Bran muffins are usually made with wheat bran. It’s relatively low in fat and calories, while being very high in fiber. It also has a decent amount of protein. All these make it a good choice for a filling and healthy muffin. The only problem is that wheat bran isn’t exactly the most flavorful ingredient out there, so bran muffins aren’t always the breakfast of choice for muffin-fans. In place of wheat bran, you can use oat bran. It is higher in fat and calories than wheat bran (approx. double each amount, although still not a particularly a high-fat or high-calorie food), but much higher in protein. I find that it is just as filling, if not moreso, and gives me a better energy boost than wheat bran – plus, it simply has a more interesting flavor. Oat bran has a finer texture than wheat bran and tastes just like regular rolled oatmeal.
So, I used oat bran in this batch of bran muffins and ended up with a finished product that was fairly healthy (compared to the cupcake-type of muffins), filling and tasted almost exactly like a chewy oatmeal raising cookie. I added ground flaxseed to mine and ended up using a non-dairy rice milk for this batch, though any milk can be used. Overall, the muffins had a good texture – sturdy, but not tough – and were good both plain and with butter. The moisture in the muffins comes both from applesauce and from honey, although the oatmeal cookie-inspired spices dominate the flavor of the muffin. Feel free to cut back on the sugar a little bit if you have a preference for not-very-sweet-muffins for breakfast.
As is the case with most bran muffins, they get more moist when stored overnight in an airtight container. I like to make these in the afternoon or evening, then cool them and put them away for breakfast the next day.
Oat Bran Muffins with Raisins
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk (regular, soy or almond milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375F and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, ground flaxseed, baking powder, spices, salt and brown sugar.
In a medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, applesauce, honey, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in raisins.
Divide evenly into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 18-23 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container.