Monday, December 1, 2008

Breakfast, Brunch, Bran!

Ah, the wonders of bran muffins... don't they just make you want to get up and GO?? Haha, anyways - all silliness aside, my standard bran muffin recipe is proving to be incredibly versatile these days! In fact, I've already posted a hit version of these moist, super low-fat, fibre-filled babies that I made in response to a popular fast-food place's product.

I decided to re-visit these muffins in a couple different forms when a friend of mine mentioned resorting to her office cafeteria's bran muffins for breakfast most weekdays because she would wake up too late for breakfast. Now, knowing what goes into the pre-packaged, commercial muffins (not even counting the preservatives!) and also what doesn't, I offered to make her a couple batches of my own nutrient-rich ones instead. She was sold when I mentioned that the cost for mine (even with my bakery mark-up) would be $8 for 24 of them, as opposed to her paying almost $26 for the same amount at work. As a major bonus, she gave me free reign as to the additions in the batter... cranberries, nuts, raisins, chocolate - anything that I could think of was fair game!

The first dozen muffins made use of some of my sourdough starter's toss-off for acidity, a scoop of home made jam I had in the fridge for moisture, and I tossed in a good handful of Craisins that I soaked in hot water before mixing in. The result was a pink-ribboned and studded cake that had a wonderfully light spice aroma to it and a good lift to the batter. It was an example of "God I hope the starter doesn't ruin these" experimentation, and it was a delicious success.

Very Berry Sour Bran Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins
2 cups 100% Bran cereal
1 cup (100% hydration) sourdough starter (can be "toss-off")
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup agave nectar
½ cup water
1/2 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg replacer, prepared
1/3 cup strawberry-rhubarb jam
1/3 cup Craisins
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine cereal, sourdough starter, sugar, nectar, water and vinegar. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Stir together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  4. Add egg replacer and jam, to cereal mixture and beat well.
  5. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Bake 20 minutes, then cool 10 minutes in tins before turning out.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 174.0
Total Fat: 0.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 29.6 mg
Total Carbs: 42.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 3.6 g

I was on a roll after making the cranberry muffins, and I knew exactly what I was going to do for the next ones. I didn't have enough sourdough starter left over though, so I rummaged through the fridge and found some orange juice that worked out just fine.

Orange - Apricot Raisin Bran Muffins
Makes 12
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger
2 cups 100% Bran cereal
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/3 cup raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Stir together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger.
  3. Set aside.In large mixing bowl, combine cereal, juice and honey. Let stand 5 minutes.
  4. Add egg and jam, beating well.
  5. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  6. Add raisins and fold in gently.
  7. Bake 20 minutes, then cool 10 minutes in tins before turning out onto wire racks.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 189.2
Total Fat: 1.0 g
Cholesterol: 17.7 mg
Sodium: 72.2 mg
Total Carbs: 45.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.9 g
Protein: 4.4 g

So, I finished the order and sent it off to my customer, but I still had bran on the brain! I found a packet of Carnation Breakfast Anytime (a meal replacement powder) in my pantry this morning, and when I saw it was chocolate flavour I knew exactly who was going to get the newest batch of muffins I made! My mom never has time to slow down and actually eat something, especially on Tuesdays when my sister has riding lessons at the local stable and the two of them don't get home until almost 9PM. She's also a sucker for anything chocolate (aren't we all, ladies?) and she's constantly trying to cut down on all the fat in her diet (there isn't too much, really - but my stepdad sees the fact that olive oil is "healthy" as an excuse to douse everything in it... not exactly wait friendly!). These are huge, and therefore pretty high in sugar, but they also have a lot of fibre going for them and are still low in fat! This recipe will also make 12 regular muffins too (bake at 400F for 20 minutes), even though I made them Texas-size.

Mom's Morning Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins
2 cups Post 100% Bran cereal
1 packet (40g) Carnation Breakfast Anytime, Chocolate flavour
1/4 cup Torani (or similar) vanilla-flavoured syrup (use sugar-free if you want)
1 cup hot water
1/4 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp butter flavouring (optional, I use Wilton brand)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 6 jumbo muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cereal, breakfast powder, syrup, water, and milk. Stir well and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Add in egg, applesauce and butter flavour if using, beating well.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flours, powder, soda, and salt.
  5. Stir flour gently into the bran mixture until just combined, fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until they test done.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 320.8
Total Fat: 6.7 g
Cholesterol: 36.7 mg
Sodium: 166.5 mg
Total Carbs: 64.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 12.0 g
Protein: 10.7 g


  1. Yum! I'm always on the lookout for healthy muffin recipes (for breakkie and for kids for school). I'll definitely have to try these, just have to decide which flavour!

  2. Yum, a definte breakfast treat. This surely is one great way of having your bran!


Thanks for the feedback!