fruit and nut bran muffins
Bran. Not so sexy, right? Super Colon Blow jokes aside, those twiggy little fibers look more like sawdust and wood shavings than anything resembling breakfast food. Funny then how they become so appealing when mixed with some dried fruit, toasted nuts and are folded into a thick batter.
If I’m being honest, I always have a box of All-Bran in the house and regularly (no pun intended) have it for breakfast. Not because I’m in love with the taste (though it’s not that bad) but for it’s health benefits. But every routine can sometimes feel like a rut – and that’s what prompted these bran muffins.
A big shout-out to Ina Garten for providing the foundation of this recipe.
They really are simple to make and you can customize the add-ins based on your tastes or the contents of your pantry.
I may have gone a little overboard raiding my pantry and fridge because these bran beauties are positively busting with fruit. Aside from the mashed banana and applesauce, the batter is dotted with golden raisins and sweetened flaked coconut.
Yes, there’s good for you stuff too – like wheat germ – as if the All Bran wasn’t enough. If you are like me and crave a little crunch in every bite, then you’ll appreciate the chopped, toasted pecans.
I sprinkled a few flakes of oatmeal on top of the muffins for a rustic, homey feel, but really you could just dust it with more coconut or nuts if you wanted.
This makes a dozen muffins, so they’re great for a crowd. Maybe for Easter morning?
Or just place them on a baking sheet and stick them in the deep freeze until frozen through. Then transfer them to a plastic freezer bag and take one out anytime you need a fix. They’ll thaw in the time it takes you to brew a pot of coffee, or blow-dry your hair.
Though not required, a smear of butter and drizzle of honey on a warm muffin will take you to the moon!
- 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup All Bran cereal (original, not flakes or buds)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 large, overripe banana, mashed
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- wheat germ (optional)
- rolled oatmeal (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin liners into a muffin tin and spray the liners with a little nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- If you're out of buttermilk do this quick sub-in: In a small bowl mix milk and lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Easy.
- Meanwhile, place pecans on a baking sheet and toast them for 10 minutes, until crisp and fragrant. Remove from oven and roughly chop them. Set aside.
- Add the All Bran to the milk and set aside.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the butter and brown sugar. With an electric mixer, mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula, occasionally. Add the molasses, and vanilla and continue to beat. (Mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran mixture and combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture a little at a time until just combined. Don't overmix.
- Stir in the banana and applesauce to combine. Add the raisins, pecans and coconut and fold into the bran mixture.
- Spoon into muffin liners about 3/4 full. Sprinkle with a little wheat germ and oatmeal if desired.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.