Once you try this Creamy Oat Bran Porridge, you may never go back to traditional oatmeal again. This make-ahead breakfast is the nourishment you need to get your mornings going!
Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast is important for so many reasons. Well, the obvious…you’re eating something that’s good for you, of course, but it also kind of sets the tone for the rest of the day. Once you take that first step, you get into the mindset of making better choices for all of your meals and snacks.
When mornings are chilly, I crave a warm bowl of this creamy oat bran porridge. Oatmeal was my first love, but oat bran has definitely won me over. The differences between the two are so much greater than texture alone.
The Difference Between Oatmeal and Oat Bran
Oatmeal and oat bran both come from the same grain, the oat groat. Oatmeal comes from the inner part of the groat, while oat bran comes from the outer part. When oatmeal is processed, the outer layer, the bran, is removed. This helps the oatmeal cook faster. But, when that outer husk is milled, it becomes a concentrated oat bran that cooks up faster than any oatmeal.
Both are nutritious foods, but oat bran kind of shines a lot brighter when you look a bit closer. Oat bran is a better source of protein, B vitamins, iron and soluble fiber compared to oatmeal. The fiber in oat bran fills you up and can keep you feeling fuller longer. It is also more efficient at lowering cholesterol and slowing down fat and sugar absorption.
Oat bran also has a much higher concentration of beta glucan, a substance found in oats and several other foods. Beta glucan has many health benefits, but the beta glucan specifically found in oats has been found to keep cholesterol levels in check and can dramatically reduce LDL levels.
As far as cooking, taste and texture, you’ll love how quickly oat bran cooks up! Once you’ve brought it up to a boil, it’ll be ready in just two to three more minutes! I personally love the taste and texture so much more than traditional rolled oats. Oat bran is creamy with an almost sweet oaty richness. Its flavor is so lovely that I find that you don’t have to douse it with sweeteners to make it delicious.
How to Cook Oat Bran
Oat bran could not be easier to make. Although not necessary, I like to heat my saucepan up for a tiny bit and add the dry oat bran to get it a slightly bit toasty before adding the water and milk. I just think it enhances the flavor, but truly, some days I don’t bother and it’s still delicious. Just be careful not to go overboard if you do toast your oat bran. It will burn in a flash if you do. I just keep the pan moving for barely a minute over medium high heat just until the toasted scent hits my nose.
Once you add the water and milk, grab a whisk and whisk frequently, if not incessantly. OK, so incessantly is probably too much, but if you’re obsessed with a creamy texture, as I admit I am, keep that whisk moving, my friend. The good news is, you’ve only got to do it for maybe three or four minutes…oat bran cooks quickly!
I use a higher liquid to oat bran ratio than most. I love how silky and creamy it becomes when first cooked and once it has cooled the oat bran thickens quite a bit. I find that these proportions yield a much nicer texture. If you’d rather a thicker porridge from the start, go ahead and reduce the amount of milk and/or water by as much as half.
Make-Ahead Healthy Breakfast to the Rescue!
What I love best is that I can whip up a pot of oat bran either in the evening or on a quiet morning and keep it in the fridge for a whole week of easy breakfasts. Just scoop out a portion, add a splash of milk and reheat in a microwave or on the stovetop.
Oat Bran Toppings
Now, toppings are the best part, aren’t they? So, you can keep things super simple and easy, as I did in these images. An understated banana, some toasted walnuts and a slight drizzle of sweet pure maple syrup can make this such a warming, cozy and satisfying breakfast. If I’m being honest, I must tell you, I took these images after just whipping breakfast together the other morning. It didn’t look half bad, so I decided to take some shots. Otherwise, I’d probably have busted out all the nuts and seeds for these images.
I do love to change up my toppings to keep things interesting and so that I don’t feel like I’m eating the same thing every single day. I kind of divide my toppings into categories. I try to include some combination of nuts and seeds or even a plop (<-oh, that’s probably a terrible choice of words) of nut butter.
I also like to include something sweet in the form of a fresh or frozen fruit or even a lightly cooked down fruit, like a compote. This works wonderfully if you have some fruit that is just about thinking of retiring to your compost bin…snatch that up before it gets too bad…simmer the fruit in a pot over medium heat, adding only a smidge of honey or maple. Once cooled, store in a jar in the fridge to top your bowl of creaminess off in the morning.
To add a bit of sweetness, try using pure maple syrup, honey, date syrup or date sugar or whatever sweetener you typically use. Just start with a bit. You may find that you don’t need very much.
If you’re looking to step up your breakfast game as simply as possible…this creamy oat bran porridge is for you! xo
Creamy Oat Bran Porridge
- 1 cup (94g) oat bran
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups plant-based milk of your choice
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 small banana sliced
- 1/4 cup walnuts toasted
- 1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- additional milk for serving
- In a medium saucepan, over medium high heat, add the oat bran and whisk continuously for just under a minute, or until you begin to smell it toasting.
- Add the water and the milk while whisking constantly to keep the oat bran from clumping. The pot will sizzle a bit with the addition of cold liquids.
- Continue whisking as the mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat just a bit to keep things simmering and continue to cook for 3 minutes, whisking frequently, or better yet…constantly.
- Serve in bowls with a splash of additional milk and your choice of toppings. Any remaining oat bran can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.
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Information is based on my own experiences, beliefs and extensive research. The information contained in this post is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical advice. All diet decisions should be made with approval of your health care provider.
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