Sunday, May 17, 2009
Posted by DK
In my last post, I was talking about the important byproducts of my favorite whole grain - wheat. The last edition was about wheat germ. Now let’s get set to wheat bran. The wheat grain has a hard outer layer. So while the grain is being processed for the purpose of making whole wheat flour, Bran is created as a by product.
How does it look like?
In its raw form, wheat bran has a light brown color and is similar to sawdust in texture. It is also available in powdered forms. Although cereals of bran is available ( as do readymade wheat bran muffins/pancakes) it is advisable to stay away from them since they are known to be high in high fructose corn syrup and unwanted sugar.
Where to buy?
Wheat Bran is mostly available in health stores. I personally haven’t been able to get in my local grocery stores. If you are in the US, you can find them in stores like Whole Foods.
How to buy?
Buying bulk would be preferable since it can be added to almost all types of dishes that you can think of – breakfast cereals, granola, pancakes, muffins, cookies, breads etc. You name it, you can add it :). You can powder it finely and add it to your smoothie too.
How does it taste?
I personally find it mildly sweet with a delicious chewy taste. I esp. love it in my muffins for the very same reason since it sort of makes me feel filled up pretty fast but is in fact pretty light. Sometimes the repeated mechanical movement of the mouth (aping the looks of a digesting cow!!) makes me feel like I am eating more! Psychology – well yeah, anything to cheat my brain into thinking that I am actually eating more though its otherwise in reality! One can def. cheat for the “greater good”- I always say!
How to store?
If you are buying in bulk, make sure you refrigerate it since it can go rancid. One may also store it in a vacuum –sealed canisters and placed at a moderate temperature. If your wheat bran starts tasting bitter, then probably it has already gone rancid.
One word of caution before I list down the benefits. Please avoid going overboard with adding wheat bran after reading this post). It’s known to cause diarrhea with over consumption.
1. Nature’s answer to Man’s fiber needs about 99% ( in one cup) of the daily requirements.
2. The fiber helps in body regulation and in providing a normal bowel functioning.
3. Have constipation? Then Wheat Bran will surely help you in relieving the problem.
4. It also helps in preventing intestinal related disorders.
5. Studies show that it also helps people with hemorrhoids.
6. It also provides about 9-10 gms of Protein ( 1cup) and approx 35% of Iron.
7. Other essential nutrients and minerals like magnesium,manganese, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B6, and is low in fat, with no cholesterol, and no sugar or sodium.
There are no specific methods to add/include wheat bran in our diet. It is as simple as adding a tablespoon along with your baking batter or mixing it up with your smoothie or topping it off on your breakfast cereal. Two sample recipes to start you off with wheat bran are :
Apple Bran Muffins with the goodness of whole wheat, apple and nuts. Less fat more nutrition
Famous french bread Pain Au Son made with the complete goodness of bran. You can make it using Wheat bran or Oat bran. Both work perfectly in this recipe.
This post was written by Dhivya
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