This past month I have been trying to change my eating habits for the better. While I do make an effort to cook a lot of meals from scratch and we have limited supplies of pre-packaged snacks/treats in our house, I do tend to gravitate towards recipes that are higher in sugar and saturated fats. Yes, new research shows that real butter is much better for us than the trans fat-laden margarine; but, as with most things in life, moderation is the key. Ain’t that the hard truth? Rats.
My breakfast of choice is usually oatmeal, cereal, or a smoothie; but on the days that I work, I prefer a quick meal I can eat on the go. Enter these muffins. Most muffin recipes are just disguised as cupcakes without frosting. These particular bran muffins, however, are different. There isn’t much added sugar and they are chock full of wheat bran and fruit and whole wheat pastry flour replaces the standard all-purpose flour. I make a batch and store them in the freezer so I can easily grab one as my little guy and I are shuffling out the door in the morning on the way to drop him off at Grandma’s.
Another bonus is that you can easily substitute other fruits and/or add in nuts. It’s very much a customizable muffin. If you’re looking for a fast and nutritious breakfast on those busy mornings, this is the recipe for you.
Apple Bran Muffins
Yield: 2 dozen muffins
- 2 2/3 cups buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup oil
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups wheat bran
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons raw sugar (or regular granulated sugar), for sprinkling on top
- 2 cups chopped apples (I used Golden Delicious)
- 1 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and vanilla. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (wheat bran, pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).
Gently fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk mixture, being careful not to over mix and stirring until only a few streaks of the flour mixture remain. Add in the apple chunks and raisins and mix just until combined. Again, do not over mix.
Using a large spoon, or 2 inch ice cream scooper, evenly divide the batter into the muffin tins. The liners will be pretty full. Sprinkle the raw (or you can use granulated) sugar over top of the muffins. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking time. Remove from heat and allow to cool on a baking rack for about 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and allow to cool longer.
Source: Adapted from Smitten Kitchen