Friday, May 30, 2014

Banana Bran Muffins

I was a weird kid.  I loved bran flakes.  It was my favorite cereal.  While my brother was scarfing down Cheerios and Lucky Charms, I was getting my fiber and loving it.  Like I said, weird.  Anyway, I still love bran flakes.  I think they have a natural sweetness and you can't deny they are super good for you.  I always keep a box in the pantry.

The other day I noticed a couple of bananas on the counter that were dangerously over ripe.  I was going to make some banana nut bread, like I always do but then I remembered reading about using bran flakes to make muffins.  Inspiration struck!  Banana bran muffins!  I experimented with a recipe and it paid off.  This one's a winner.  Low fat, low sugar, high fiber and it tastes good, too!

Here's what I did:


1 1/2 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups bran flakes
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
The zest of half an orange

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.  In a large bowl, stir together the bran flakes and milk.  Set aside to let soften. In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Set aside. Once the bran flakes are soft, mix in the egg and oil.  Beat well.  Add the flour mixture to the bran mixture and stir only enough to combine.  Do not over mix!  (That makes for tough muffins.  Is it me or does Tough Muffins sound like a show on the Disney Channel?)  Gently stir in the cinnamon, vanilla extract, mashed bananas, applesauce and orange zest.  Evenly portion the batter into 12 muffin cups (lined with liners).

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

The orange zest really take these muffins to the next level.  Don't skip it!  The applesauce and bananas keep them moist without having to add too much oil and add a wonderful flavor.  These are great for a quick breakfast on the go or a healthy snack.  Enjoy!

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