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Here I have a very basic, but very tasty yogurt bran muffins that are a snap to make. I had some Greek yogurt and I decided to make something yogurt-based. As they were baking, they smelled wonderful, the cinnamon scent really came through. The muffins fresh out of the oven had a really good texture; moist with a crackly crust. I recommend greasing the muffin pan instead of using paper liners to maximize full crustiness. I used white whole wheat flour for added healthiness, and personally would reduce the oil to 1/3 cup because I don’t like being able to smell vegetable oil in my food.

These muffins are also 169 calories each for 12 muffins. Not a crazy amount; and in my experience a higher caloric proportion of fat tends to make food more filling.

Cinnamon Bran Muffins with Yogurt
Adapted from Cookie Madness
Makes 12 muffins (or 10 large ones)

1 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (I used regular granulated)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup wheat bran
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup plain yogurt (I used 0% Greek yogurt)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

Mix egg, brown sugar and oil together in a mixing bowl. Stir in vanilla and bran.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with yogurt — don’t over-mix. Fill muffin cups and bake on center rack for 25-30 minutes. (My 12 muffins took 20 minutes.)

Despite this being called a dessert blog, I don’t make dessert all the time. I might want dessert all the time, but I simply don’t have enough calories allotted to eat everything I want. So, I improvise. I fulfill my desire to create by adding a chock-full of healthy ingredients into what could otherwise be dessert masquerading as healthy food. This, is actually good for you. Bananas, bran, oatmeal and walnuts. No better way to put your digestive system to work.

Of course, the downside to using no fat and less sugar is that you get something that tastes like health food. I probably tweaked the recipe a little too much, but I’m going to reproduce the original so you know what to do.

Banana-Oat Walnut Bread
Makes one 9×5 loaf
Adapted from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup white sugar (I used 1/3 cup)
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I omitted this)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup white whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup bran)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Spray a bread pan with non-stick cooking spray, and lightly dust with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in bananas, applesauce, milk, oil and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture, mixing just until blended. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated pan until golden and a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Turn bread out onto a wire rack and let cool.

My bran muffin obsession all started with the complimentary corn bread that L’Ecole offered. It wasn’t exceptional corn bread, but tasting it reminded me of how much I enjoy the gritty texture in corn bread and bran muffins. Bran muffins. I must have a bran muffin! I went to Trader Joe’s to get a box of their blueberry and raspberry bran muffins, and they were so tough and rubbery that it only spurred my quest for bran muffins even further. I decided that I’ll have to take on the task of making them myself if I ever want to be satisfied, and so I did.

And were these muffins the most delicious ones I’ve ever had! They have a nice crusty exterior with a soft and moist interior. You’d never think that the moistness comes only from skim milk and unsweetened applesauce. These muffins were awesome right out of the oven, but still provided a satisfying heartiness once it cooled.

They weren’t a particularly sweet muffin, but they were sweet enough. It’s pretty hard to find a baked item that you want to eat more than one of yet still escape without guilt, but these bran muffins really nailed it.

Bran Muffins
Adapted from Allrecipes
Makes 6 muffins

3/4 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1/2 cup skimmed milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 egg (I used two tablespoons of a beaten egg)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 F and grease 6 muffin cups. (Reviews said that paper liners were not recommended because of the texture of the muffin.)

2. Mix wheat bran and milk, let it stand for ten minutes.

3. In a large bowl, beat applesauce, egg, sugar and vanilla. Fold in bran mixture till combined.

4. In a medium bowl, mix flours, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to large bowl.

5. Divide batter into 6 muffin cups and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when tapped lightly with finger.

6. Remove from muffin cups when muffins are cool enough to handle with bare hands.