Apple Bran Muffins

I’m always on the look-out for healthy muffin recipes.  Actually, let me rephrase that.  I’m always on the look-out for really good healthy muffin recipes.  So many of them look good on paper, slyly substituting applesauce for oil or buttermilk for sour cream, but wind up falling way short of tasty.  For example, I’ve had a lot of success using zucchini in baked goods (like this winner).  So I tried a recipe for Banana Zucchini muffins (which looked fab, btw) expecting to be pleased with the results.  Nope, the texture was dense and the banana flavor was muted.  Certainly not a keeper.  The quest for muffins that are low in fat and calories, pretty nutritious, and make you look forward to eating one (without butter!) does not always lead to winners, but sometimes, it does.

This Apple Bran muffin recipe was one of the first to get me hooked on regularly making muffins.  The ingredients are inexpensive, basic, and healthy.  The final product is slightly sweet, moist, and light.

Yup, plain old bran flakes cereal.  I usually buy the store brand, or whatever’s on sale.  Put them in a ziplock bag for easy crushing.

Dry ingredients (a bit chunky from the crushed bran flakes).

Real maple syrup is divine.  But I’ve used the fake kind in this recipe and it works just as well.

One apple, peeled and shredded.

I rarely use paper liners.  I’ve taken to Sarabeth’s method of brushing the cups with butter.  It really seems to give the outside a golden “crust”.

If you don’t have a wire cooling rack, you can uproot your muffins like this for cooling.

Apple Bran Muffins – adapted from Light & Tasty

  • 2 1/2 cups bran flakes, crushed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 medium MacIntosh apple, peeled and shredded

Grease a muffin pan or use paper liners.  Preheat oven to 375°.

In a large bowl, combine the bran flakes, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, oil, syrup, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Fold in the apple.

Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full.  Bake for about 25 min., or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 5 min. before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield – 10 (I never seem to get a dozen muffins :P)

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