Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bran Muffins

This recipe has been around in my family for a long time. It's the only bran muffin I make. It's such a versatile recipe, you can change up the taste very easily.
The Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups bran (wheat, oat or spelt)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter (or your preferred substitute)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (or) applesauce (or) ripe bananas, etc.
1 cup buttermilk (or) milk soured with vinegar
1 cup raisins

Mix dry ingredients together, add the rest and beat till mixed. Fill greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, until done. I prefer them good and brown, since they are a moist muffin.

Now you can see by the ingredient list that there are plenty of options. For the butter/oil, I have used a myriad of things and they always turned out fine. Coconut oil, veg. oil, and I have even combined the butter and milk amounts (1 & 1/2 cups) and used raw cream that went sour. The ratio seemed to be great! Why separate the butter from the milk if they both go in anyway! And it seems there's usually a pint of cream lurking somewhere in the fridge that didn't get used quick enough!

Depending on your taste buds, the sugar ratio can be messed with. If you use ripe bananas, they seem a bit on the sweet side. My favorite is to use canned pumpkin. The texture is good. You don't really taste pumpkin, but there's a depth to the flavor that I can't describe. You could try adding spices with it. I rarely use applesauce by itself, but frequently round out the measurement of whatever else I'm using, since there is usually applesauce around, in our house.

Now, the recipe calls for raisins. I can't remember the last time I used them, although they are very good! (Throw in some sunflower seeds too, if you like.)
What I always use, (and true health nuts will groan here) is:
If I put raisins in, I have to prod my kids to get them to eat them. If, on the other hand, I throw in semi-sweet chocolate chips, they beg me to let them eat them!!!

Now, I happen to like home-made foods with real ingredients. I'm sure some folks would label me a health nut, but I also am acquainted with those who would laugh at that label for us.
I say ...all things in moderation!
In other words... I like me a little chocolate chips with my whole wheat and bran!!!

These muffins are great still warm, with the chocolate chips all melty...
They also freeze well. A fruit/kefir smoothie and one or two of these makes a very quick and yummy breakfast.
I make about a batch and a half at a time, which makes about 36-38 muffins.
As a bran muffin, they are pretty effective. Need I say more? :)

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