A couple weeks ago I made these cranberry oat bran muffins for a “heart healthy” themed brunch. Initially I was supposed to make “butter-free heart-healthy biscuits.” WHAT?! A paradox I say! How do you make a decent biscuit without butter? You don’t. I eventually settled on the oat bran muffins you see before you, which I think are more fitting for the occasion.
The original recipe for these muffins comes from Stephanie Jaworski, from her website, Joy of Baking. I’ve added fresh cranberries and apples for a seasonal twist. Don’t look for oat bran (not to be confused with wheat bran) in the baking aisle, as I did, because you won’t find it! It’s usually located in the cereal aisle or bulk-food section in most grocery stores.
I know a lot of people think oat bran sounds healthy and thus not delicious. Wrong! I must admit, even I was surprised! These muffins are moist, light, and especially delicious warm right out of the oven. With only 2 tbsp. of oil for the entire batch, they’re healthy to boot! A great fiber-rich breakfast or brunch treat to enjoy along side a cup of Joe.
CRANBERRY APPLE OAT BRAN MUFFINS
Adapted from Stephanie Jaworski, Joy of Baking
1 cup whole wheat flour (plus 1 tbsp. for tossing with the fruit)
1 cup oat bran
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup mild flavored honey or unsulphured molasses
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. canola oil
1¼ cup whole milk
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, washed, stems removed
1/2 cup granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and position an oven rack to the center of the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners or spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest. Whisk to blend.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the egg, honey or molasses, vanilla extract, oil, and milk.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. In a small bowl, toss the cranberries and apple cubes with 1 tbsp. whole wheat flour to coat. Gently fold the fruit into the muffin batter (don’t worry if the batter seems a bit thin).
Evenly ladle the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Invert the pan to remove the muffins to finish cooling on the wire rack.
Yield: about 12 standard-size muffins
- Oat bran is the outer casing of the oat and is a great source of soluble fiber.