Let’s talk about fiber. According to the USDA, women ages 19-50 should be getting 25 grams of fiber per day (28 if you’re pregnant.) Fiber is good for you, helping to prevent some diseases and promoting a healthy digestive system. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, of which bran has the highest fiber content. Unfortunately, I’ve had a somewhat negative stigma of bran, which dates back to a horrible dry and stale bran muffin I ate as a child. I’ve avoided anything with bran as much as possible, but little did I know that I was letting my past deprive me of easier ways to get my fiber.
Using Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal, you can make quite a few yummy desserts that are sure to fool even your kids into eating healthier. There are four types of All-Bran Cereal – Bran Buds, Complete Wheat Flakes, Original and Strawberry Medley. Each cereal is a great source of fiber, providing from 20% to 51% of the recommended daily value per serving. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the hugest breakfast eater, so I quickly started scouring the All-Bran recipe section to find some non-cereal foods I could make that both the young and the old testers would like. With over 400 recipes to choose from, there were lots of options but I finally narrowed down on two treats that aren’t typically known for being healthy.
Bran Sugar Cookies
These Bran Sugar Cookies use 1 1/2 cups of All-Bran Original in the recipe. A serving of 2 cookies is 150 calories and has 2g (6% DV) of fiber. I was a little concerned about how the texture of the cookies would turn out because the All-Bran Original cereal consists of small 1/2 inch to 1 inch long bran “sticks.” If you peer closely at the bowl of cookie mix, you can see that most of the sticks got broken up into smaller chunks while it was being stirred, which helped alleviate concerns of having twigs in my cookies. On a side note, this was a great cookie to make with the kids because there were lots of opportunities for the 5 year old to help – from stirring the mix to rolling the dough in the sugar.
Many of the testers were hesitant to try these cookies. “Bran? These have bran in them?” Apparently I’m not the only one who’s met a stale bran muffin. After some coercion and mild threats of never bringing samples for them ever ever again, each one took a cookie and had a bite. Boy did their demeanor change after they tasted the cookies. The Bran Sugar Cookies were delicious! First, you have to put aside the notion of a crispy texture like you get in grocery stores. Picture something that has a cakier, thicker texture. These were like a mix between a muffin-top and a sugar cookie. Rolling the cookie dough in sugar helped give the cookies that extra kick of sweetness that you expect from a sugar cookie. In the end, this cookie got kudos all around.
Mmmm. Brownies. Is it really possible to make a “healthy” brownie? Well, with the All-Bran Brownies, they’re sure going to try. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of All-Bran Original or All-Bran Buds. Since we used All-Bran Original for the cookies, we switched it up and used the Bran Buds for the brownies. One brownie is 160 calories and has 1g (4% DV) of fiber.
There was significant bowl licking by one of my testers while the brownies were being mixed. After baking they looked and smelled just like regular brownies. I thought the brownie flavor was good but the texture was definitely different – there was an extra thickness that isn’t what I’m used to in brownies. Some people thought they could taste the bran, but I couldn’t. I liked that there was a nice chocolate flavor that wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. If you want a nice brownie that is probably healthier than the traditional brownie, this is one option that will get your more fiber than a normal brownie.
This experience was really an eye opener for me. I realized two very important things. 1) I don’t have to drink the artificial orange-ade to get my fiber anymore. Instead I can eat a couple of cookies. 2) Bran doesn’t have to taste bad. In fact, it can actually taste pretty darn good. I’ve even snacked on bowls of the Bran Buds mixed with some strawberry yogurt. I love that it is a filling yet healthy snack.
The foods that you can make using Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal goes beyond just desserts (although they have a Creamy Fruit Pie that looks delicious.) From pancakes to fish there are lots of meals that you can make using the cereal to help ensure you’re getting enough bran in your diet. For more information about Kellog’s All Bran, recipes, and to learn about their 7-day promise please visit www.all-bran.com.
Disclaimer: This post consists of my (and/or fellow tester) opinions only. No compensation was given for this review/giveaway. I did receive a free All-Bran gift pack from the manufacturer or representing PR agency to use and test for the purposes of this review. This did not affect the outcome of this review.