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Rice bran recipes to lower cholesterol.

A sweet new addition to the cur- rent blitz of bran products comes from an old friend-rice.

The good news is that rice bran, the brown layer removed when the familiar white kernel is processed, has been tested and found to reduce cholesterol levels as effectively as oat bran. Better yet, the newcomer boasts a natural sweetness that curbs the amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners needed in recipes. Dessert fans can have their cake and eat it too. They can indulge their sweet tooths without suffering unnecessary guilt about taking in extra calories.

More rice-bran research is in the works, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Grain suppliers already are seeing a burst of interest in their wares, and new companies are cropping up to capitalize on the success of the products. Health-conscious consumers stand to gain from all this activity. They welcome a "bran-new" way of adding variety and a slightly different flavor to fiber-rich foods. "This rice-bran thing is going to take off," predicts Dr. Robin Saunders, who supervised the USDA rice-bran tests. Houston food technologist Dr. John Hunnell agrees: "We're anticipating that the brown-rice and rice-bran market is about to explode. This is particularly true because rice bran as a consumer product is not yet widely available. Rice bran has traditionally been sold for use either in multi-grain breads, cereals, and other bakery products or as animal feed."

But this is changing. One reason for the change is availability. New technology has been developed to preserve freshness and extend the shelf life of rice bran, thereby making it usable as a food resource. The bran kernal has been milled off the rice kernel is run through a machine that creates heat to deactivate enzymes and stabilize the bran. The innovation came just in time. The benefits of oat bran have been known for years, but Saunders cites two advantages that rice bran may have over its oat counterpart: that it's naturally sweet, and that "you need to eat less of it to get the same [cholesterol-curbing] effect." Still another selling point is cost. Oat bran is priced at about 80 cents per pound; rice bran costs less for a comparable amount.

But all the scientific evidence in the world may not be as convincing as an old-fashioned taste test. Ours begins with a hearty main dish-Healthy Rice-Bran Meatballs.

Healthy Rice-Bran Meatballs

(Makes 4 servings)

5 sprigs parsley

4 slices whole- wheat bread, crusts removed

1 small onion, quartered

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1/2 cup rice bran

3 egg whites or equivalent egg substitute

1/4 cup canola oil Place all ingredients into food processor Process until thoroughly blended. Shape mixture into 12 2"' meatballs. Cook in oil over medium heat until browned. Drain meatballs. Serve with favorite tomato sauce.

Turkey Soup

1/4 cup diced turkey

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped celery

1/3 cups chopped carrots

1 cup mushrooms

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup rice bran

4-6 cups turkey stock

1 zucchini, grated

1 green pepper, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

2 tablespoons white vinegar, if desired

Pepper

Saute turkey, onion, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in oil until soft. Stir in rice bran and cook at medium heat 2 minutes. Pour in turkey stock and add remaining vegetables. Simmer 1 hour. Season with vinegar and freshly ground pepper.

Brown Rice Olive Salad

(Makes 4 servings)

2 cups cooked brown rice (cooked in chicken broth), cooled to room temperature

1/2 cup each sliced celery and sliced ripe olives

1/4 cup each finely diced onion and finely diced red pepper

1/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing

2 tablespoons rice bran

Lettuce leaves Combine rice, celery, olives, onion, and red pepper in large bowl. Blend salad dressing and rice bran in small bowl. Pour over rice mixture and toss. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Pineapple Berry Muffins

(Makes 24 muffins)

2 cups rice bran

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup raspberry juice

1 cup chopped frozen or fresh strawberries

1 cup crushed pineapple

2 egg whites or equivalent egg substitute

2 tablespooons canola oil

Heat oven to 425 F. Combine dry ingredients, raisins, and walnuts in small bowl. In large bowl combine milk, raspberry juice, strawberries, pineapple, egg whites, and oil. Add dry ingredients; mix until moistened. Spray muffin tin with coating and fill cups 2/3 full. Bake 17 minutes.
 Spinach Dip
 (Makes 2 3/4 cups)


2 cups low-fat cottage cheese

1 package 10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1/4 cup rice bran

1 envelope 1 oz.) dip seasoning mix

2 tablespoons reduced-calorie sour cream

1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon hot-pepper sauce

Rice cakes or rice crackers

Combine all ingredients except rice cakes in food processer bowl or blender; process until smooth. Chill. Serve with rice cakes or rice crackers.

"Branana" Nut Bread

(Makes 16 slices Y2 thick)

1 cup (2 large) mashed ripe bananas

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 egg whites or equivalent egg substitute

1 1/4 cups whole-wheatflour

3/4 cup rice bran

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease bottom of 8' x 4' loaf pan. Combine bananas, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl; beat at medium speed I minute. Add egg whites and beat well. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Combine milk and oil in small bowl. Add banana and milk mixtures alternately to dry ingredients; mix well at low speed. Pour batter into pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely to cut.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Jul 1, 1989
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