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Learning how to cook with oat bran offers you a convenient means to increase fiber in your diet -- and can lower your cholesterol. Oat bran, a soluble fiber, helps remove excess cholesterol, lowering your blood cholesterol and helping to prevent heart disease. Dietary fiber in oat bran helps to protect the health of your digestive tract and manage your blood sugar and weight. Oat bran offers a versatile ingredient for increasing fiber when you cook or bake.
Add 1 tbsp. to 1/4 cup of oat bran to any hot cereal or grain dish, such as corn meal, oatmeal, cream of wheat or barley. Add the recommended amount of water for the grain, and cook until the grain absorbs the water. Oat bran requires only two minutes of cooking time.
Grind oat bran in a food processor until it's the texture of flour. Keep your ground oat bran available for adding to cereal and textured foods such as meat loaf or stew.
Add oat bran in place of up to one-fourth of the flour in recipes for baked goods, such as cookies, breads, muffins and specialty breads like date and banana.The key to adding oat bran is keeping the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same. If you add 1/2 cup oat bran to the recipe, reduce the flour by 1/2 cup.
Stir oat bran into soups and stews. Add three times the liquid, such as water or chicken broth, along with the oat bran. For example, add 1/3 cup oat bran and 1 cup water to minestrone soup, chicken soup or beef stew.
Mix oat bran into main dishes. This will increase the fiber in pasta dishes, casseroles, ground meat and your favorite entrees. Use a small amount the first time so that you can test how the oat bran affects the texture of the food. For example, stir 1 to 2 tbsp. into the sauce, gravy or wet ingredients, and increase the liquid in the recipe by 3 tbsp. for each tablespoon of oat bran.
- Increase dietary fiber slowly to reduce the risk of digestive discomforts.
- Drink at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day. Eating more fiber increases your need for water.
- Consult your doctor about any health concerns.
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