Don’t ya like Bran Muffins?

I love muffins. We all do. On the contrary, not many of us love bran muffins, but we should. Here’s why: bran–the outer layer of grains like oats, wheat and rice–is made of insoluble dietary fiber. Bran is good for your GI tract, is a pro-biotic food (meaning it has natural antibacterial fighting properties), and helps in combating heart disease. I feel fairly confident that I’ve found a way to make bran muffins mo’ than nutritious, and dare I say delicious. Not only that, but I’ve made them low-fat by substituting a ripe banana for oil, nutrient-rich by using whole wheat flour and almond meal in lieu of refined white flour, and dairy-free by trading out buttermilk/yogurt for almond milk. Eating is believing, so enjoy!

AMY’S BANANA BRAN MUFFINS:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wheat bran
  • 1 1/2 cups currants
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened chocolate or vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/2 cup Demerara sugar (or pure cane sugar)
  • 1 (very ripe) banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut – optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease lightly with oil (I use the spray kind).
  2. Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes, being careful not to let it burn!
  3. Let the bran do it’s thing while simultaneously heating the currants with 3/4 cup of the water for 10 minutes, or until the water is mostly absorbed. Puree the raisins with the remaining 1/4 cup of water in a food processor or blender until semi-smooth (I like to keep some whole or semi-whole currants in there for texture).
  4. Mix together the toasted bran and almond milk. Add in the currant puree, orange zest and Demerara sugar. Stir in the mushy banana and two eggs.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold into the wet ingredients and stir until everything comes together. Mix in the coconut (you could also add walnuts, pecans, or even chocolate chips here!)
  6. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, mounding the batter in each one.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins feel firm in the center.
  8. Let cool for 10-15 minutes then remove from the pan.

Enjoy immediately or freeze for up to 3 months. They are grrrreat for breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea and some fresh fruit. Bon appetit!

P.S. Just in case you didn’t quite catch the reference insinuated by the title: http://muffinfilms.com/psst.html. Psst!

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