Uber Cranberry-Nut Bran Muffins
Uber! Yes, super healthy and tasty. Every fall or winter I make a double batch of these muffins. I love the light molasses flavor with a bit of cranberry tang. The muffins have no added fat and are an excellent source of fiber—approximately 4.5g per muffin. The total fat per muffin is 3.3g which comes from the buttermilk, egg, nuts and whole wheat flour. And these muffins freeze well. I wrap them individually and place in large freezer bags, keeping 2-3 muffins in the fridge. On cold winter mornings, I pop one in the toaster oven for a few minutes, then savor the crisp exterior and soft inside. My inspiration for this recipe came years ago from local colleague and prolific cookbook author, Lou Seibert Pappas.
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Cranberry-Nut Bran Muffins
Makes 15 medium muffins
1-3/4 cups wheat bran or oat bran
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups (6 oz.) frozen cranberries* or blueberries (do not thaw)
1/2 cup chopped dates or other dried fruit* (currants, dried plums, figs)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts, chopped
– Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease muffin pans.
– In a large bowl, combine bran, flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Blend thoroughly with a wire whisk, breaking up clumps of sugar with your fingers if needed.
– In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, molasses and egg; set aside.
– Prepare and measure fruit and nuts. Stir into flour mixture.
– Add buttermilk mixture and stir until just blended.
– Drop batter into each muffin cup, filling to the brim. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove muffins to a rack to cool, or serve warm.
* Kitchen Notes:
Dried fruit: Use more or less dried fruit, adjusting the frozen berries accordingly. The total should be about 2 cups fruit. If using more dried fruit than cranberries, add a bit more buttermilk or muffins will be dry. I use scissors to cut up large dried fruit.
Cranberries: If using all frozen cranberries (no dried fruit) use 2/3 cup brown sugar. Large cranberries may measure 1-1/2 cups; just keep it close to 6 oz.
Buttermilk: This can be higher fat; it doesn’t matter. Low-fat cultured buttermilk varies from 2.5g to 4g fat per 1/2 cup. Be sure to add perhaps 1/4 cup more buttermilk if using more than 1/2 cup dried fruit; this also depends on how dry the dried fruit is.
Original recipe by Lou Pappas and adapted by Rita. Photos by Rita.