Learning To Love Wheat Bran

Confession: we're trying valiantly to overcome an aversion to wheat bran. Thanks to one-too-many encounters with dense tasteless homemade bran muffins in our younger years, this is definitely an uphill battle (sorry, Mom!).

But we're intrepid cooks and willing to be convinced! How do you use wheat bran in your cooking?

Wheat bran comes from the dense, outer hull of the wheat grain and is a by-product of making wheat flour. The bran is incredibly rich in fiber and protein and has very little fat. It adds a sweet nutty flavor to baked goods, though we personally feel that too much of it can make food taste bitter (not to mention give you certain gastro-intestinal side effects that will send you to the bathroom!). It should be stored in the fridge to prevent it from going rancid too quickly.

If you're like us and are trying to re-train yourself to like wheat bran, we recommend starting out small. We're going to try sprinkling a spoonful over our oatmeal to begin with and then work our way up to substituting bran for some of the flour in baked goods. Eventually, we'll give one of these recipes a try:

Whole Grain Ginger Pear Bran Muffins from Farmgirl Fare
Whole Wheat Bran Pancakes from Spry
Alternative Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (with Bran) from Epicurious

How do you recommend using bran?

Related: What to Make with Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?

(Image: Purcell Mountain Farms)