Whole Wheat Bran Muffins

This is for the bakers out there who want a snack that is high in fiber and fairly low in fat. These taste best fresh out of the oven or warmed a bit with a little butter or jam (butter and jam not included in nutritional breakdown of this recipe, so don’t go overboard). You’ll need a 12-tin muffin pan and a food processor. The folks at Cooking Light, where I found this recipe in their January 2015 issue, say to use either a blender or food processor, but trust me, the blender doesn’t work as well, so save yourself the headache and go with the processor, if you have one. The recipe makes 12 small- to medium-sized muffins. If you decide you want to add raisins or cranberries or nuts to the batter, that’s perfectly fine, but then you’re on your own determining the nutritional breakdown:)

These are the main ingredients you'll need to prepare this tasty whole grain bran muffin recipe.
These are the main ingredients you’ll need to prepare this tasty whole wheat bran muffin recipe.

Ingredients:

1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat bran (I didn’t have this sitting in my pantry, so I found it in my grocery store’s Nature’s Marketplace section, with other grains and nuts available in bulk. If you have trouble finding it in your store, just ask a store employee.)

1 cup pitted and chopped dates (about six ozs) The recipe doesn’t call for chopping the dates, but I found that the first time I tried the recipe, the dates didn’t get blended well enough, so I now do a rough chop and I recommend you do the same.

3/4 cup orange juice

1 cup fat-free buttermilk

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)

2 Tbs. butter melted

2 Tbs. canola oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (available either in the regular flour section or in your organic or Nature’s Marketplace section of your grocery store)

1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

cooking spray (like Pam)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the 1 and 3/4 cups of wheat bran on a baking sheet and bake for eight to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring once (Hard to tell if the bran has been browned from my perspective, so just bake it for ten minutes, stirring once).

Found this in the bulk section of my grocery store with other grains and nuts and it was very inexpensive.
Found this in the bulk section of my grocery store with other grains and nuts and it was very inexpensive.
The wheat bran measured out.
The wheat bran measured out.
Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet.
Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet.
Into the oven goes the wheat bran...
Into the oven goes the wheat bran…
...and out of the oven about half way through baking for a quick stir.
…and out of the oven about half way through baking for a quick stir.
Pulled  out of oven after being baked for ten minutes.
Pulled out of oven after being baked for ten minutes.

For convenience’s sake, I’d transfer the wheat bran into a bowl, as we won’t be needing it for awhile.

I recommend carefully pouring the baked wheat bran into a bowl in your kitchen sink to avoid any mess if you spill a little.
I recommend carefully pouring the baked wheat bran into a bowl in your kitchen sink to avoid any mess if you spill a little.

Now for the date mixture we’re going to make. Roughly chop one cup of pitted dates. Place the dates and 3/4 cup of orange juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce the heat so that the dates and juice simmer for about 15 minutes (the recipe calls for 20 minutes, but when I first made this, I simmered for 20 minutes and there was no liquid left and you’ll need a little liquid when you go to process the dates in the next step). So, keep a careful eye on the pan and simmer until you just have a bit of liquid left with the dates. Remove the dates from the heat, uncover and let cool for five minutes.

You shouldn't have difficulty finding pitted dates in your grocery store.
You shouldn’t have difficulty finding pitted dates in your grocery store.
Just give the dates a simple chop; they don't need to be finely chopped.
Just give the dates a simple chop; they don’t need to be finely chopped.
Add the dates into a medium saucepan.
Add the dates into a medium saucepan.
The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of orange juice.
The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of orange juice.
Pouring the orange juice into the pan with the dates.
Pouring the orange juice into the pan with the dates.
The dates and jiuice have been brought to a boil.
The dates and juice have been brought to a boil.
Turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid, allowing the dates and juice to simmer for about 15 minutes.
Turn the heat down and cover the pan with a lid, allowing the dates and juice to simmer for about 15 minutes.
After simmering, the dates are done and ready to go into the food processor. As you see, there's a bit of liquid that will aid in the processing.
After simmering, the dates are done and ready to go into the food processor. As you see, there’s a bit of liquid that will aid in the processing.

Transfer the cooked dates and remaining liquid into a food processor and process until smooth (if you see that some of the date mixture is sticking to the sides of the bowl during the processing, stop the processor and use a spatula get that stuff further down into the bowl so that it mixes).

The cooked dates have been processed until smooth.
The cooked dates have been processed until smooth.

Add buttermilk, followed by the cup of mashed banana, two Tbs. of melted butter, 2 Tbs. of canola oil and 1 tsp. of vanilla extract. Process again until smooth and all the ingredients are well blended.

