7 Wisest Wheat Bran Substitutes with Less or No Gluten

The process of wheat milling is a miraculous one. It provides us with not only flour but also other vital by-products. At the top of the list is Wheat bran, which is the outer layer of the whole grain. 

Wheat bran is full of fiber. It is added in rolls, muffins, bread, pancakes, and even smoothies to increase dietary fiber intake. It is, however, not suitable for those who are gluten or fructan intolerant. Luckily, many wheat bran substitutes are gluten-free. 

Flaxseed is a fantastic gluten-free wheat bran substitute because it provides the same nutrients without gluten. Similarly, if there is cross-contamination, oat bran and oatmeal can work as gluten-free alternatives in many wheat bran recipes

Moreover, wheat germ and whole-wheat flour can also replace wheat bran flour. If you don’t want to eat wheat, rice bran is a perfect option. To learn which substitute will work better for you, follow the post till the end. 

What Is Wheat Bran?

A picture shows wheat bran.

One of the wheat kernel’s three layers is wheat bran. Some people think it is nothing more than a by-product and strip it away during the milling process. But it is undoubtedly more than that. Wheat bran nutritional value enhances your health and decreases your risk of certain chronic illnesses. Furthermore, it is enriched with fiber and has a nutty, sweet flavor.

Health Benefits of Eating Wheat Bran:

It prevents colon illnesses, stomach cancer, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, hemorrhoids, and hiatal hernia by providing dietary fiber. It is also recommended for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

Nutritional Facts of Wheat Bran

  • Calories: 63
  • Carbohydrates: 18.5 grams.
  • Fat: 1.3 grams.
  • Protein: 4.5 grams.
  • Thiamine: 0.15 mg.
  • Dietary fiber: 12.5 grams.

Difference between Wheat Bran and Other Grains:

Before moving towards wheat bran substitutes, look at significant differences between wheat bran and other grains. 

Wheat Bran Vs. Oat Bran

Wheat bran per cup has 2.5 grams of fat and 125 calories, while oat bran has 6.5 grams of fat and 231 calories. Wheat bran has more fiber than oat bran, with 25 grams per cup against 14.5 grams. Although oat bran contains more protein, wheat bran is more weight-loss friendly.

Wheat Bran Vs. Wheat Germ

Wheat bran and wheat germ are two different ingredients with the same nutrients but different properties and benefits. The bran is the uppermost layer of the wheat kernel, whereas the germ is the seed part that can sprout into another plant. Whole wheat grains become nutrient-dense because of both wheat bran and wheat germ.

Wheat Bran Vs. Whole Grain Wheat

Whole wheat is used whole in bread and bagels. In contrast, wheat bran is typically supplemented in powder form and added to beverages, smoothies, and cereals. 

Wheat Bran Vs. Wheat Berries

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels, while wheat bran is a part of wheat berries. Three sections make up wheat berries, the bran, germ, and endosperm. The wheat bran is the outermost layer of the wheat berry. It contains fiber, B vitamins, and other minerals.

The 7 Wisest Wheat Bran Substitutes for You

1. Oat Bran – The Perfect Gluten-Free Bran

An image shows a bowl of oat bran.

Oat bran has a creamy, almost sweet oaty richness and has such a nice flavor that you will not need any extra sweeteners to make it tasty. Oat bran is obtained from the wheat milling process. 

It has a high amount of soluble fiber, which may help decrease cholesterol and even prevent cancer in some cases. 

2 tablespoons oat bran + 2 teaspoons warm water = fast fiber supplement

The perfect wheat bran substitute in bread is Oat bran because it is naturally gluten-free. If you want to avoid gluten, you should bake bread with oat bran. Remember to mix oat bran with flour, or your bread will not rise. You can also utilize it to make delicious pancakes and waffles.

Health Benefits of Eating Oat Bran

  • May aid in balancing blood sugar levels and prevent heart diseases.
  • Healthy bowels may be supported.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) relief may be possible.
  • Colorectal cancer risk may be reduced.
  • Good for weight loss.

Nutritional Facts of Oat Bran

  • Calories: 246
  • Fat: 7 grams. 
  • Protein: 17 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg.


2. Rice Bran – The Nuttier Substitute

An image displays whole rice grains and a bowl of rice bran.

