Bran is a super food, no doubt about it. Rich in fibre, protein, omega acids and a score of minerals, it is an ingredient I have been trying to incorporate into my baking more often. It also possesses a natural sweetness – an added bonus when it means you are able to reduce the amount of sugar. I was a little sceptical of these muffins due to how little sugar they contained and was pleasantly surprised to be proved wrong. In fact I was astounded. They tasted as though they contained at least twice as much!
Bran also has a wonderfully nutty flavour that delivers richness without the necessity for bucket loads of butter. It also provides texture. I cant stipulate enough how a good muffin needs texture. I used to love the standard blueberry/choc chip mega muffins that you can buy from pretty much anywhere nowadays. However, I have found that my tastes are now changing quite significantly and I now find them excessively sweet (believe it or not, there is such a thing as too much sweetness) and crumbly…insubstantial is the word I’m looking for. The supermarket-brand ones are the biggest culprits in my book. Sure, these Blueberry Walnut Bran Muffins are sweet and rich but not disproportionally so, and they actually have a bit of grunt to them. They are low in GI, consequently leaving you satisfied for longer and not having to deal with the typical sugar rush and resultant energy drop associated with supermarket ones. Pack a few for a brekky on the run or even try one heated up with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for dessert.
If I haven’t exhorted you into integrating more bran into your diet, then I don’t know what will. All I can say is give these muffins a whirl and see if they inspire you!
Blueberry Walnut Bran Muffins
Makes 10-12 muffins.
1 cup unprocessed bran
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour, sifted
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 190C and grease a twelve hole 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray.
Mix together the bran, egg and milk in a large bowl with a fork. Leave to stand for fifteen minutes.
Gently stir through the flour, salt and sugar. Fold in nuts and then blueberries.
Spoon into muffin tray. They don’t rise that much so you can fill the holes virtually to the top in order to get a rounded top.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Cool in tin for three minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool further.
Source: Adapted from 500 Recipes for Cakes, Pastries and Breads