Friday, May 7, 2010

Cherry Bran Muffins

Go Muffins!

I don't know about you, but sometimes its hard to get excited about breakfast on a workday. I usually end up eating oatmeal (steel cut if I have the time to make it) in an effort to start off my day on a healthy note and mostly out of convenience. Now I love steel cut oats, but eating the same thing every day can be tiring. I love bagels, donuts, and muffins (all from my favorite food group - carbs), but I can't justify eating these every day. So what options are there for the person trying to make a healthy, tasty choice for breakfast?

Nice plump cherries.

I have actually come across a fairly healthy and tasty banana blueberry bran muffin at Peet's Coffe and Tea. I know what you're thinking - bran, really? What is bran? Whole grains are comprised of three parts - the bran (outer layer), the endosperm (nutrient-rich portion), and the germ (embryo). The bran is rich in fiber. Most refined grains have had the bran removed.

This batter is so easy to make.

But seriously these bran muffins are tasty and wholesome at the same time. I have been wanting to replicate this muffin in my own kitchen and came across at Bran Muffin recipe at The recipe takes a healthy approach to baking - using whole wheat flour, wheat bran, yogurt (instead of oil), natural unrefined sweeteners (honey), and just a touch of butter.

Again, you're probably thinking B-O-R-I-N-G. Hello, where's the flavor? I wanted to up the flavor too. I decided these babies needed some cherry action to brighten the flavors. But you gotta give wheat bran a chance - it adds a lovely wholesome texture. The yogurt adds a lovely buttermilk tang. You just have to make sure to use whole fat yogurt - see I wouldn't deprive you of fat entirely! The honey adds just the right sweetness and the cherries add depth with tartness (JAM Note: I also soaked a cup of dried cherries in hot water before I added them to the batter).

These go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.

These come together in a jiff and will have you set for many breakfasts to come. My batch came out with 21 muffins (I used regular sized tins). I may freeze some so I can heat them up when I'm in need of some oatmeal relief!

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