Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oat Bran Muffins

This is a super moist, delicious, low-fat bran muffin.  Am I the only one the finds Bran Muffins a comfort food?  They always bring me back to my childhood with good memories.  But what I also remember is that most recipes I have made over the years had an abundance of oil and sugar.  I found my inspiring recipe a few years ago but rediscovered it again more recently and made it "clean". 
Last week I made some for my elderly neighbour and he said they were so good, he ate one, then two, then three in one sitting!  And then he called me to thank me and ask me for the recipe so his daughter could make them. After that, I knew the recipe had to be shared beyond my kitchen.  I hope you will enjoy them.  I just put a dozen in the oven while the inspiration carries me on to write the blog....can you smell them??  (I just ate my second one as I edited this post!  One is certainly not enough.)

Recipe was inspired by this Loaf recipe .

Oat Bran Muffins

1 1/4 cup spelt flour**
1/2 cup oat bran*
2 Tbsp ground flax
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup yogurt - plain
1/3 cup apple butter*
1 egg
2 Tbsp oil of choice (coconut, safflower, melted butter etc)
3/4 - 1 cup fruit of choice*

* See cook's notes below
**Recently found the addition of 1/4 c flour made a better muffin.  Previously just 1 cup.
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, bran, flax, cinnamon, soda, powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together the applesauce, yogurt, apple butter, egg, and oil.  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix in any fruit as desired.  Stir until just combined.

Scoop the batter into a muffin pan (makes 12 muffins).

Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until the muffins springs back when touched.  Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to enjoy.

Cook's Notes:
Oat Bran - In efforts to remove wheat from our diet, I like it's equally close cousin, Oat Bran.  It easily replaces wheat bran in recipes but perhaps a little more difficult to find.  I have only had success in finding at the bulk food store in our area labelled as Oat Bran Cereal.  In your grocery store, try looking where you find oatmeal as I have occasionally seen it there in a box - likely the bottom shelf.  If you cannot find it, wheat bran would be fine as well.

Apple butter - I only buy the Wellesley Brand apple butter as it is 100% natural and locally made.  It is found at all Bulk Barn stores in Ontario and in Manitoba which would lead me to think all Bulk Barn stores carry it.  It is in the cooler area and looks like a caramel molasses color.  When I substitute it for sugar, I usually do 3/4 cup apple butter for 1 cup sugar.

Fruit of choice - This recipe is really moist so I find that fresh berries work best.  Some ideas to try would include blueberries, cranberries,  raspberries, apricots, dates or raisins. You can try it with frozen berries, as I just did mine with frozen cranberries, but I cut them up into smaller pieces first.