I blame Elton. I have had “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” stuck in my head all day. I’ve also been stuffing my face with blueberry bran muffins. For this, I can really only blame myself. I can’t help it; I have a soft spot for bran—and for certain Elton John lyrical snacks.
I’ve thought about posting the recipe for these muffins for a while, but feared they were too plain Jane. But they’re—and I hesitate to say this—too useful not to share. I hate to describe any food as such. It sounds a bit soulless. So let’s just say I have lovingly named them “Kitchen Sink Bran Muffins” because you can throw almost anything into the batter and they’ll just puff up and smile back at you from their tins.
These muffins can do no wrong. Which makes me sound a bit like a pageant mom. Truth be told, I secretly fear that one day they’ll fall flat on their little muffin bottoms.
I will open the oven only to reveal a sad state of bran. I’ll have pushed the poor dears to the brink. They’ll be dry and lifeless. Or too gummy, bloated with fruit. And this will reflect poorly on me. As a baker. An eater. A person. People will start gossiping that I don’t always level off flour when I bake. Or that I pour vanilla extract straight into the mixing bowl: no measuring spoon in sight. That I’m a savage in the kitchen. And they might be right.
In truth, I don’t even remember where I found the original recipe. I’ve doctored it so much along the way, it probably wouldn’t even recognize itself. I’ve scribbled. And rewritten. Crossed out and underlined. But it remains a wonderful recipe that behaves very well for cooks who have a hard time sticking to instructions. I've thrown these muffins some odd ingredients, arguably one too many fiery batons. But they haven't even blinked.
This is a recipe that has hung with me since the beginning of my baking. So, yes, I’m decidedly biased. A bran muffin stage mom in her own right. Nevertheless, they have yet to disappoint. I suspect they’re not the kind. They couldn’t if they tried. And even if they did, I’d love them anyways.
Kitchen Sink Bran Muffins, This Time Presenting: Blueberry Walnut
1.25 cup bran
1 cup flour (this time: 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 whole wheat)
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp spices (this time: 3/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup milk (this time: whole milk)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp sugar (this time: brown sugar)
1/4 cup oil (this time: canola oil)
1.5 cup cut up fruit and/or grated vegetables (this time: all frozen blueberries)
1/4 cup nuts, roughly chopped or seeds (this time: walnuts)
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine bran, flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine milk, eggs, honey, sugar and oil; fold your flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined (about 10 turns with a spatula); gently fold in the fruit/vegetables and nuts. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.
Makes 1 dozen
-This is an everyday eating-type of bran muffin. It's hearty. It's got guts. A special occasion bran muffin can be found here. (I know, you didn't think there was such a thing. And I'm not certain there is. It's just a little fancy.)
-I'll often grate ~1/2 cup zucchini or carrots and add them along with 1 cup fruit. Diced apples are nice, too. If you are using frozen fruit (as I did with the blueberries) you can mix them straight into the batter, no defrosting necessary. It just may take a wee bit longer to cook.
-Because I eat these so often (and I am a dietitian, after all) I calculated the nutrition info awhile back and thought I'd pass it along, or what I've managed to save of the calculation. They have about 200 calories and 4 grams of fiber. Not bad for a muffin. More importantly, I enjoy eating them.