Monday, August 15, 2016

"Flexible" Bran Muffins

This spring, my sister, Tina brought a few of these along to an herb fair where we were vending. I hadn't eaten them for a while and grabbed one mid morning. Oh my!  It was such a nice treat - and quite filling to help get me through until we closed in the afternoon.

The basic recipe was from a diet we followed quite successfully years ago called Maximum Metabolism.  My sister and I have experimented with the original recipe to see, I think, how much we can change it and still have it work!  At any rate, this is basically the original recipe:

Double Bran Gem Muffins     400 ยบ F  14-16 MIN.
1 C. Wheat bran
1 C. Oat bran
1 C. Whole Wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon

2 large (ripe) bananas, mashed
1/2 C. Skim milk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 T. olive oil
squirt of honey

Line muffin pan with paper liners and preheat oven.

Combine all dry ingredients.  In separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients.  Mix all together until just combined.  Scoop by ¼ Cups into pan (Actually, these don't really rise very much, so you can fill the cups.)  Bake 'til toothpick comes out sticky, but clean.  Try adding dried cranberries - substitute orange juice for milk.  (Max Metabolism)

When we are done with them, these are not the muffins my home ec teacher described.  They are heavy and chewy and full of texture.  We add nuts. We add berries. We add chopped fresh fruit. We add granola. We add coconut.  If we could think of anything else we'd probably add that too, but they are a perfect breakfast - and delicious! The recipe will hold a LOT of additions.

The additions to this batch included fresh peach chunks and black raspberries that happened to be in the freezer from last summer.  I also had a bag of sliced almonds and one of English walnuts in the freezer and coarsely chopped a handful of them.  I happen to love finding a piece of nut in a muffin!

A good habit to get into is to peel and throw any over-ripe bananas in the freezer so they are available when you want to make these muffins.

I will say that because of the fresh fruits I used - especially the large chunks of peach (I would cut them smaller next time,) I was uncomfortable leaving these out on the counter, so I froze them in a zip loc bag and just removed one or two at a time.  They can be defrosted quickly in a microwave or on the counter.

When we made these according to the original recipe, I used to love to eat them in the morning with apple butter, but the more we add, it is really unnecessary to use any kind of spread.

Addition 8-10-18 - Still eating the muffins and have found them to be an excellent breakfast for someone with diabetes 2!  (All the fiber cancels out a lot of the carbs.)
Another change we have made is substituting yogurt for the skim milk - I like mango or coconut, and throwing some chopped coconut in with the dry ingredients. I also add a small can of (drained) crushed pineapple. It's like a trip to the islands!

This recipe is very forgiving and by adding a lot of goodies, we wind up with more than 12 muffins - or 12 very large muffins!

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