Healthy & Delicious Bran Muffins

I like bran muffins. Bran used to be a dirty word- it meant you needed some help in the poop department. I just think they taste great and most folks don't get enough fiber in their regular diet. One of my favorite things to do is to go to City Market and browse their bulk section for items under 75 cents a pound. Then I create cheap recipes around them. Their wheat bran is frequently on special for .59/pound and you need to get a lot to make a pound. Since it is so light and fluffy the muffins come out moist and with a great texture.

A pound of wheat bran is roughly the size of a medium pumpkin. 

This recipe contains no eggs, no oil, and can be made vegan if you use soy milk instead of dairy. They freeze fantastically and taste great popped into the microwave for a minute. The recipe makes 2 dozen but I frequently make a double recipe, all the pictures below are from a double recipe. I split the double batch into 4 so that I could make different flavors- Plain, Date & Raisin, Banana Blueberry, and Strawberry.

Stump Bran Muffins - Total Recipe Cost 2.65 or .11/muffin (plus cost of add-ins)
(makes 24)

3  cups wheat bran (was on special for .59/lb- 1 cup=1.6 oz, 4 cents/oz) .20
2 cups nonfat milk (see hint below about powdered milk) .50
1 1/2 cups applesauce (I used homemade but am estimating cost to buy here.) 1.25
1 tsp salt (kosher- if using table salt halve it)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 TBS maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar .20
2 cups rye flour (You can use whole wheat or white. I prefer the rye because it gives the muffins a great hearty flavor.) (I buy in bulk for .99/lb. There are roughly 4 cups per pound.) .50

Pre-recipe hint: I buy nonfat dried milk packets. A box costs $9.99 and contains 8 packets. Each packet makes roughly 5 cups of nonfat milk. This comes to a cost of 25 cents a cup. It stores dry and since I try to only go shopping every 3 weeks it makes it easy to keep on hand for baking. To make it I put 4 cups of water in my large Pyrex then remove 1/4 cup with a quarter cup measure. Add the packet and whisk. Store leftover in a glass jar in your fridge.

1. Preheat oven to 375. Put wheat bran in mixing bowl and add milk. Mix until it starts looking a little spongy. Let it sit for 5 minutes and the wheat bran will absorb all of the milk. 

2. Add applesauce and other ingredients and mix well. We did a $50 truckload apple picking in the fall so we used one of the many jars of applesauce/apple butter we had on hand. I use cinnamon in my applesauce so if using plain applesauce I recommend adding some cinnamon. 

That's a lot of apples! And we picked twice this many, splitting them between several families. 

3. At this point in time I dosed out 12 plain muffins. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375. 

Each muffin cup holds one large spoonful of batter. While each batch is cooking I prep the next batch. I spoon 12 spoonfuls of batter into my large pyrex and add mix-ins. Some ideas are raisins, walnuts, dates, strawberries, blueberries, coconut, bananas, or chocolate chips. I tend to add in 1 cup of mix-ins. 

Strawberry Bran 
Date & Raisin Bran

4. Let cool on racks and put into Ziploc baggies to freeze or enjoy immediately!

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