The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bran Muffins with Pineapple and Dried Cranberries

HOWDY friends!!  Happy Lord's Day!  I’ve been enjoying a beautiful weekend here in Zig Zag.  After the icy cold weather we’ve been having, yesterday's sunshiny day with temps in the mid 60's was just glorious!!  I even got to spend a bit of time outside playing with my 5-1/2 week-old puppies…so fun!
Anyway…I was in the mood for muffins yesterday morning, so I decided to make a batch of these long-time favorites.  As I was eating them, I realized that I’d never shared this recipe with you, so I had to fix that!  I found the recipe almost 10 years ago in a book called:  "Eating for Lower Cholesterol" by Catherine Jones and Elaine B. Trujillo.  It’s a great little book, filled with delicious low cholesterol recipes…who says eating healthier has to taste like cardboard?!!

These muffins are high in fiber, loaded with B vitamins and folic acid, and cholesterol free (if you are able to use the fat-free buttermilk…if not, they still only have a trace amount in each one!)  And…if you make the recipe into 24 muffins like I did, they are only about 110 calories each.  I’ve been making these little gems for years, and they’re always a hit.

I hope you’ll give them a try, and they’ll become a favorite of yours as well!

Bran Muffins with Pineapple and Dried Cranberries

3-1/2 cups bran cereal (I used Fiber One brand…the original recipe recommended All-Bran…it’s mostly a texture difference, as the Fiber One cereal has larger strands of cereal)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup canola oil (I actually used a vegetable/canola oil blend)
3/4 cup Whey Low® Type D (or regular sugar or your favorite sugar substitute)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk (fat free buttermilk would be even better, but I have trouble finding it here…if you don’t have any buttermilk, you can substitute a mixture of skim milk with 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to equal a total of 1 cup…just let it rest for 5 minutes before mixing it into your batter)
3 large egg whites
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you can use a total of 1-1/4 cups of all-purpose flour if you prefer)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (this is half of the amount the original recipe called for)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple (be sure to use crushed pineapple in its own juices - NOT SYRUP; do not drain)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (I only had 1/3 cup available today, and that worked fine)

Preheat the oven to 400º F.  Spray muffin cups with cooking spray.

Place the bran cereal in a medium-sized bowl and pour the boiling water over it; do not stir.  Set aside while you’re putting together the rest of the batter.

Combine the oil and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together.  Add the buttermilk and egg whites, then whisk again.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk well.

Add the softened bran cereal and mix with a wooden spoon.  Now add the pineapple, cranberries, and pecans and mix just until combined.  (This makes a very thick batter.)  Let the batter rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.  (You can also cover it and leave it in the refrigerator overnight, so it will be ready to bake in the morning!)

Gently stir the batter, then spoon into your greased muffin tins.  (As I’ve mentioned before, I always like to use my large cookie scoop - or an ice cream scoop - for this, as it hold just the right amount of batter for the job, and makes very little mess.)  Bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean:  about 20-22 minutes.  Transfer the muffins onto a cooling rack and let cool slightly before eating.  (They hold the heat very well, and you don’t want to burn your mouth!!)
You can cover these, and leave them at room temperature for up to 2 days, or tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.  I usually just freeze what we don’t eat immediately, and then just pop them into the microwave for a few seconds whenever I want a quick breakfast or snack.

From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another. -- John 1:16 --

Don't forget to take some time to R-E-L-A-X today with those you love...

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