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheets. Bake until crispy and toasted, 20-30 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the dried fruit. 


Oat Bran Pancakes

The blog I found this on, “The Baking Stone,” showed these pancakes layered with peanut butter, agave nectar, bananas, and walnuts. Sounds great to me. You could also add chopped fruit or nuts to the batter. 

¾ c. oat bran

½ c. whole wheat flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 t. cinnamon

1 c.milk 

1 egg

1 T. canola or vegetable oil

2 t. agave nectar or honey

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry, mixing just until combined. Allow the mixture to sit for about ten minutes before cooking. Cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Flip and repeat.