Every year, without fail, I get an uncontrollable craving for bran muffins as soon as the faintest hint of fall sneaks into the late-August air. Growing up, my mom always made them for me as a back to school treat. They were my favorite breakfast — especially when they were still warm rom the oven. Even now, years later, homemade bran muffins signify the start of fall just as much as pumpkin spice lattes (Yes – I’m one of those people who wait for them all year. I told you I love coffee!)
Mom always made the classic Raisin Bran muffins that use a box of cereal, but have you seen the cost of cereal these days? It’s completely outrageous. Clearly time to find a new, more economical recipe. It took a while. So many versions were too dry, too dense, or too gritty. I felt like I was being beaten over the head with health food. Just as I was about to give up and buy a box of Raisin Bran, I decided to give it one last try. Success! After two years of fiddling around with recipes, I’ve finally developed what I think is the perfect bran muffin: light, springy, and moist with just the right amount of nutty bran flavor. Spread with a little butter and served with a glass of cold milk, this is the perfect back-to-school (or off-to-work) breakfast.
Blueberry-Peach Bran Muffins
Adding fresh fruit to these muffins keeps them light and fresh, I used a combination of peaches and blueberries because they’re in season and I happened to have them on hand, but you can use whatever soft fruits you like. In the winter, frozen berries work just as well as fresh. If you prefer a classic muffin with raisins, soak them in some warm liquid (water or juice) to plump them up before you mix them into the batter. These muffins freeze well — just take them out the night before or defrost them in the microwave.
- 2 cups oat bran (I keep a canister of Old Wessex just for muffins — one package makes about 4 batches)
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 peach, chopped
- 1/2 pint blueberries
Combine the oat bran and milk in a large bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow the bran to soften.
Preheat oven to 375. Stir the butter, brown sugar, oil, and eggs into the bran and milk mixture.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a second bowl. Mix well. Add this mixture to the first bowl, and mix to combine — you should have a thick batter. Stir in the fruit.
Grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners. Scoop 1/4-cup of batter into each cup (they will be almost full). If desired, top each muffin with a very thin slice taken from a second peach. Bake for 25 minutes,
Yields 24 muffins.
Approx. 118 calories, 5.5 grams fat, 3.8 gram fiber, 3 grams protein
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