I love a good bran muffin. They don't have to contain fruit or nuts, but they have to be made with a combination of wheat and oat bran, taste a little sweet with a slight hint of molasses, tender and moist.
I always gravitate towards muffins with fruit. Cranberries, blueberry, and raspberries - I go for those ones first. Unless, there is a bran muffin on offer, regardless of the fruit, I will always always choose the bran.
I have a natural tendency to gravitate towards foods that are whole grain. You'll rarely find a loaf of white bread or white cakey pastries in our house, unless Brent has made a trip to the grocery store hungry. He has no impulse control when it comes to baked good - especially cinnamon buns and cheese bagels. But for the most part, he also prefers whole grains. And so far, Sebastian also prefers whole grains, but that's because he really doesn't have a choice in the matter.
I have had a many love affairs with bran muffins over the years. The grocery store raisin bran muffins my mom used to buy when I was younger. The jumbo blueberry bran muffins I used to purchase hungover at 7:00 am before a morning class at our University cafeteria, that would keep me going for at least 5 hours. I'm sure there were at least 500 calories in those things. The bran muffins from Tim Hortons I used to get on my way to work. And now the bran muffin that they serve at the coffee shop just down the street from my house, which I discovered a few years back when our toilet backed up and we were forced to use the coffee shop restroom for 2 weeks. I feel like I have really narrowed in what I love about a bran muffin, which I why I was so excited to stumble upon this recipe.
I found this bran muffin recipe a while back, on a blog called Farmgirl Fare. I'm ashamed to say that I've had it tucked away for years and never shared. I though that over the years I would tweak it, making minor adjustments, so that in the future I would have a recipe that through time I could call my own, but to be honest, nothing ever turned out quite as good as the original. So instead of trying to mess with something that's good, I finally just let it be. These muffins are so moist and substantial. They have a hint of molasses flavor, which I think is key to really great tasting bran muffin. I like to add tiny little frozen blueberries instead of fresh, because I find the consistency and taste better. I've tried to make them into little muffins for Sebastian, but they don't quite work as well. I like to use full-fat milk and yogurt in this recipe to give them just a bit of extra richness. They are absolutely perfect.
BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS
makes 9 muffins
prep time: 20 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes
2 cups wheat bran
1 cup oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
2/3 cup greek yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sweet molasses
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Grease a muffin tin or line with baking cups. I chose to grease a muffin tin because often times with bran muffins I find that they end up sticking to the muffins cups.
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients.
Add the wet to the dry and combine with a spatula. Fold in the frozen blueberries.
Fill each muffin cup generously. The batter will not rise much.
Bake for 20 minutes until cooked in the middle but still soft. Do not over-bake or the muffins will turn out too dry.
Let the muffins cool for 15 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to completely cool.
Can be stored in an airtight container for a week or in the freezer for 3 months.