Rice bran and rice flour are gluten-free and act as a healthier wheat bran substitute in various recipes because they have similar taste notes. It contains lower fiber contents, and it is very healthy. Moreover, when used with cereals, it provides extra nutrients. 

Rice bran is derived from the rice grain’s outer shell. Just like wheat bran, adding rice bran to your raw dishes like cereals and salad will add a slightly nutty and earthy flavor.

Health Benefits of Eating Rice Bran 

  • Rice bran is used to avoid stomach and colon cancer.
  • It may help control blood pressure.
  • Prevent heart and blood vessel illness.

Nutritional Facts of Rice Bran

  • Calories: 246
  • Fat: 7 grams.
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg.
  • Protein: 17 grams.


3. Flax Seeds – The Versatile Option

The picture shows a spoon and bowl full of flaxseeds.

If you’re looking for something healthy for a gluten-free diet, flaxseed is the best option. Flaxseeds are brown or yellow. The easiest method to get the health benefits of flaxseeds is to crush them in your food.

You can use an equal amount of milled flaxseed as a healthy, gluten-free wheat bran substitute. 

Flaxseeds are highly versatile, so you can add them to your omelet and top of your salad because they make a healthy vegetarian dish.

Flaxseeds are also a good addition in baking, so we may use them to make wraps, cookies, puddings, muffins, and casseroles and add them to stews and casseroles. Adding some tablespoons of flaxseed to your food improves the flavor as well.

Health Benefits of Eating Flax Seeds

  • It may help control blood pressure.
  • It can improve cholesterol.
  • It is rich in dietary fiber.
  • It is gluten-free. 

Nutritional Facts of Flaxseeds

  • Calories: 55.
  • Water: 7%.
  • Protein: 1.9 grams.
  • Carbs: 3 grams.
  • Sugar: 0.2 grams.
  • Fiber: 2.8 grams.
  • Fat: 4.3 grams.


4. Wheat Germ – The Sibling Substitute

It is a picture of wheat germ.

As already discussed, wheat germ and wheat bran are two distinctive ingredients. Wheat germ can replace wheat bran in many recipes as both tastes almost the same. 

Wheat germ is slightly nuttier and has a grainy texture. Therefore, it is a better wheat bran substitute in cereals and pies because it enhances the dish’s texture. Wheat germ can also replace wheat bran flour in baking. However, remember that wheat germ is not gluten-free.

Wheat germ can be topped on ice cream, fruits, yogurt. We can also replace wheat bran with wheat germ to coat fish or breaded chicken. 

Health Benefits of Eating Wheat Germ

  • May Help Decrease Blood Sugar Levels.
  • Have disease-fighting powers.
  • Aids weight loss.

Nutritional Facts of Wheat Germ

  • Calories: 176
  • Total fat: 17 grams
  • Protein: 4.2 grams
  • Carbs: 4.7 grams
  • Fibre: 2.7 grams.


5. Oatmeal – The Substitute with an Earthy Taste

It is a picture of oatmeal.

As we all know, oatmeal is a healthy cereal as it is made with oats. This whole-grain powerhouse is packed with ample nutrients and a hearty flavor. It’s one of the few comfort foods that are both beneficial and delicious.

Oatmeal can work as a wheat brain alternative in dishes as it also has a bland and earthy taste. We can use oatmeal instead of wheat bran in different sweet and savory recipes to enhance the texture and consistency.

You can serve oatmeal with fresh or dried nuts and fruits, and it can be baked into a casserole or stew. You may add it to your eggs or make a thick oatmeal and tamari dip with it.

Oatmeal VS. Oat Bran.

The fundamental distinction between oat bran and oatmeal is the method of preparation. Oatmeal is a whole grain, but oat bran is the skin of the grain leftover after the grains have been processed. Oat bran provides more nutritional value than oatmeal, such as more fiber and fewer calories.

Health Benefits of Eating Oatmeal

  • Blood sugar levels are reduced.
  • Antioxidants are present.
  • By making you feel full, you can maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Constipation is relieved.
  • It relieves the itching of the skin.

Nutritional Facts of Oatmeal

  • Calories: 95
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 27 grams
  • Fibre: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram


6. Rye Flour – Bold and Strong Substitute

It is an image of whole rye grains.

Rye flour has a nutty, tangy, and slightly milky taste. Therefore, when we use rye flour as a wheat bran substitute in baking, it changes the taste and flavor of our baked goods from bland to malty. 

