Friday, October 4, 2013

healthier bran muffins

Despite the reputation muffins have for being healthy-ish, many bakery and supermarket muffins are nutritionally on par with a slice of birthday cake sprinkled with bran. White flour, shortening, lots of sugar...

I have been working on this bran muffin recipe to make it a little bit healthier, but still keep the muffins light and tasting like traditional muffins. There are lots of healthier baked goods recipes around based on beans, almond flour, coconut flour etc. but I find they are often very dense and don't resemble their original versions very much. 

I wanted to meet in the middle by using some flour, and converting it to whole wheat, and adding in chickpeas for a bit more protein. I also used whey protein powder to bump up the protein a little more, which isn't necessary if you don't generally use protein powders, but it's a nice extra if you have trouble getting enough protein as I do. I used molasses in place of part of the sugar to increase the nutritional profile. The combination of flour, bran and chickpeas as the base of the muffins tastes like traditional, flour based muffins, while making them a little more nutritious. 

Neatly, evenly filled muffin cups.

I really love my cookie scoop for filling muffin tins. I am a bit neurotic about filling them evenly and making sure they are exactly the same size and using the cookie scoop makes them perfect. It also makes less mess. You can use an ice cream scoop that has a little spring release function. I use a large sized cookie scoop, which I find to be too big for cookies, but perfect for muffins.

Bran Muffins:

  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tbs dark molasses
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 5 scoops unflavoured protein powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, blend chickpeas and coconut oil until smooth. Add yogurt and molasses and mix until well combined.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, bran, protein powder if using, salt, baking soda, vanilla and cinnamon. 
  3. In a stand mixer cream butter until light and fluffy and add sugar, mixing until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, mix until just combined and scrape down the bowl after. Add the chickpea mixture, mixing until just combined. 
  4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and the raisins. Mix until combined, scrape the bowl down.
  5. Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill 3/2 full of batter. My scoop is 3 tbs, which is the perfect size for me and yields 16 muffins from this recipe.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until the tops are deeply golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

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