Friday, January 24, 2014

Applesauce Oat-Bran Muffins

I still have some applesauce from Techie Smurf's visit that I keep forgetting to eat.  I was planning to make some kind of bran muffins, and figured this was as good a use for it as any.

There are a bunch of recipes online for muffins that use bran or raisin bran cereal.  But those come with sugar and other stuff attached.  This is the oat bran you get out of the bins at Sprouts.  Sure, it comes in packages as well, but if you don't want to have to find uses for an entire bag of it, just get what you need.

When I refined my search, the entire first page of Google results were almost identical recipes.  I'm specifically using this one from Allrecipes.  It seemed closest to what I would have developed if I had wanted to create my own recipe.  And I'm putting in the raisins.  Why are raisins optional?  I did like Martha Stewart's idea of chopping up dates instead.  Because I'm introducing the sweet fruit, I cut down on the brown sugar, but they were still plenty sweet.

Each one of these is a filling and nutritious breakfast or afternoon snack at barely 200 calories.  They keep well in the freezer and travel well in lunch boxes.

1/3 C light brown sugar
1-1/2 C oat bran
1-1/2 C a.p. flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
*1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
*1 C chilled applesauce
1/4 C vegetable oil
*1 C raisins, plumped in warm water

1.  Preheat oven to 400º.  Grease or line 12 muffin cups.

2.  Blend together dry ingredients (first 7).  If desired, reserve 1 Tb of oat bran for sprinkling on top.  Separately, combine eggs, applesauce, and oil.  Pour wet into dry and stir just until combined.  Drain raisins, reserving about 2 Tb of their water.  Add raisins and reserved liquid to batter.  Stir until evenly dispersed, maybe 4 strokes.  Let batter sit at least 5 minutes for everything to hydrate evenly without creating too many gluten strands that will cause holes to form in the finished product.

3.  Spoon into muffin cups, filling to just under the rim.  If using, sprinkle tops with oat bran.  Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown and pass the toothpick test.  Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before freezing or storing in a plastic bag.  If serving immediately, go for it.

Makes 12 to 15

Difficulty rating  π

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