Bran cereals add texture and flavor to pancakes, salads

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

When great-grandmother served her husband his daily morning quota of bran for breakfast, she probably put the cereal box away until the next morning. She might occasionally have surprised her family with bran muffins, but she would have been unlikely to use bran as an ingredient in walnut fudge squares or apple cookies, or in stuffing, meat loaf, or pancakes.

Today, however, bran cereals lend a whole-grain texture to all sorts of everyday foods - not just muffins and breads.

Sprinkle bran cereal over vegetables for a crisp garnish. Use as a crunchy base for creamed dishes or sprinkle over fruits and puddings.

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For a seasoned topping, toss with melted margarine and your favorite herbs and spices and sprinkle over salads, soups, and casseroles.

For whole-grain-tasting pancakes, add about 1 cup bran cereal for each cup of pancake mix. Increase liquid by 2 or more tablespoons. Pancakes will have a moist, soft texture and a nutty flavor.

Mix bran cereal into cookie batter as the last step, just as you would add nuts. Crisp cookies will be crisper and soft ones crisp on the outside and cakelike inside.

Serve the following pancakes with crisp bacon, fried apple rings, or both. Gingerbran Bruncheon Pancakes 1 1/2 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 2 cups milk 1 cup 100 percent bran cereal 1 large egg 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 tablespoons dark molasses

In a small bowl mix well the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. In a medium or large bowl pour the milk over the bran. Let stand a few minutes to soften bran. Add egg, oil, and molasses, and stir well to blend with the bran mixture.

Add flour mixture and stir to moisten dry ingredients. On a hot, lightly greased griddle pour 1/4 cup batter, well apart, for each pancake.

Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Keep warm in oven until all are cooked. Makes 14 4-inch pancakes. Meal-in-a-Bowl Bran Pilaf Salad 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain rice 1 cup 100 percent bran 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery 1/4 cup sliced scallions 3/4 cup oil and vinegar dressing 2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced Boston or iceberg lettuce 1/2 pound liverwurst, cubed 1/3 pound sliced salami, cut in strips 3 ounces sliced bologna, cut in strips 1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted black olives

Two hours before serving, cook rice. Chill. Toss rice with bran, celery, scallions, and 1/2 cup of the dressing. Sprinkle remaining dressing over fruit slices. Set aside.

Line oval platter with lettuce. Arrange pilaf in center. Toss meats together. Arrange on either side of pilaf. Place fruit slices at sides of meat. Line olives on either side of pilaf. Serves 6. Beef 'n Bran Chili 1 pound ground beef or hamburger 1 large onion, sliced 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1 cup all-bran or bran buds cereal 1 16-ounce can red kidney beans, undrained 1 16-ounce can peeled tomatoes, undrained 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder Salt to taste 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar 1 bay leaf

In large saucepan brown ground beef, onion, and green pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover. Cook over low heat about 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Serves 6. Hot Cheese Bran Bread 3/4 cup milk 1/3 cup oil 2 eggs, slightly beaten 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 cup whole-bran cereal 1 1/2 cups flour 1 tablespoon baking powder

In bowl stir together milk, oil, eggs, sugar, salt, and cheese. Add bran and let stand 5 minutes. Stir together flour and baking powder.

Add to milk mixture and stir only until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon dough into 2 well-greased loaf pans.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree F. oven about 40 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert on rack. Serve warm or reserve for toasting. Lemon-Bran Cake 4 eggs 1 cup water 1/2 cup oil 1 18 1/2-ounce package lemon cake mix 1 3 3/4-ounce package instant lemon pudding mix

1/3 cup flour

1 cup whole bran cereal

In large bowl beat eggs until foamy. Beat in water and oil. Add cake mix, pudding mix, and flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in cereal.

Divide batter between 2 greased 3-by-5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 40 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to racks to cool.

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