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Apple-cinnamon bran muffins

Posted Jan 03 2009 12:00am
Let me begin this post by wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year!  Being that this is my first post of 2009, I figured it would be appropriate to try a recipe that won’t break any resolutions.  With my refreshed dedication to eat right, I am going to be experimenting with filling breakfast recipes that I can take with me on my way out the door.
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These low-fat bran muffins are a great way to start the day, and they also have more fiber and iron than the average muffin.  These flavorful muffins are filling and healthy, which will help you get the year off to a good start. Here they are:
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Apple-cinnamon bran muffins:
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1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (you can use whole wheat if desired)
1 cup oat bran
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vinegar (optional, but makes muffins fluffier)
3/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I used soy)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 apple (optional)
1 teaspoon vegan butter (optional)
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
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Optional step: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Peel the apple and dice it into small pieces, then add it to the saucepan.  Stir to coat the apples in the melted butter, and continue to cook until apples are soft. Sprinkle in some cinnamon to taste, and stir again to coat the apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
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In a bowl, add the vinegar to the soy milk and allow to sit for a couple of minutes to curdle (if not using vinegar, proceed to next step.)  To the soymilk, add the canola oil, applesauce, and brown sugar.  Whisk until smooth and set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine oat bran, flour, salt, spices, baking soda, and baking powder.  Sift ingredients together until uniformly combined, and add to the wet mixture.
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Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet, and stir until just mixed.  Now fold in the cooked apples until distributed throughout the batter.  Scoop the batter into the muffin tins until about 2/3 of the way full.  Place in a preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Allow muffins to cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the tin, then transfer to a cooling rack.
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These muffins are great right out of the oven, but they taste even better the net day.  They also freeze well and can be made in batches ahead of time and defrosted when ready to eat. Each muffin contains around 130 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2.2 grams of fiber, and 3.4 grams of protein. I chose to use cooked apples in my muffins, but feel free to experiment with different dried fruits or nuts.  If you prefer your muffins to be a bit less sweet, you can decrease the amount of brown sugar to 1/4 cup, which will also lower the calorie count.
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They were so good, my cat Peeves was trying to eat them as I was taking pictures!

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