Oat Bran You'll
by Dana Jacobi
Tell me the breakfast cereals you
grew up with, and I bet I can guess your age. If you say Wheaties
and Cream of Wheat, youre probably one of the Greatest
Generation or an early Baby Boomer. If you answered Special K,
introduced in 1955, you are a mid-Boomer, and if you said Lucky
Charms, which came along in 1964, you are a late one. Odds are
you also recall the oat bran craze during the late 1980s, when
we believed eating bran was going to save us all from heart disease.
The strangest product I recall from those days was not a breakfast
cereal, but potato chips made with oat bran.
Although research later cast
some doubts on how effective oat bran was at reducing the risk
of heart disease, the high fiber content that made it a short-lived
nutritional supernova has kept oat bran on my list of important
foods, and one I keep experimenting with.
I use oat bran in muffins, pancakes
and waffles. It also works well in meatloaf and meatballs. But
my greatest success is discovering that oat bran makes a pleasing
replacement when I crave Cream of Wheat.
If you read this column regularly,
you know that my mother was a raging health nut. To her, Cream
of Wheat was the devil in a bowl, an over-processed food with
no redeeming features. Growing up, I could only eat it at sleepovers
and at summer camp. As an adult, I still feel guilty craving
its warm comfort. The stick-to-your ribs, steel-cut Irish oatmeal
my mother made (which I also love) takes too long to cook stove-top
to be a practical weekday breakfast. Plus, as comforting as its
delicious nutty flavor is, this oatmeal simply cannot give the
soothing satisfaction of the bland white stuff.
However, a few years ago, I
saw that the Irish maker of my favorite steel-cut oats was selling
an oat-bran cereal. I made it with milk and quickly had a steaming
bowl of the cereal I had been longing for. Then I made it using
inexpensive oat bran sold in bulk and other, branded, versions.
They all work equally well. These days, as healthy alternatives
to sugar and butter, I add cinnamon, fruit, and a nutty topping
to my daily bowl of this comfort cereal.
Creamy Oat Porridge with
Nut Topping - Makes
1 cup reduced fat (2 percent)
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup oat bran
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp. slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. ground flax seeds (optional)
In a medium saucepan, combine
the milk and water. Stir in the oat bran and salt. Set the pan
over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until
the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook,
stirring often, until the porridge is thick and creamy and the
bran is tender, 8-10 minutes. Mix in the blueberries and cinnamon.
Divide the porridge between two bowls.
Combine the nuts, sugar, and
flax, if using, in a small bowl. Top each bowl of porridge with
half the nut mixture. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 248 calories, 7 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat),
39 g. carbohydrate, 10 g. protein, 7 g. dietary fiber, 198 mg.
Something Different is written
for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by Dana
Jacobi, author of The Joy of Soy and recipe creator for AICRs
Stopping Cancer Before It Starts.
AICR offers a Nutrition Hotline
(1-800-843-8114) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. This free
service allows you to ask a registered dietitian questions about
diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR is the only major cancer charity
focused exclusively on the link between diet, nutrition and cancer.
It provides a range of education programs that help Americans
learn to make changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports
innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities,
hospitals and research centers across the U.S. It has provided
more than $78 million for research in diet, nutrition and cancer.
AICRs Web address is www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of
the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Article Source: Aicr.org
Article Posted: December 7, 2006