Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bran vs. Germ

Basically, I eat one of four things for breakfast; whole wheat toast with peanut butter, 2 eggs hard-boiled, steel cut oatmeal or Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal. That and coffee, lots of coffee. Except for the weekends, when we make big breakfasts like blueberry pancakes or french toast, it is same-o same-o. Quite frankly, I am bored with breakfast!

The other day I was browsing around Eating Well, trying to find new and different breakfast goodies. I found this recipe for Banana-Bran Muffins that looked easy and yummy! Bran is good for you, and who doesn't need a bit more fiber in their life, right? I didn't notice, however, until most of the ingredients were in the bowl that I had accidentally bought Wheat Germ instead of Wheat Bran. I'm not scared. I just dump it in, put chocolate chips in half for the kids and pop them in the oven.

Yummy! Super Yummy!

I had to wonder, though, how my shopping blunder changed not just the character of the muffin, but the nutritional information. Admitting up front that simple math is not one of my talents, here is what I figure:

One muffin made with Bran: 196 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 4 g fiber; 182 mg sodium; 167 mg potassium.

One muffin made with Germ: 220 calories; 7 g fat (1.5 g sat, 3 g mono); 36 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 6.5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 183 mg sodium; 195 mg potassium.

There you have it. The germ trades fiber for more calories, fat and protein. I am surprised how little they changed, though. Aren't you?

As to their muffin character, I am going to put one of these yummy muffins in the freezer and when I buy bran I will remake the recipe and compare. I don't want to jump to any conclusions, but as a good scientist I do have a hypothesis. I suspect that they are going to be just a little less yummy.

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