No, oat bran is the outside husk of the grain, that's usually removed in processing. It's mostly fiber, with little "food" value, and doesn't have much taste, which is why it was traditionally taken out when the grain was milled. (There is also wheat bran and rye bran.) Usually a light brown color and kind of thin flakes in consistency. Because it's pretty dry and tasteless by itself, usually people add a couple of teaspoons of oat bran on top of something else like cereal or yogurt. It might be shelved with the breakfast oats or in a separate health food or diabetic section depending on how your grocery arranges things. There are also packaged breakfast cereals made with part oat bran or wheat bran -- Raisin Bran (or Sultana Bran as they sometimes have here) is one. Any type of oats are still quite good in the weight-loss department because even without the bran they are fairly high in fiber and protein, so help you feel full longer. Especially if you have them with a little extra protein on the side like milk or yogurt, or an egg.
Maybe you can help me with something! I have a British whole grain bread recipe that calls for "porridge oats". In my grocery here in the Middle East they have from the UK: white oats and Irish oats (both look like what we would call rolled oats in the US -- sort of flattened) and pinhead oats (US = steel cut oats, more like chopped up pieces of the grain). It seems to me you can make porridge from both, but in the US "porridge" is mostly a word used in nursery rhymes so I don't really know. Which is more likely to be called "porridge oats" in a recipe, do you think?
Last edited by bronzeager; 11-09-2010 at 12:43 PM.