I really like muffins but I avoid buying them because they’re deceivingly high in calories from fat and sugar. Since muffins are convenient for breakfast, I decided to make healthy muffins. Besides containing a lot of fiber, health-benefiting sweeteners (molasses, cane syrup, honey) are used over the typical white or brown sugars. Vital wheat gluten and buttermilk give these muffins a soft and moist texture. Bursts of fresh fruit help too, but feel free to substitute with raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips. These are freezer friendly, so you’re not resigned to eating healthily every day for two weeks. 😉 (Photo of the cranberry orange bran muffins are at the bottom of this post.)
Healthy Bran Muffin Recipe
makes 14 muffins; adapted from Farmgirl Fare
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten topped up to 1 cup with whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice topped up to 2/3 cup with milk, well stirred and allowed to rest at least 10 minutes
2/3 cup plain yogurt (I used Balkan style)
2/3 cup molasses or cane syrup (I prefer Lyle’s golden syrup) – Note: If you don’t want such a sweet muffin, use 1/3 cup.
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries or cranberries (or use a mix of both) – Note: You could 1 1/4 cups of chocolate chips, raisins, or craisins instead.
optional: zest of 1 lemon (if using blueberries) or zest of 1 orange (if using cranberries)
Set the oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yogurt, molasses, honey, oil, and milk. On medium speed, mix until well combined. Then mix in the eggs. Add the wheat bran, oat bran, vital wheat gluten, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix on the lowest speed until just combined. Gently stir in the fruit and zest (if using). Use a spoon or a cookie dough scoop to fill the muffin cups almost all the way to the top with the batter. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or just has a few crumbs attached to it, about 22 to 24 minutes, rotating the pans halfway. Place the pan on a rack and cool until you are able to handle the muffins. Then transfer the muffins to a wire rack and cool completely. These can be frozen. Thaw to enjoy or microwave from frozen.