Wheat bran is the wheat kernel’s protective outer shell obtained as a byproduct of the wheat milling process. It is rich in dietary fiber, minerals, thiamine, folate, vitamin E, and antioxidants.
It has a sweet, nutty flavor. The higher levels of water-soluble carbohydrates in wheat bran add texture and a full-bodied taste to the bread, muffins, and other baked goods.
However, it is unsuitable for people with gluten or fructan intolerances. Therefore, in this article, let us explore some of the substitutes for wheat bran.
6 Best Substitutes for Wheat Bran
This section highlights some of the substitutes for wheat bran that one can choose based on dietary needs and taste preferences.
Oat bran is the outer layer of oat groat that has a well-balanced nutritional composition. It may be used as a fiber substitute for wheat bran.
It is a good source of soluble fibers, beta-glucan, that reduces cholesterol and prevention of cardiovascular diseases. However, it has few carbohydrates.
For one cup of wheat bran, the same quantity of oat bran can be substituted in pancakes, muffins, cookies, and waffles. But oat bran needs to be soaked before adding it to the batter or dough as it tends to be try.
Oat bran is rich in soluble fibers and may be substituted for wheat bran. It has moistier and has an appealing flavor than wheat bran.
Wheat germ is the main byproduct of the flour milling industry and is used as a fiber substitute for wheat bran.
Like wheat bran, it is an excellent source of minerals, vitamins, fiber, and essential fatty acids. Neither contains trans fats or cholesterol.
If you are not celiac or trying to cut gluten, wheat germ can be used for baking because of their fiber content, like wheat bran. It can be used in the recipes just as wheat bran, especially if one runs out of wheat bran.
Wheat germ may be used interchangeably for wheat bran in baking recipes for its high fiber content.
Rice bran is the byproduct of milling rice kernels and is nutritionally rich.
It contains protein (11-17%), fat, dietary fiber (6-14%), and many minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. It also has a significant amount of antioxidants that helps in modulating immune health.
Like wheat bran, it is used to increase the fiber content of foods. However, it is a more flavourful and excellent alternative to wheat bran, especially if dealing with gluten allergy.
Rice bran is a nutritional-rich substitute for wheat bran imparting a light, crispy texture to baked goods, especially for gluten-allergy individuals.
Flax seeds are a close substitute to wheat bran. It gives a dark color and nutty flavor.
Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids compared to wheat bran. Like wheat bran, it is also a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals that can hold water, and benefit gastrointestinal health and help lower cholesterol.
An equal amount of milled flaxseed can replace wheat bran in baking and cooking, especially if the recipe calls for a gluten-free alternative.
Milled Flaxseeds are a nutrient-rich gluten-free substitute for wheat bran. It gives a nutty flavor to the recipes and a nice texture compared to wheat bran.
Whole Wheat Flour
Whole wheat flour is the key ingredient in baked goods such as bread. It may be used as a substitute for wheat bran if the individual can tolerate gluten.
Whole wheat flour is rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
For the recipes that call wheat bran for nutritional punch, up to 1/3 of whole wheat flour can be replaced. It can be incorporated in making pancakes, muffins, and bread.
However, it has an intense flavor due to its high fiber content.
Whole wheat flour may be used as a substitute for wheat bran in the recipes, especially if gluten allergy is not a problem.
Oatmeal or Rolled Oats
Oatmeal may replace wheat bran in many recipes. It is rich in soluble fiber content and is good for those trying to lose weight and control hunger levels. It is also associated with heart health benefits.
It can be substituted for wheat bran to make cookies, cakes, and bread. However, it may not have the same texture or consistency and baked goods tend to be denser, heavier, and wet.
Oatmeal is a gluten-free substitute for wheat bran that is rich in fiber and other essential nutrients.
Bran is the hard outer layer of cereal grain, including rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye, and millet.
Wheat bran is the wheat’s outer shell that is a rich fiber source and helps in relieving constipation and bowel disorders.
According to WebMD, about 20-25g per day of wheat bran can be used by adults for constipation, whereas children can use 5-20g per day.
For women 19 to 50 years, it is 25g, for men 19-50 years, it is 38g, and for pregnant women, it is 28g per day.
Wheat bran is commonly added to baked goods, pancakes to increase the nutritional value, especially the fiber content.
However, there are many substitutes with similar nutritional value and taste for those who are allergic to gluten and inaccessible to wheat bran. You may pick a suitable product depending on the recipe and dietary preference.