The cup of buttermilk measured out.
The cup of buttermilk measured out.
Adding in the buttermilk to the processed date mixture...
Adding in the buttermilk to the processed date mixture…
...followed by the 2 Tbs. of melted butter.
…followed by the 2 Tbs. of melted butter.
Time to add the canola oil...
Time to add the canola oil…
...and finally the vanilla extract.
…and finally the vanilla extract.
Ready to start up the processor to get this part of the muffin batter done.
Ready to start up the processor to get this part of the muffin batter done.
This is where you need that spatula to get the date mixture off of the sides of the bowl.
This is where you need that spatula to get the date mixture off of the sides of the bowl.
The date mixture has been fully processed and ready for the dry ingredients.
The date mixture has been fully processed and ready for the dry ingredients.

It’s time to get our dry ingredients mixed together before adding them to the processed date mixture. Spoon the whole wheat pastry flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife. Combine the flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

This is the whole wheat pastry flour I found at the grocery store.
This is the whole wheat pastry flour I found at the grocery store.
About one cup is what you'll need.
About one cup is what you’ll need.
Adding the whole wheat pastry flour to the wheat bran in a large bowl.
Adding the whole wheat pastry flour to the wheat bran in a large bowl.

Next we add the 1 and 1/2 tsp. of baking powder...

Next we add the 1 and 1/2 tsp. of baking powder…

...followed by 1/2 tsp. of the baking soda...
…followed by 1/2 tsp. of the baking soda…
...with half a tsp. of cinnamon required...
…with half a tsp. of cinnamon required…
...and not to forget the quarter tsp. of salt.
…and not to forget the quarter tsp. of salt.
The bran and flour mixture being stirred with a whisk.
The bran and flour mixture being stirred with a whisk.
Make sure all of the ingredients are well blended.
Make sure all of the ingredients are well blended.

Add the date mixture to the bran mixture, stirring until just moist, but also ensuring that some of the flour mixture isn’t sitting stuck at the bottom of the bowl. Add the two lightly beaten eggs, stirring until just combined. The batter is ready.

Let's introduce the date mixture to the bran mixture.
Let’s introduce the date mixture to the bran mixture.
Mixing the date and bran mixtures together.
Mixing the date and bran mixtures together.
Now for our two eggs!
Now for our two eggs!
Let's get cracking.
Let’s get cracking.
The two eggs, lightly beaten.
The two eggs, lightly beaten.
The eggs joining the date bran mixture.
The eggs joining the date bran mixture.
The date  bran batter is ready
The date bran batter is ready.

It’s time for the muffin pan. The recipe says to use 12 muffin cup liners and line them in the muffin pan tins, coating the liners with cooking spray, but I prefer not to use liners at all and just coat the tins I’m using with the spray.

This is my trusty muffin pan that I've had for at least 15 years. I can't remember where or when I bought it, but as it's a 24-tin muffin pan, it's handy for hen I want to double a muffin recipe. All you need though for this recipe is a 12-tin muffin pan.
This is my trusty muffin pan that I’ve had for at least 15 years. I can’t remember where or when I bought it, but as it’s a 24-tin muffin pan, it’s handy for when I want to double a muffin recipe. All you need though for this recipe is a 12-tin muffin pan.
Hello, Pam!
Hello, Pam!
The muffin tins lightly coated with cooking spray.
The muffin tins lightly coated with cooking spray.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins (I use a small ice cream scoop, so that the tins are filled fairly uniformly with batter). You should be able to get 12 muffins from the batter that will be small to medium-sized when baked. Bake at 350 degrees for 28 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Wait five minutes or so, and remove the muffins to cool on a wire rack (I run a knife around the edges of each tin to help pop each muffin out). Enjoy!

The muffin tins have been filled.
The muffin tins have been filled.
Into the oven the pan goes....
Into the oven the pan goes….
...ad out of the oven comes, with the beautifully baked whole wheat bran muffins.
…and out of the oven it comes, with the beautifully baked whole wheat bran muffins.
After being removed from the ins, the muffins are cooling on a wire rack.
After being removed from the tins, the muffins are cooling on a wire rack.
The final product: the delicious whole wheat bran muffins.
The final product: the delicious whole wheat bran muffins.

Nutritional Breakdown:

Serving Size: one muffin

Per Serving: Cal: 168; Fat: 5.4 g. (Sat Fat: 1.7 g.); Fiber: 7 g.; Chol: 36 mg.; Sodium: 183 mg.; Carb: 29 g.; Pro: 4 g.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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