Sweeten whole-grain muffins with fruit for better morning fuel.
January 08, 2015
1 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Lighter Bran Muffins
Compared to the buttery, icing-piped white scones and tartlets in the pastry case, the bran muffin always seems like the obvious choice for the hungry healthy-breakfast browser. The bran adds a good bit of fiber and a little protein, too. But most bakery batters are made fluffy with white flour and sweetened with enough sugar to cover four glazed donuts—a 400-plus-calorie breakfast with more than 70g of carbs, most from refined sources like white flour and brown sugar. And the portion size? These muffins are enormous. Our mission: Bring the bran muffin back into balanced territory with 100% whole grains and no refined sugar—but still keep it moist and packed with flavor.
Classic: 440 calories per muffin 13.4 grams total fat per muffin
Makover: 168 calories per muffin 5.4 grams total fat per muffin
2 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Cut Refined Sugar with Dates and Bananas
To build a muffin batter without refined sugar, we look to two naturally sweet elements: dates and ripe bananas. Dates become soft and plump when soaked in fresh orange juice; then we puree them until silky smooth with a little butter, oil, and ripe banana.
3 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Round Out the Batter
While it's a healthy ingredient, wheat bran is actually just one piece of the wheat grain—not technically a whole grain—so we round out the batter with whole-grain pastry flour. Healthy bran adds 1mg iron and 3.5g fiber to each muffin.
4 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Keep Muffin Batter Moist
Whole grains need a bit more liquid than white flour, so we add creamy fat-free buttermilk and fresh OJ to keep our batter moist.
5 of 5Photo: Randy Mayor
Enhance the Flavor
Finally, toasting the bran enhances the flavor with deep, nutty notes. Packed with 7g of filling fiber and only 168 calories, this mighty muffin offers a brand-new way to jump-start your day.
Freeze extras up to 2 months. Microwave at LOW about 1 minute to thaw.