Kitchn Love Letters

I Don’t Like Oatmeal, but I Eat This $4 Hot Cereal Multiple Mornings a Week

published Mar 11, 2023
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Fried sunnyside up egg over cooked oat bran with prosciutto and asparagus
Credit: Stephanie Ganz

As a true lover of sleeping in, I’m not exactly what you’d call a morning person. But I can be incentivized. And sometimes, the promise of a hot, hearty breakfast is all it takes to lure me from my cozy covers, like the curling strand of animated steam that wafts into a cartoon character’s dreams to wake them up and lead them to the kitchen. 

Unfortunately, once I get to the kitchen, unlike those cartoon characters, there’s no hot breakfast waiting for me. I have to make it myself, plus breakfast for my kids, all while helping them get out the door in time for school. So whatever hot, hearty breakfast I make has to come together quickly and easily. That’s where my favorite hot breakfast cereal comes in: Bob’s Red Mill oat bran!

Credit: Mara Weinraub

A few years ago my husband’s doctor, displeased by my husband’s cholesterol levels, suggested that he try oat bran for breakfast. Seth, my husband, dutifully went to the grocery store and bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill oat bran and then proceeded to ignore the bag for several weeks. One morning, lacking my usual options and in need of a fast breakfast, I decided to give it a try, despite my pre-existing feelings on oatmeal (feelings like, “I don’t like oatmeal” and “Ew, oatmeal”).

I followed the directions on the package, swirling a scoop of oat bran into boiling water and letting it simmer briefly over low heat. About five minutes later, I had a warm bowl of oat bran in front of me. The hot cereal had a smoother yet sturdier texture than oatmeal, and because my main complaint with oatmeal is its texture, this was a welcome improvement.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s So Great About Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran?

Think of oat bran like oatmeal’s more nutrient-dense sister. Oat bran is the outer portion of the oat groat, and bite for bite, it contains more fiber, antioxidants, and protein than oatmeal, and it cooks up even more quickly than oatmeal. 

Already, the deck seems stacked in oat bran’s favor. But it’s the texture that pushes it into the winner’s circle for me. It gives me risotto; it gives me polenta. It’s decidedly not oatmeal, and I love that for us.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

What’s the Best Way to Eat Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran?

Preparing oat bran is a quick, easy process, whether you choose the stovetop or microwave method. Now an oat bran pro, I decant each new bag of oat bran into a glass jar, and I throw a little scoop in the jar so I don’t have to bother with measuring cups. I know that one scoop (1/3 cup) is exactly the right amount for one cup of water, which makes the perfect single-serving portion of hot, oat bran-y goodness. 

I will almost always choose a savory breakfast over a sweet one, and I’ve found that oat bran is the perfect vehicle for leftovers, so I often pile them on top of a bowl of oat bran and finish the whole thing with an egg, for good measure. Those are some of the most filling breakfasts I can make, and a bowl will usually keep me well satisfied until lunch.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz

If You’re Going to Make Oat Bran, Here Are a Few of My Favorite Toppings

Buy: Bob’s Red Mill Oat Bran Hot Cereal, $4.49 for 18 ounces at Instacart (prices may vary)

Have you tried this oat bran? Tell us about it in the comments.