4 Great Wheat Bran Substitutes

The rough covering of wheat berries is a wealth of dietary fiber when removed from the grain during the milling process. The bran is packaged and sold in supermarkets and can be used to add fiber to a variety of dishes, from meatloaf to pieces of bread.

Wheat bran is a fiber supplement used in muffins, rolls and bread, pancakes, and even smoothies.  When combined with breadcrumbs, wheat bran can be a coating for chicken or fish.

1. Oat Bran

The outer casing of the oat groat is very high in heart-healthy soluble fiber. Oat Bran is the outer layer of the oat groat, which sits just beneath the inedible hull. While oat groats and steel-cut oats naturally contain bran, oat bran is also sold separately as its product. 

Oat bran is linked to many health benefits, such as improved blood sugar control, healthy bowel function, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

While it has similar carbs and fat as regular oatmeal, oat bran boasts more protein and fiber — and fewer calories.

Substituting Oat bran:

= 1 cup oat bran substituted for 1 cup wheat bran

2. Rice Bran

Bran is the outer cuticle layer and germ directly beneath the hull that remains intact in brown rice but stripped off when white rice is polished. Rice bran has a sweet, nutty flavor and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

According to WebMD, rice bran comes from the outer layer of rice (Oryza sativa). Rice bran oil is popular as a “healthy oil” in Japan, Asia, particularly India. 

Although rice bran is used for high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, athletic performance, and many other purposes, there is no scientific evidence to support many of these uses.

Substituting rice bran:

= 1 cup rice bran is a replacement for 1 cup wheat bran

3. Wheat Germ

Wheat germ comes from milling whole wheat from the core of the wheat kernel. It is a nutritious and crunchy addition to baked foods that adds a nutty taste and provides calories, protein, fiber, and vitamin B6. Rarely eaten alone, combined with other recipes, it provides nutritional benefits.

Wheat germ is the embryo of the wheat grain. It contains all of the essential nutrients needed to develop a new plant and is rich in protein, vitamins B1, B2, E and minerals.

What does Wheat Germ taste like?

The taste of wheat germ varies depending on how it is prepared. When eaten raw, it has a slightly nutty flavor. However, once cooked, its flavor becomes more like that of cooked cereal grains such as oatmeal or rice. Some people find this flavor to be bitter or even slimy.

Wheat germ is a by-product of milling wheat to make flour. Wheat germ is the nutritious, oily yellow coating found on the outside of whole grains of wheat. Wheat germ contains protein, minerals and vitamins that are good for you.

= 1 cup wheat germ is an alternative for 1 cup wheat bran

4. Flaxseed

Flaxseed is a tiny, brown, oval seed packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies metabolize more efficiently when the grain is ground. 

Milled flaxseed can replace wheat bran in baking and cooking and is a good alternative for those looking for gluten-free products. Enjoy a nutty flavor to the recipes and a nice texture compared to wheat bran.

Flaxseed is a seed that you can eat!

It is a great substitute rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart and your brain. Flaxseed also has a lot of fiber, which is great for your digestive system.

Flaxseed tastes a little like a nut and can be used in place of nuts in recipes. It’s also used to make linseed oil, which has been used for thousands of years as a lubricant for wooden parts on ships and other machines.

= 1 cup milled flaxseed is a substitute for 1 cup wheat bran

Wheat Bran Substitute


Is wheat bran the same as whole wheat flour?

Whole wheat flour is ground from the whole grain – the bran, endosperm and germ. Wheat bran is the hard outer layer extracted from the kernel, so it is only a part of the grain.

Can I make my own wheat bran?

Wheat bran needs to be extracted from the grain kernel. Since the bran is found in health food and grocery stores, it is easier to buy. Wheat bran can be purchased in bulk, toasted or fresh.

How do you make wheat bran in a recipe?

Wheat bran is widely used for its dietary fiber content. Use it in baking recipes, oatmeal, or in beverages like smoothies to boost your fiber intake.

When baking with wheat bran, just add 2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of wheat bran to recipes like cookies, muffins, cakes, dinner rolls, waffles, pancakes and bread recipes.

About Rachelle

Hi, I'm Rachel! I love cooking and finding new recipes but was always missing one of the ingredients in my kitchen. I created Can I Substitute? for people like me who are one substitute away from a great meal. If you're looking for great ingredient substitutes you've come to the right place. Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.