Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bran Muffin Recipe Rehab

Did you know that most bakery muffins have almost as much sugar as a can of soda?!? Those healthy-looking bran muffins are no different than their blueberry cousins. Most bakery muffins are simply made from a cake recipe baked into the shape of a muffin.

If this doesn’t make you feel cheated, then I don’t know what does. We expect this from pastries, but not muffins—especially not bran muffins!

By the way, that chocolate croissant you passed up for an apple bran muffin the last time you were in Starbucks—it had less than 1/3 the sugar of the muffin!

Before you throw up your hands in defeat and start gobbling chocolate croissants for breakfast everyday, try this rehabilitated bran muffin recipe. Each muffin has 75% less sugar than average bakery muffins and no oil. Don’t worry, they’re still delicious…especially when topped with cinnamon sugar before putting them in the oven.

Bran Muffins

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour instead)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 tsp baking powder*
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 c milk (dairy milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk)
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 egg (or flax “egg”**)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups bran cereal (like All Bran)
Cinnamon sugar, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  3. If using flax “egg”, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed together with 2 tablespoons of hot water and let sit for a couple minutes to thicken. Stir again before using.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, egg (or flax “egg”) brown sugar, and molasses.
  5. Add flour mixture and bran cereal to liquid mixture and fold together until just combined.
  6. Place 12 muffin cups in a regular (1/2 cup) sized muffin tin; spray muffin cups with non-stick spray. Use a ½ cup scoop to portion batter into muffin cups. The batter should come up nearly to the top of the cups (which will make ~10 muffins) or slightly less than full (which will make 12 muffins). If desired, sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon sugar.
  7. Place muffin tin into the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin; it will come out clean or with crumbs (no liquid batter) when done.
  8. Remove muffins from tin within a couple minutes of removing from the oven and cook them on a rack or serve.

Bran Muffin Recipe Rehab--Now Healthy, Still Delicious

Makes 10-12 muffins.
Serve alone or with butter and jam.

*If using all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat flour, use only 1-1/2 tsp of baking powder.

**To replace 1 egg in a recipe, mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed together with 2 tablespoons of hot water and let sit for a couple minutes to thicken. Stir again before using.

Time-saving tip: After muffins cool on the rack, transfer them to a gallon-sized ziplock bag or other airtight container and freeze. For a quick breakfast, heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm through.

Other flavor options:
  • Add ½ cup golden raisins or currants, or 1 cup diced apples tossed in ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, to the flour mixture in step #2.
  • For a bit of extra spice, you can add ¼ teaspoon of ground cardamom or ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with the cinnamon in step 2.

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