Rye flour is also a better addition to the dough as it has a bold and robust flavor. However, rye flour has a gluten protein called secalin. Therefore, rye is not recommended if you are gluten intolerant. 

Pumpernickel bread, a yeast-leavened bread made from the darkest rye flour, is possibly the most well-known rye flour product. Rye flours come in a variety, including:

  • Light (patent flour)
  • Medium (straight grade)
  • Dark (clear flour)

Health Benefits of Eating Rye Flour

  • Improves Heart Health.
  • Good for Blood Sugar Levels.
  • Assists Digestive Health.
  • Helps You Stay Fuller for Longer.

Nutritional Facts of Rye Flour

  • Calories from Fat 14. Calories 356.
  • 2% Total Fat 1.6g.
  • 1% Saturated Fat 0.2g.
  • 0% Cholesterol 0mg.
  • 0% Sodium 2mg.
  • 11% Potassium 381mg.
  • 26% Total Carbohydrates 77.


7. Whole-Wheat Flour – The Powerpack of Fiber

It is a picture of whole grains.

Whole wheat flour has a nuttier texture than white flour and is darker. As a result, it can be used instead of wheat bran in baking and cooking. 

Wheat flour will bring extra depth to your sweet and savory meals due to its fibrous texture. Similarly, wheat bran substitutes whole wheat flour in pancakes, muffins, and bread to add nutritional punch.

Health Benefits of Eating Whole-Wheat Flour 

  • It’s nutrient-dense and fiber-rich.
  • Lessen risks of heart disease.
  • Reduces chances of having a stroke.
  • Reduces the problem of obesity.
  • Reduces chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Assists in the regulation of a healthy digestive system.

Nutritional Facts of Whole-Wheat Flour

  • Calories: 340.
  • Protein: 13 grams.
  • Fat: 2.5 grams.
  • Dietary fiber: 11 grams.


Related Questions:

Can I substitute flaxseed for wheat bran?
As a nutritious, gluten-free option, we can easily change wheat germ, oat bran, and wheat bran with an equivalent amount of milled flaxseed.
How do you make wheat bran at home?
You can manufacture your wheat bran by sifting home-milled wheat grains. You’ll need the following items: – wheat grains
– stainless steel filters of various sizes
– manual or electric grain mill
Method to Prepare wheat flour or wheat bran at home: – Sift the flour through the strainers after grinding the wheat in a grain mill (don’t use the most refined setting).
– Large filters usually have a wide mesh, while small strainers have a tighter woven mesh. As a result, several types of flour can be sifted, ranging from whole wheat flour to white flour. To sift the flour, you can use a piece of muslin or another open mesh cloth.
– Because home-milled flour is best used fresh, only grind and sift as much flour as you need for your cake or bread.
– The large filter with a broad mesh yields less bran and flour between whole wheat flour and white flour.
– More bran and refined flour, such as all-purpose flour or pastry flour, produces a tiny strainer with a fine-grid mesh.
What is the difference between fiber and bran?
Both oat fiber and oat bran are additives derived from the exact grain. They are used to change the texture and boost food products’ Total Dietary Fibre content. Their molecular makeup and beneficial properties, on the other hand, differ significantly, making them suitable for a variety of applications.
Can you grind wheat in a blender?
Just any blender will not handle the tremendous burden of grinding whole-grain kernels to a fine powder. Grinding whole grains is straightforward with the Vibe Blender System, and the flour you get is always fresher, with more taste and nutrients than store-bought flour.
How to eat flax seeds to reduce cholesterol?
2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed each day is a good goal. Try including it in foods like cereal, yogurt, and salads.
Can I use plain flour instead of whole wheat flour?
Yes, we can use plain flour instead of wheat flour. However, it is recommended to substitute whole wheat flour for white flour by volume, not by weight. So, by using the same quantity of whole wheat flour (by volume) as white flour, you may compensate for whole wheat’s higher absorption.


The Bottom Line 

Wheat bran has lots of nutritional value and is high in fiber, but it may not be the ideal option for everyone. Wheat bran, for example, is a no-no if you have a gluten allergy. 

Therefore, we have listed some gluten-free and healthier wheat bran substitutes in this post. All of these substitutes will work just fine if added accordingly.

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