Bran Muffins

Bran muffins

My Mom originally got this recipe from a friend years ago and it was then called ’30 Day Muffins’. Since we usually ate them immediately, I’m afraid I can’t vouch for what the results would be after 30 days. To be honest, I would be very surprised if they were still edible!

Depending on who filled the muffin pans though, we did occasionally have a couple of spoons of mix left after the first batch, sometimes enough for a muffin or two a few days later (although only if the mix was well hidden at the back of the fridge). The second batch of muffins still tasted good, even if they didn’t rise as much. The trick is to keep the raw mixture in the fridge and only bake the muffins when you want to eat them.

This recipe requires a bit of forward planning as the mixture needs to sit overnight so the bran softens and it all blends together. It’s really quick to put together the evening before though, and well worth the effort for the pleasure of fresh, delicious and fairly healthy muffins the next morning.

I’ve made minor tweaks to the recipe since then to boost up the health quotient. I add extra sunflower seeds and desiccated coconut if I have some on hand, and I usually use coconut oil and stone-ground wholewheat flour. Not that it needs any extra fibre what with all that bran, but the wholewheat flour is just that much less processed, especially if you use Eureka Mills. In the same vein, brown sugar is better than white, but it’s still sugar and I sometimes replace it with honey (you just end up with a slightly different texture when you beat it with the eggs). The raisins add a lot of sweetness anyway, so the mix itself can do with less.

I’ve also discovered that it works pretty well if you fill a muffin tray with left-over mix (after you’ve baked your first batch), then put it in the freezer. When the muffins are completely frozen, remove them from the freezer and let them defrost for a few minutes – just enough so you can run a knife around them and decant them into a freezer bag for easier storage. Then put them back in the freezer.

When you want just a few muffins, simply remove however many you need from the bag. Grease your muffin tray well, pop the frozen muffins in and put the tray into the oven as you switch it on. By the time the oven is up to temperature, the muffins have defrosted and are starting to bake. Again they don’t rise as much, but they’re still delicious. I’ve found it usually takes about 40 – 45 minutes from a cold oven with frozen muffins to a fresh, warm breakfast/teatime treat.

You can serve the muffins just with butter if you like, but I personally love them with some cheddar cheese. The combination of savoury cheese and sweet raisins is hard to beat, and the cheese also adds extra protein. Along with the bran, it makes a couple of these muffins a meal that will keep you feeling satisfied for several hours. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • ¾c brown sugar
  • 1/3c oil – preferably liquid coconut oil, but sunflower oil will do in a pinch
  • 2c digestive bran (NOT All Bran)
  • 250g raisins or mixed fruit
  • 2½t bicarb
  • 2½c flour (wholewheat or plain white, or a half/half mix of both)
  • ½t salt
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1c sunflower seeds (optional)
  • ½c desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 2c milk

Optional extras to serve:

  • Butter
  • Grated cheese

Method

Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl (I made a half quantity here, hence the one egg in the picture).

Sugar and egg

Beat them together for a minute or so then add the oil. It may look a little flat to start with.

Add oil to sugar and egg

Continue to beat for a few more minutes until the sugar is mostly dissolved and you have a lighter, slightly fluffy mixture.

Beaten egg, sugar and oil

To the beaten mixture, add all the other dry ingredients.

Add dry ingredients

Then add the milk and vanilla.

Add milk

Stir it all together until well mixed.

Stir mixture well

Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight in the fridge.

Cover with clingfilm

In the morning, switch on the oven to 170°C. Grease your muffin tray well, especially on the bottom so they don’t stick.

Then check the mixture – the texture will have changed a bit as the bran has softened and the bicarb activated.

Mixture in the morning

Give it a good stir and if it looks a little dry (some flours absorb more moisture than others), add a little more milk and stir it in.

Stir the mix again

Then spoon into the greased muffin tray.

Spoon into muffin pan

When the oven is up to temperature, put the tray in. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the muffins have risen. After 20 minutes use a skewer or sharp knife to check if they’re cooked through (i.e. the skewer comes out clean) and only leave a bit longer if not.

Once you take them out the oven, let the muffins sit for a few minutes in the tray before carefully removing them, using a knife to loosen them from the bottom.

Serve warm just with butter and/or with cheese to pile on top.

Bran muffins

Note: If you don’t need that many muffins, you can halve the recipe or store the raw mixture in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for longer. Even if they don’t rise as much, the muffins will still taste great.

 

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© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014

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